Seeing an ad for applying for a sustainable fashion show in Portugal must have been written in the stars because I hardly ever look at Linked In, but I did that one time.
I applied because I see my garments as a new approach to sustainability. I understood that the organizers are more looking for participants who work with recycled or certified fabrics, however, my participation was accepted because I ordered a certified fabric for this occasion, which I then applied for participation. I also collaborated with an artist whose drawing I used for my main design. Here is the main project, I applied for the contest:
In my brand, sustainability comes from the fact that we sew classic designs from quality fabrics, and ensure great quality so that first of all, these dresses will live forever. Second, the dresses can be divided into several pieces of clothing and individually included in the capsule wardrobe - again to extend the life of the clothing. Thirdly, we sew accessories from fabric scraps (#lesswaste) and we are currently testing recycled and certified fabrics that are less harmful to the environment in order to be a 100% sustainable brand.
Until the fashion show (the first part was a pitch speech about our designs), I felt that my idea was not fully understood correctly, I was very worried about my pitch speech and I don't know if I succeeded in conveying the message. After the fashion show, I realized that everyone understood my idea and appreciated it very much. People came up and wanted to get to know me and the dresses, and after a couple of days, I got a call asking if I could participate in the second show in Lisbon.
Frankly speaking, the second trip to Portugal had a bit of a bitter aftertaste in general, but only because after that call I realized that I was being invited to come and collect my grant, which did not happen at all. I misunderstood and was disappointed.
The event was held at the Lisbon Science Museum, where the microplastics recycling conference took place. As part of it, the new, sustainable fashion was presented to the participants.
Strangely enough, I had found all the Latvian models - very beautiful, hard-working girls who rehearsed their appearance properly several times, because they knew (or thought) that this demonstration would affect my victory. The girls really did a fantastic job and I could be proud that we are one team. However, we did not win the first place.
The organizers of the fashion show have a chain of sustainable clothing stores in Portugal and I still have the opportunity to sell my clothes there. Discussions on the possibilities have been started and communication is on the "test", as this is an important aspect of any cooperation.
Of course, no one will take the experience away from me and I also got to see Lisbon - it is wonderfully beautiful, but I would call this experience more of a lesson - I still learned that it is necessary to take a closer look at where to apply, to choose your "battles". If you are going for victory, then homework is the same as at school - prepare for what is required. I also gained a lot of confidence in myself and my clothes. I looked and was proud of such beautiful outfits with a "unique base" - I had not seen this idea of snapped-on clothes anywhere and it suddenly seemed so authentic. With all the bitter endings, I am very proud to return to Latvia continue to work with loyal clients, and look for opportunities to expand.