Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with The Real Real
When we launched DÔEN, we knew we wanted to be part of the slow fashion movement. We're passionate about thoughtful purchases, recycling and reusing - helping Mother Earth in every way we can. With Earth Day on the horizon, we're beyond excited to announce our promotion with TheRealReal. After seeing Stella McCartney's offer with TheRealReal last year, we were inspired to follow suit in embracing the resale market and supporting a circular economy. We're committed to offering quality pieces that deserve more than one life and promote consignment to prevent clothing from ending up in landfills.
With the secondhand resale market on the rise, we applaud consumers who are choosing to participate in this circular cycle. By 2050, textile production is slated to account for 25% of our global carbon emissions (especially due to fast fashion), and buying a used item can greatly reduce its carbon footprint (by up to 82%)! You can read more about the upward trend of consignment in Fortune’s recent article here.
You’re very conscious about the factories you work with. How does sustainability come into play when you’re designing the line and running the business?
We consider sustainability a top priority in consciously running a forward thinking business. We work with factories (whom we consider true partners) that are on the forefront of sustainability, constantly brainstorming and acting on ways we can lower our carbon footprint and give back to Mother Earth. We prioritize making small changes in the day-to-day of our supply chain that will make a large impact in aggregate. We are extremely thoughtful in the design process and avoid over-producing fabrics by only creating pieces we are deeply passionate about – and therefore produce fabric exactly to our units. We use all natural fabrics and embrace a “fewer, better things” mentality in regards to consumption. By making quality, timeless pieces, we ensure that they can be worn season after season. We reject the idea that clothing is disposable, and encourage the reselling of our clothes via secondhand and consignment retailers. Our packing is 100% recyclable, and our eco-shippers include a minimum of 90% post-consumer content. We are working to participate in production methods that eliminate waste - our children’s clothing offering started as a way to produce garments from what would have been the wastage fabrics from our women’s collection. Many of our friends and customers have remarked that they repurpose these bags for trips to the farmer’s market and for toy storage. As we expand our children’s offering, we are also expanding our commitment to work with organic fabrics when possible. Many of our children’s knits out of Peru are 100% organic Pima cotton.
Are there businesses or mentors you look up to? What is some of the best advice you’ve received?
We are grateful to have various mentors who have always been (and continue to be) there for us as a sounding board since we launched DÔEN. Friends whose businesses we look up to - like the amazing Emily Weiss of Glossier and Amanda Chantal Bacon of Moon Juice, as well as partners of the brand who are experts in their own fields like our campaign photographer and creative consultant, Hilary Walsh. One company we always look to when making decisions on our future is Patagonia. Yvon Chouinard and the company he built is one that we strive to be – from production and company culture to the respect and care for it’s employees and customers. We love this quote (along with many others) from his book Let My People Go Surfing: “I think of Patagonia as an ecosystem, with its vendors and customers as an integral part of that system. A problem anywhere in the system eventually affects the whole, and gives everyone an overriding responsibility of health of the whole organism, it also means that anyone, low on the totem pole or high, inside the company or out, can contribute significantly to the health of the company and to the integrity and value of our products.”
In your experience, do people seek out Dôen pieces because they are produced ethically and sustainably? What is the industry’s role in creating that kind of demand?
With so much information out there (through social media and beyond), we feel consumers are shopping smarter than in the past and want to buy from brands whose ethics and principles they support. We're open about how we run our company and the organizations we stand behind (both vocally and financially) and want our customers to know that when they are supporting us, they're supporting a women owned and operated company, girls' education (through our partner Room to Read), and the slow fashion and sustainability movement.
Some brands have yet to embrace consignment, but others like Stella McCartney and now Dôen are recognizing its place in supporting sustainability and the circular economy. What are your thoughts on seeing Dôen pieces as part of this movement?
From inception, we knew we wanted to be a part of the slow fashion movement. Slow fashion to us is all about thoughtful purchases, recycling and reusing. We are also vintage lovers and are always are pairing DÔEN with used Levi’s or a worn-in sweatshirt. It’s exciting to us to wear a consigned piece because you know it has been loved previously - it’s fun to think of its past and giving the piece new life.