Meet Sololu! A new ethical clothing brand coming at you from Bali, Indonesia. The new 12 piece collection, including 10 clothing items, a tote bag and sarong, are officially available now through Sololu's Indiegogo campaign, specially crafted with the nomadic femme in mind.
Sololu founder, Rosanne Hertogh, originally from the Netherlands and an avid traveler, was inspired by her own travels in creating these pieces. In viewing the seasonless, unique and classic pieces, you'll see inspiration from Turkey, to Colombia, to Thailand, as well as in her collection of jewelry. I already can't wait to see the destination inspiration in the next collection, as Rosanne travels frequently between Canada, the US and Mexico, with her partner whom she met while traveling Asia (romantic sigh).
Two years in the making, Rosanne is thrilled to bring to the world Sololu's latest collection crafted in rayon and cotton, lightweight and perfect for the ever wandering vagabond.
Get to know Rosanne by checking out the interview below!
1. I love that Sololu was born from your love of traveling. As a traveler, what are some of your greatest challenges with running a business remotely?
It’s amazing – and has always been my dream – being able to live abroad or live the “travel lifestyle” and being able to work on my passion at the same time, however it also comes with some challenges. The greatest challenge has been communicating with the manufacturer on a distance. They’re based in Bali, Indonesia and as I’m not always able to go there, it can be quite difficult when I’m working on developing clothing designs. Selecting fabrics, colors and accessories (buttons, zippers, etc.) on a distance can be hard too, frustrating even, but that’s all part of running this business and creating a clothing line. How this gets solved, is by setting up Skype meetings to go over all the things that need to be done a certain way or things that need to be adjusted. The manufacturer and I discuss all details via Skype until everything is clear.
My office and inventory are based in Ontario, Canada. When I’m away, I have my family fulfilling the orders for me. They’ve always been there for me during the startup of my business and still support me every step of the way, which I’m very grateful for.
For the launch of my clothing collection I decided to come home, to make working on the Indiegogo campaign and marketing easier – as abroad there isn’t always a perfect internet connection (another challenge!). The downside of this is that I am four months without my partner, who runs his business in Mexico and the USA. The launch of the clothing collection required my full attention and even though it’s hard being apart from each other, we motivate each other to go after our dreams. We know that soon we’ll be together again as I’ll be more flexible again after the Indiegogo campaign has ended, the orders have been shipped out and when my business is back to its normal routine.
2. Tell us about the inspiration behind your designs?
The pieces in my first collection are based on the clothing I love to bring on my own travels. I found it very important to create styles that are comfortable, lightweight, can be dressed up or down and can be worn anytime, anywhere. Color and detail wise, I’ve been inspired by online influencers, street style, my travels and what I’ve seen on the runway for Spring/Summer 2017 and Fall/Winter 2017-2018. Even though I don’t want to focus on trends too much, to keep the collection timeless, I did incorporate some on-trend – but classic – details into the collection such as the bell sleeves, off the shoulder neckline and red color. This keeps the collection interesting.
3. What kinds of fabrics and materials are you using in your designs?
For my first collection I’m using rayon and cotton fabrics, as these are derived from natural sources (trees and the cotton plants) and are some of the most comfortable fabrics to wear. Both the rayon and cotton fabrics are soft, breathable, lightweight, ideal for in hot and humid climates, biodegradable and they both drape well. All of the designs are pre-washed and made by hand in an ethical work environment in Bali, Indonesia.
I did not want to use fabrics such as polyester, as it's a synthetic, plastic-based fabric that's not eco-friendly at all. As a frequent traveler, I learned to appreciate my home, my surroundings, the world and people around me so much more. If I love to travel and explore the world so much, then why would I want to contribute to polluting it? I decided to stay away from synthetic fabrics and choose more natural ones. I strive to improve my brand’s practices every day. I want to find the best natural and most ideal fabrics for my clothing designs that not only contribute to a better everyday life for my customers, but also the people who make the clothing and our future generations.
4. Why go seasonless?
As a brand promoting slow fashion rather than fast fashion, I wanted to focus on quality clothing designs that last – to avoid the issue of clothing being discarded within a year of purchase. I wanted to offer seasonless, stylish pieces that make it easy for women to create outfits with, they feel most confident in and that can be worn year-round.
Backing Indiegogo campaigns such as Sololu's is your way of voting with your dollar for what kind of conscious world you want to live in. Back the campaign today, with 20% off all items, and receive your new seasonless collection by August 2017.
Long live slow fashion!