Getting a look behind the scenes at a fashion brand is unique. But as the cloud around the industry’s supply chain system lifts, more companies are beginning to embrace transparency and share their processes with current and potential customers. In Fox Holt’s Behind The Brand interview series, we hear from designers, executives, and owners about what it takes to make their products. This interview features Bastet Noir and founder Daniela Milosheska as she talks about everything from material sourcing to transparency on social media.
How do you choose your materials?
Bastet Noir uses mostly deadstock materials — an environmentally sustainable material that minimizes waste and promotes circular fashion — which are tossed away by big fashion companies. We go around North Macedonia and visit family-owned production facilities and hunt for fabrics in their storage. We like to use mostly natural materials, so we lean towards those, such as linen, cotton, cashmere, wool, and silk. If we can’t find a good pattern or the choice of colors is poor, our second choice is fabrics mixed with polyester, but even when we do have to work with synthetic fabrics, we make sure they make up a very small percentage of fibers. Before we start, we make a mood board with certain colors and styles to avoid losing ourselves in the piles of unwanted material.
What practices do you implement that make your production operations more sustainable than the fashion industry standard?
We do everything according to measurements and don’t hold any inventory apart from the deadstock fabrics we work with. Everything is made after an item is ordered. We always use on-demand production, which makes Bastet Noir an extremely sustainable label and very different from other fashion labels. We also work with women-owned studios operated by single mothers. The orders they receive through us help them earn much more than the industry’s average monthly salary of less than 300$, making it possible for our label to address issues like intersectional environmentalism and social responsibility.
How do you move your products through your supply chain?
All of the production studios we work with are located within a 10km radius from our main office, making it possible for us to use bikes to pick up the items for delivery instead of cars. Just a few months ago, we also started using carbon neutral shipping as well for all of the orders happening through our website. We work with a non-profit called Pachama to make sure that a percentage of our sales supports forest protection initiatives. You can read more about this project on our website.
How do you want to improve your production operations in the future?
Quality is forever our number one goal, so we’ll keep investing in this more in the future. Improving the way clothes are made is always our top priority. What we’re currently doing is investing more of our attention into preserving craftsmanship and hand-made techniques, so our customers not only get a piece of clothing when they purchase something on our site, but they get a piece of art, as well. We believe that our customers and all other potential customers should get the top quality for every dollar spent.
How are you addressing consumers’ demand for transparency?
Once it’s made and photographed, every collection is followed by a Behind the Scenes blog post that unravels all the details on how it’s made, the fabrics used, the inspiration behind it, and the people involved in making it. We believe that this is a crucial part because we get to show our customers not just the good stuff and the fun stuff, but also, they can see just how much work is poured into every piece we create. We also share more details on who made the item and how much time it took us to make it, which techniques we used, and so on.
Every product is followed by a transparency infographic that shows the exact amount we’ve spent on fabrics, production, hardware (zippers, buttons, elastic bands, etc.), packaging, and shipping. We also make sure our social media is filled with videos of the production of all of the items we sell, so customers can see the details for themselves.