How long have you been in business?
We just launched in May, but it feels like so much longer ago than that! These last few months have been the craziest of my life (in a good way).
What does “sustainable fashion” mean to you?
Baby steps. Attaining ultimate, 100% sustainability within your wardrobe is impossible unless you don’t wear clothes, which is something I’m always reminding myself of, both as a consumer and a designer. Sustainable fashion is messy; there are so many offshoots and directions you can go in (vegan, organic, fair trade, biodegradable, ethically produced, secondhand), some of which contradict one another. What I’ve discovered I’ve needed to do, as a consumer and as a designer, is to decide what is most important to me and take a stance. What sustainable fashion means to Margu is valuing quality and longevity, valuing handmade, and using natural fibers. We source organic and USA-made materials when possible, we use as many vintage supplies and notions as we can, and we try to respect the environment by using recycled and eco-friendly packaging.
What is something you wish people knew about sustainable fashion?
I can think of two things. First: Just because it’s sustainable doesn’t mean it’s drab and crunchy! Years ago, this may have been the case, but there are so many environmentally and ethically conscious brands popping up these days that are just as stylish as their mainstream counterparts. Second: Just because an item of clothing is “sustainable” does not mean it’s luxury-level expensive. There is, of course, a price floor on what could possibly be sustainable or ethical ($10 jeans are a no-go), but you really can find sustainable clothing at (almost) every price point now. And anyway, if you are making the switch from mainstream to sustainable fashion, you’re likely going to be buying less clothing than you used to, so you may actually end up spending less money overall even if your cost-per-garment increases.
What’s the most challenging thing about running a sustainable business?
Making compromises. It’s impossible to be in the business of selling clothes and be 100% sustainable, but it’s even more difficult when you’re a tiny little company with little capital. Realizing that I cannot yet afford the most sustainable version of every fabric, notion, or piece of equipment, or that I cannot yet afford to carbon-offset my business, or that I cannot yet afford to donate a big chunk of our proceeds to charity, is hard because I want to. But like I mentioned before: baby steps. Margu is small, and we can’t yet do all the sustainable and ethical things we dream of doing, but we have laid the foundation and will get there someday.
Other than your own, which sustainable clothing brands do you like?
There are so many sustainable fashion brands I love! Some of my favorites: Elizabeth Suzann, Hackwith Design House, Alabama Chanin, Atelier Delphine, Elise Ballegeer, Loup Charmant, Amour Vert, Kowtow, Eva Cassis, Eileen Fisher, Ilana Kohn, SVILU, Reformation, Zady. Plus a billion more. Today’s sustainable fashion community is so inspiring and continues to grow so quickly!
Just For Fun
What’s your spirit animal?
What’s your favorite color?
I’m the kind of person who has a different color every few months. Lately, I’ve been into a shade of pale, peachy pink. Before that, it was a bright, happy orchid shade. Before that, it was navy blue.