Life is too short to wear boring clothes, right? By boring we clearly mean unethical and unsustainable of course, because fast fashion is just so passé. Well, what are the alternatives you may ask? The answer is, stick with us guys and we’ll hook you up!
Somehow to many people sustainable fashion always sounds so daunting, tedious, and expensive. But it’s just about making a change. A change that starts with each individual who goes on to help others make that change as well. Just like Nathalia, who not just made the change herself but now has made it her mission to help her customers be fashionably sustainable. Nathalia JMag is a contemporary fashion designer who believes in sustainable and ethical approaches to fashion. She uses the most sustainable fabrics available to her and upcycles old clothing to give them new life with a zero-waste design approach. Sassy, isn’t it?
We at The Good Tee are not only excited to collaborate with her but also had the most amazing conversation with her, learning how to get stylish with upcycled clothing. Have a read and find out what she had to say.
Tell us about the genesis of the Nathalia JMag Label and how you ventured into sustainable fashion.
I started Nathalia JMag when I graduated from design school in 2016, I wanted to create a brand that was part of the solution and not the problem.
When I decided to switch my major to fashion in college, I researched and learned about how harmful the fashion industry was and I was very upset. I almost didn’t pursue a career in fashion but then I had an epiphany that I could be part of the solution and not the problem in fashion. So, I decided to continue to pursue a career in fashion to make that difference. Sustainability is important to me because I don’t want to harm the earth with my job, I want to help heal the earth not harm it further.
- Tell us a little about your Collab with The Good Tee and the process?
I’ve been dyeing stuff for a few years now and since tie dye is trending at the moment I wanted to do some tie dye designs. I wanted to drop a collection of T-shirts hand dyed with cochineal and turmeric for a long time now, but I haven’t been able to find sustainably made T-shirts so I held off on it, so I’m really excited for this collaboration. I love what the Good Tee stands for. I chose The Good Tee because the t-shirts are fair trade, excellent quality and ethically made, they pay fair wages and are still priced to suit the pocket. If I’m going to source garments from other manufacturers I want them to align with my brand ethos of sustainability and ethical labor.
The process of dyeing with cochineal and turmeric is very time intensive. Cochineal is a natural red insect dye that has been used for centuries to dye textiles, drugs, and cosmetics. Dyeing with natural dyes is better for the environment and just as fun as synthetic dyes. So for the process, I first have to mordant the fabric by boiling it with a mordanting agent. Then I have to wait for the t-shirts to dry and then I tie them. After tying them I put them in the dye bath which I then boil for about an hour. Then I have to dry the t-shirts, if I don’t like the dye job I will dye them further. In total it takes about two days to complete the process from mordant to drying to tying them to actually dyeing them.
Once the Tees are ready, then comes another fun part. The styling and posing with the new creations, of course! My friends always come in handy when I need models, so all I had to do is call a friend over and get styling and clicking. The photoshoot was fun and fast, we shot at the Miami Wynwood walls and styled the gorgeous tees in three different ways. Just like that we had three cool and comfy looks in two amazing colours, all done naturally and sustainably, plus we had so much fun in the process.
Tiedye T-shirt's With Cochineal
3.What is the process to create upcycled clothing?
My process to create upcycled garments is very different from creating my current designs. I let the garment speak to me and tell me what it wants to become whereas when I design a cut and sew design I usually dry it first and then make a pattern and then create it, so the process of creating upcycled garments is much more organic.
I feel that fast fashion is one of the biggest problems in the fashion industry. A lot of brands have adopted faster models including the high-end fashion houses. I think people should stop and think about fast fashion - it’s bad for the environment, it's made poorly, it takes advantage of people, and it’s just terrible!
People can easily switch to more sustainable and ethical options by starting to shop secondhand. A lot of people say that shopping sustainably is expensive but buying secondhand clothing is usually cheaper than fast fashion and you can get things which have way better quality. Then I think people can start to do their own research on sustainable fashion brands and go from there.
I go about making sustainable choices by doing research and also by buying less. Starting point will definitely be doing your research into brands you want to support or are supporting and finding out if they have any commitments to sustainability and ethical manufacturing. Most brands that have a commitment to sustainability will tell you how and why they’re doing it and will make it clear. Another piece of advice is to trust your gut and your instinct, if your instinct is telling you a brand is greenwashing, it probably is!
5. What’s one piece of good news you can share with us?
I just moved to a whole new state! I used to live in Massachusetts and I just moved to South Florida so that’s really exciting news.
I know it is crazy! We were planning on moving here when our lease was up in October and we decided to still do it regardless of what’s happening in the outside world. We took precautions in terms of how we moved, we only had our closest family members help us load our truck and we drove all the way down here with our stuff and our dogs in a Penske truck. Thank God everything went pretty smoothly and we made it to our new apartment in two days.
Since Nathalia JMag is an online store it was easy to keep it running while we moved. I did set a notice on my site that all orders placed between a certain time frame will ship late in October.
6. What does the future hold for Nathalia JMag Label??
The future holds growth and greatness for Nathalia JMag label.
I would love to be featured in Hypebae, Vogue and Elle. I’ve been featured in Vogue and Elle before but I would like to be featured in American Vogue, Elle, as well as Marie Claire. In the future, I plan on launching a sustainably made line of swimwear. I will continue to be a trendsetter in fashion and sustainability.
We are grateful to know that there are people like Nathalia doing their best to make a difference, that too in the most innovative way possible. It was so much fun to see how she transformed our tees in such a fun and creative way.
We hope you loved this collaboration as much as we did and learnt a thing or two about being fashionable sustainably. Just like Nathalia JMag, we can’t stress enough on how cool sustainable fashion really is. Trust us, you won’t look back once you start. We definitely recommend you to try this at home, get busy and creative this weekend, what say?