Disruption and collaboration: Querencia studio

Querencia is a word with many meanings, all of which go back to a safe place, a strong desire, a sort of home. We are trying to bring a Querencia to the fashion industry where all participants are safe and empowered.”

Querencia Studio is a multidisciplinary creative company addressing the social, environmental and human rights issues within the fashion industry. Using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, Querencia aims to help start a dialogue and bridge the divide between fashion and sustainability.

Maintaining sustainability as their core principle since their inception 2016, Querencia has their own clothing label, creative agency and ambassador network that helps them share resources and make them accessible to companies who want to turn sustainable.

Devin James Gilmartin, the founder met his co-founder Tegan at The Island School, an experiential semester school on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas. The Island School was working on revitalizing its uniform system to be more sustainable and efficient. As they discussed how they might be able to make this work, they quickly realized the opportunity at hand and as a result of their findings, they started Querencia Studio which soon expanded to include Kate Walz the first American to show her designs on the Eiffel Tower.

Their motivation comes from a desire to preserve this planet for generations to come, including the places that have had a large impact on their lives, such as the island of Eleuthera that are threatened by the environmental degradation occurring. Excited to be a part of the solution to the challenge faced by the fashion industry, Querencia aims to communicate their perspective clearly and create a strong, impactful message. Their Q global network aims to facilitate collaboration and adaptability by connecting companies with problems, with innovators who can offer solutions.

“We pay very little attention to trends and don’t believe it is useful to do so any more. The influence of clothing has been reduced to the size of our phone screens and, with it, the method of communicating effectively has changed.  The only trend we value is sustainability. We believe that this will eventually be more than a trend. We are focused on the long-term success of a closed loop, sustainable supply chain and business operation. In this pursuit, trends can either
be a distraction or reminder of the challenge we face in making sustainability and mindfulness mainstream-permanently. “

In the summer of 2018, Querencia opened a sustainable fashion hub called The Canvas in New York City. The Canvas functions as a futuristic experiment hall focused on addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through various events, experiences, installations and conferences by acting as a gathering place for those concerned for the future and eager to do something about it.

“Fast fashion is a reflection of our society. Our behavioural tendency to consume at a rapid rate will eventually begin to hurt human life. The major corporations with the ability to accelerate change must do so and do it now. The industry has been talking about this for too long with little to no action taken on the scale necessary. That said, the increasing alternatives to fast fashion, whether it be conscious brands or clever upcycling systems, are promising signs. “

Querencia Studio also plans to continue developing their brand as not just a fashion label but as a disruptive innovator continuing to discover new ways of making, using and reusing clothing.

Author Nayanika Bharadwaj

Designer, artist, illustrator and writer passionate about sustainable design and living. Recently graduated with a degree in fashion from NIFT, Mumbai. Currently living in Chennai, India

More posts by Nayanika Bharadwaj

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