Fashion and theology. Sounds an interesting match, right?
Joana is a fashion designer and Daniela a theologian, they are the founders of SHIPSHEIPHolistic Fashion stands for sophisticated fashion that keeps an eye on every single individual, respects the environment, thinks ahead, is transparent and authentic. This claim is Joana and Daniela’s common thread that runs through all that make SHIPSHEIP.
Scroll through to read our interview with Joana -fashion designer- and learn more about their Ready to wear ethical collection.
What first sparked your interest in sustainable fashion creations? Tell us more about the story of your brand and its mission.
SHIPSHEIP emerged from the implicitness that aesthetics and ethics belong together. This is reflected in our founding team which consists of Joana a fashion designer and Daniela a theologian. The name derived from the old nautical phrase “It’s all shipshape and Bristol fashion.” meaning that everything is in perfect order – and thus refers to us with our holistic standard.
Holistic is the measure by which we align our label. Not only fragments and individual sections are considered under fair and ecological aspects but the entire process – from beginning to end. We want to perceive processes in their complexity aligning them with our understanding of values and continuously improving them.
Which are your main sources of inspiration?
I am fascinated by surfaces, structures and silhouettes which are entwined in architecture as well as nature. The tension between the artificial and the natural is incredibly interesting to me.
The beauty that is created when you incorporate something artificial into a living thing has a very specific charm to it. Just like a home that gets its place in the life.
It’s like a garment that is brought to life by its owner. The contrasts that lie in the fine details between the living and the artificial that make it exciting. Sometimes I feel like I’m working on sculptures and not on clothes. My designs are not made on paper but on people or on the bust.
What’s your relationship with ever-changing fashion trends?
Trends are inspiring. They make fashion a constantly renewing spiral of culture, science and development. In my opinion trend movements are the engines of fashion and therefore they are inseparably connected with it.
The instrumentalization of trends just so people would buy more has nothing to do with fashion or individual style. Change, fresh inspiration and trends can be exhilarating. But only if they are truly devoted to aesthetics and ethics.
Taking into account that you are a creator that works with challenges every day, what’s in your opinion the biggest challenge of the fashion industry today?
The biggest challenges for us designers and all others working in this industry are fake trends as well as the inhumanly fast rhythms of the industry. They force us to design and produce an inferior product that lacks any inspiration, style and attitude because it is based on the suffering of others.
Fashion designers have the task to use their creativity for sustainable concepts and to direct their inspiration so that fashion is created that has true style. We must not forget that it’s our privilege to live on this earth and it should be our goal not destroy it.
What is your personal view of fast fashion? Do you feel that the industry as the whole is falling a bit behind if comparing to sustainable fashion?
Fast fashion is a tool of the market. It is leading fashion corporations to strive for more and more profit and it creates bad habits in consumers who are educated to insatiably consume without any consideration.
I think the fashion industry has lost much of its brilliance and attitude. You cannot find anything imaginative or mysterious anymore. Designers and consumers no longer lose themselves in illusions everything has become very sober because certain events have lifted the curtain on the fashion industry. There are finally voices asking important questions and seeking answers about how the finished product is created.
Sustainably produced fashion is one way of rethinking the possibilities of fashion. In my opinion that it is more innovative in its essence and much more modern than conventional fashion.
Virtually all major clothing companies have a work in progress in the field of sustainability. What makes your brand stand out?
On the one hand, Shipsheip Holistic Fashion is extremely transparent in terms of its value chain. Before the brand was founded my partner and experienced all the production steps first hand. From the cotton fields to the finished product to get an idea of our value chain.
On the other hand, in addition to our Ready-to-Wear segment, we have our Made-to-Wear segment. This means that customers can not only buy products for sale but also design their own clothes using a modular system. Thus, we only produce a small but fitting selection. All other styles are only made on request of customers. This is more sustainable than producing a whole collection that may never be completely sold off. In addition, customers feel more connected to their self-designed garment, so they wear it longer.
What does the future hold for Shipsheip? Any plans you could share with us?
We would like to further expand our made-to-wear segment in the future. This will give us the opportunity to respond more individually to our customer’s wishes and better understanding their needs. In addition, we are planning our own manufacturing plant, which will enable us to produce small, very high-quality collections with new sustainable and innovative materials and cuts.