Interview Hanna – Amanda from Savant Magazine
Hanna – Amanda is the owner of Savant Magazine, a fine ethical fashion and authentic living. I am very happy she is sharing her knowledge about sustainable and ethical clothes (and the whole involved process) with us.
1. Could you tell me a bit more about yourself and how you started Savant Magazine?
Savant Magazine is a carefully curated platform, covering a ranch of ethical and sustainable fashion and beauty brands. The magazine today manifests itself as a counter-reaction to today’s speed culture and guides us to things that truly matter to us in this day and age.
I founded Savant Magazine in 2015 as a final project at the university and that time I studied in the outskirts of London, in UCA, University for the Creative Arts. At the time I came across a lot of inspirational brands that had taken a more eco-conscious approach.
I got inspired by this new wave of designers who challenged the fashion-industry that is considered highly-inspirational and very rapidly changing and season based.
I wanted to showcase these conscious brand, for these brands to have a place in the media and share their business model and talk through their inspiration behind their brand. I did not find any equivalent platform yet at the time.
“There have been some scandals to trigger these sustainable changes and make these issues more visible in the fashion industry. ”
I wanted to create a place for beautiful slow fashion and I must admit from that time onward, we only witnessed positive changes in terms of brands incorporating sustainable principles, innovation in material technology and showing the well-being and fair treatment of workers.
There have been some scandals to trigger these changes and make these issues more visible that we are witnessing in the fashion industry.
I feel that nowadays it has become almost every new brands DNA to incorporate sustainability instead of the old ways, I am proud to see a positive change. Many have a social mission like for example, supporting the victims of domestic violence or marginalize women and offering these women small jobs in communities so they feel valued again.
Difference between mindful shopping and slow fashion
Mindful shopping: is about consuming and creating fashion consciously with full awareness and deeply taking its social, environmental and economic impact into account.
Slow Fashion: Packs the fashion system into the wrapping paper of integrity. Environmental and social awareness connects with the lightness of fashion and the lasting of fashion of wearing those beautiful clothes. We know the purpose of fashion but with slow fashion it is also important to understand the social and economical impact of the clothing.
I want to bring awareness to the understanding of what we wear may carry some weight and I want to clarify the materials that went in the clothes.
Steps and tips for Slow Fashion
1. Identify your personal style and only shop with intent
We all have a general theme in our wardrobe and try to identify where you feel comfortable in. Try to shop for the items that you feel good in so you focus less on impulsive purchases.
2. Take a shopping teatox to reflect on your consumption habits
We are emotional creatures so sometimes when we feel bad we just want to browse through stores and we end up buying clothes that will end up on the bottom of your wardrobe and end up in the land field.
I think it is useful that you take a reasonable period for a month or two in which you avoid shopping and you use the items that you already have to see if you buy clothes to boost your mood or if you really need it.
3. Captional wardrobe
This is a wardrobe with basic t-shirts or blazers and you combine those. Like this you do not really have to think what to wear and it is a great way to make easy changes in your outfit. This is perfect for people who are chaotic, like me.
4. Get to know your materials
Are your materials natural or synthetic. Obviously, the sustainable way is to wear more organic textiles like organic cotton and hemp.
There are also new materials that I am really excited about like pinatex, which is pineapple fiber leather that some brands even craft shoes from nowadays. There are varieties of leather that have ditched the bad side effects of leather.
You can always rely on OEKO-tex certified labels and means the labels already passed the standardized quality control. New products and materials come out almost every single month, I am very surprised and happy to see that myself.
Where can you find the materials in clothing?
I recommend to read the labels first and pay close attention to the inside labels and comments because usually it is stated there.
There is a certificate called GOTS which means Global Organic Textile Standard. These labels are accessible to all of us when we shop for clothes and the information is also available online.
I recommend you to look for locally made conscious products. Stating the obvious is that most labels state made in Bangladesh or China. However, some labels are changing the production system from 3rd countries closer to home, but we also understand it is easier said than done as it is more costly.
What do you think about 3rd world countries and how people are treated ?
I think the overarching issue is that people do not see the bigger picture and wider impact of their single purchases. I believe we do not keep carrying on with our current consumption habits, as it boosted by our celebrity culture that we like fashion.
However, now the royals and some celebrities are now influencing the masses with conscious brands like Megan Markle. I wish we do not live in this era that highlights that paradox more and we should celebrate our personal identities and personal values. We are in an unnecessary cycle of wearing different clothes every season/ day.
“With every purchase we cast a road for the future and how we would like to see the world.”
Poor countries have little to no choice and there are few regulations to improve the situation, but I am positive some catastrophes like the Rana Plaza factories and the documentary True Cost shed a light on these garment industries that have been suffering. Some changes have already been ignited.
How can we recognize vegan/ conscious beauty products?
Luckily a lot of brands have already labels on the products itself, but you can always read the labels yourself. I believe we can’t trust brands that have a long list of ingredients which often includes a lot of chemical products.
Also the expiration date can mean a lot. When you have a cream that is valid for more than 2 years, it is probably not organic as that usually has a shorter expiry date.
Every single cream does have some chemicals inside it as there need to be some components that make the product last a bit longer, but the best way is to choose the products with the least number of chemicals (a short list on the label).
Another way is to make your own products, this can even be done with food you have in your kitchen. More about this you can find in Savant Magazine.
What is your future perspective for Savant Magazine?
I have been thinking a lot about educational courses, to educate more people about the tremendous effect of the fashion industry and the ugly sides of it. That future generations do not grow up with the idea that fashion is glamorous and that they want to wear furs and be part of it.
Perhaps I would like to prepare some teaching materials for children and organize some practical workshops. For now it is just an idea but I hope it will realize in the near future.
I truly admire the work of the minimalists, who are 2 guys in the US who are spreading the word about their anti-consumerist life style and how much freedom it gives them to not be part of the consumer system. They had more time to do self-reflection and turning inwards to reassemble their values.
I have also been focusing on setting up a PR – Agency, focusing on ethical brands and I am also setting up an educational platform in my own country (Estonia) that focuses on giving sustainable fashion courses. In the meantime I am continuing my career as a freelance Journalist writing for other publications.
Are sustainable brands more expensive?
Usually, in the eyes of the consumer the prices are more expensive, but when you think about it the price is just right as the process is transparent and no one has been hurt in creating the product.
When everyone is buying less clothes, but more quality clothes it brings the same costs and more fair processes in the world and a better feeling of wearing those clothes. A lot of brands are already supporting many great initiatives and things are starting to change.
What should people look for when they look at clothes and how can they adjust it to their daily lives?
- I would recommend you to pay close attention to quality and always opt for classic items, and do a wardrobe inventory first, to identify your clothes and see what are your favorite items. Then when shopping you aim for those materials/ patterns that you feel comfortable in.
- Organize your closet, so it is more easy for you to wear/find your clothes.
- Pay attention to the brands’ operational policies and what is told about them in the media. Do not wear the brands that go against your personal value system.
- Look for smaller labels that are globally organic textile certified, which guarantees that your textiles are made fairly and ethically.
- Check if the brands have incorporated fair wages for all the employees in the process, and we all can do our research online. We should not trust brands that hide their countries of origin.
- If some clothes are broken, you can fix it and find solutions to prevent yourself from keep buying new products.
Thank you so much Hanna-Amanda for your time, you are a true inspiration for us all. I wish you great luck in your journey and may you keep inspiring people with your words, research and knowledge. Savant Magazine is a true blessing to us all! Providing us with knowledge that can’t be easily found in one place!
The Mindful Magazine