We Are Yet To Be "Sustainable Clothing"
When you visit our social media, you will notice a lot of talk about sustainability, and yes that is very intentional, but we want to making one thing clear-
We are YET to be "Sustainable Clothing."
What does that mean?
We cannot say the clothing we will be releasing soon is "sustainable." There are many of you who are eager to support the sustainable, and ethical, and local brands out there. YES, we are local from Guam, yes we are ethical (this should be a no-brainer), but we cannot say we have created sustainable products yet.
Even before we launch our clothing, we want to ensure this is understood amongst our followers. We don't want you all to come with the expectation that you will be walking away with locally-designed, sustainable clothing (which BTW would be so amazing!) BUT...
“Sustainable” is a big achievement we are still striving to reach, especially in the world of creating clothing. YES, GACHA has been practicing many sustainable acts, however, to say we are sustainable clothing- there is still much work to do for us to get there.
Why speak of it so much when you aren't?
1. We created this womenswear brand first before we knew we were going to commit to sustainability. Designs for our first release were already done, and in the process of building our brand identity was when we realized sustainability was an extremely important issue (and commitment) for us to pursue.
2. We realized that if we started with sustainable products, without education and awareness, it would be a harder sell. Creating clothes the right way and having people purchase them in the "correct" price bracket is the first thing. To have people understand and be sold on the price bracket of sustainable clothing is another thing. Currently, sustainable brands range easily in the $100+ to $400 range. As much as many would desire to support more sustainable fashion, it is a hard reach for the majority (including ourselves, TBH).
3. Therefore, we knew it had to begin with helping to change (improve) mindsets.
4. To create something into reality, begins with speaking about it. We speak of sustainability because there are many things we have already adapted in the sustainable lifestyle- in clothing shopping habits, personal daily habits, etc. Speaking of it brought us far into this sustainable journey, but there is still so much for GACHA to do for us to be called a sustainable brand.
5. Lastly, sustainable clothing design feels like 10 levels up from just creating pretty womenswear designs that are relevant to Guam. IT can be so overwhelming, but we must constantly remind ourselves- it begins with that first step. To create sustainably, which currently the best way is to create from waste fabrics, completely changes the whole design process and requires a higher level of creativity we have yet to build the skill on. If you'd like to see how the sustainable design process looks- check out Redress's Frontline Fashion 3: the follow-up film to the one we hosted & showed at our Sustainable Fashion Film event last month (April 2019).
In conclusion, forgive us if we are not there yet. But now you see, it is a major, major work in progress. Know that we are not trying to be "greenwashers," as we do our best to be very upfront about the things we do.
Thank you for doing your part in being a more conscious and responsible human being: anti-fast fashion, supporting local, and adapting more (and more) sustainable habits into your lifestyle.
IT IS A MUST. A human-requirement. Because to survive is to ADAPT; so we must adapt to these sustainable ways, to survive.
Until next time.
I saw your story in the PDN this morning and was curious about your business. I’ve been perusing your Instagram and your blog posts for the past hour and a half now and I’m inspired by your story and your mission. As a young business student myself, sustainability and environmental awareness are becoming central themes to enforce in our studies at the university in Guam.
The transparency you share with the long journey of being a sustainable business is a very brave and and smart strategy to use with your customer; speaking as a customer myself. I appreciate knowing where my product comes from and am more inclined to spend when I know the story.
You’ve inspired me about new strategies to take as a future businesswoman looking to give back to her island. I looked forward to your products and to your next blog post!