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Floating ≈ Jeans in the interview about sustainable fashion

Hanna Kantor

FLOATING JEANS – is a custom studio that was created out of love for denim, fashion, art, and nonstandard solutions. Floating jeans customizes your old clothes and gives the unique character of the new ones. Now, in times of fast-fashion and excessive consumerism, it’s difficult to emphasize your personality. The studio is located in Powiśle, Warsaw (ul. Radna 11/4). It’s a place where you can come to discuss your project, see how artists create projects or find the available collection, and most importantly in the studio at Radna street, you can feel like a designer.

You only have one planet, so give your clothes a second chance. Floating jeans create Klaudia Sołtysiak – founder, Alex Bielecka – painter and Agnieszka Dratwa – designer. More at www.floatingjeans.com.

Why did you choose jeans instead of, for example, corduroy?

The first trousers for the workers ever were made of jeans because of their extraordinary durability. That is why we decided to extend the life of this material. It was also extremely important for us to work in favor of our environment, which suffers from excessive fabric. The cotton industry is the most destructive. Why did jeans win with corduroy? Thanks to its universality and timelessness. Jeans are never out of fashion compared to corduroy!

Some chain stores like for example Inditex have standards imposed. Sometimes the income goal per shop is 60 thousand pounds a day. There are several dozen stores under this banner in Poland, hundreds in the world. How would you respond to fast fashion?

The imposed standards of chain stores and daily or monthly targets for sold items drive production. You have to create quickly and cheaply. You have to go out with the new collection and satisfy the crowds. You have to run. You also can’t go crazy though it isn’t that easy. Fast fashion has tragic consequences, it threatens the health and sometimes even the lives of people behind the direct production of clothes. Seamstresses with poor pay and physical violence at work, or people working on cotton crops who are doomed to the negative effects of chemicals used. Textile dyeing that pollutes rivers, lack of drinking water because of the watering of cotton fields. These are one of the few consequences of fast fashion in the world. So it’s time to slow down.

Why would someone want to buy used clothes for 1000 PLN when you can purchase brand new ones cheaper?

Buying our projects, the customer is aware of where and under what conditions they were created. Choosing cheap chain stores, the client supports those who often use their employees to sew clothes for a literal bowl of rice. Low prices involve tragic work conditions. Buying clothes from companies like our means helping local businesses and respecting the craftsmanship. We sew from used materials, but this doesn’t mean the worse quality of our items. Besides, creating clothes requires a lot of work on our part. Sewing a new piece of clothing from materials that already have a form is extremely difficult. It is impossible to create an identical jacket or the same pair of pants but this promotes uniqueness. Our designs are distinguished by their originality. The base of our creativity is high awareness and responsible purchase that helps to improve the health of our planet, which has no price.

Are jeans floating?

Yes! This is the reason why we do what we do! Creating from this material is extremely creative, you can constantly give it newer and newer forms, you can modify and fix it, sew it and unstitch. It can be a canvas to paint or a comfy shopping bag. Floating is changeability, it is a constant movement, just like jeans in our hands.

The most unusual project that you have created is…

A great example is a skirt made of the scraps from shortened jeans which have been collecting for two years. We try to make the best use of all leftover fabrics from sewing our clothes which usually end up in garbage cans of normal tailors. However, these “leftovers” with its unusual form, inspire us most to create new and custom things. We say “leftovers” as if it were ordinary rubbish but the storage of these scraps of material and the creative process, consisting of deciding how to use them, involves costs and our patience.

Interview with @floatingjeans by Hanna Kantor @haniakantor.

Photos come from www.floatingjeans.com and @floatingjeans.