Sustainable and ethical can mean different things to different people. These two words can be hard to navigate when it comes to fashion and shopping. I believe if you work out what areas are the most important to you now, and work forward from there you will be in a good position to begin making positive changes you will enjoy!
Getting to know more about the outstanding work the different brands we stock has been a joy. Their attention to detail and to their beliefs is second to none. Learning more about each of our wonderful brands makes me so excited for the future of shopping all things fashion.
Last week I spoke with the founder of Dauntless, Paula Maldonado, an NYC-based brand that have created the most incredible collection of vegan leather jackets. Each style is an absolute must have, all of which are wardrobe staples that are made to last. I am drooling over the Paige Biker!
How and why did you start Dauntless?
I worked as an art director and curator at an ultra-luxury, ecommerce multi-brand focusing solely on royal warrant brands. These brands were honoured by royalty because of their authenticity, craftsmanship and social good/sustainability. I couldn't believe that in the fashion industry there was no real importance in having any type of social good around their missions. I also saw that there were no brands that were cruelty-free, with fair trade standards and who were 100% honest in their production process. I saw an opportunity. As an activist, I wanted to make an impact on my generation and my planet. I decided to go with jackets; easy staple garment of everyone’s wardrobe, no matter the style or culture. So this is what I focused on – making cruelty-free well designed, responsibly-made biker jackets.
What sets you apart from other brands?
I believe that there are many great brands out there! At Dauntless we produce everything in house with only women. From single mothers, heads of households, to recent female graduates. I believe that directing an honest and transparent company is the key to healthy growth.
What are your most popular items right now?
Definitely the Moto I and the Faye are our best sellers, they are so well fitted and feminine! Also the Edie bucket bag. This bag fits absolutely everything. I love taking this to the office because it fits my notebook, iPad, coffee and more!
What’s your biggest struggle as a sustainable/ethical/vegan business?
Explaining to many people what sustainable means. I like to call it "conscious fashion". It is always a discussion and people ask how is it a sustainable brand when I'm still creating more waste etc. Although these are valid points, I say we want to create a conscious buyer – from household items, fashion, adopting a dog, recycling! It's much more than just a fashion label.
What, in your view, is an ideal future for the world's shopping habits?
My ideal future would be the advance in technology to have an excellent process in "up-cycling". Where you can buy, use, recycle, repeat. Instead of buy, trash, repeat habits. Focusing on small brands bringing amazing ideas and products into the industry without compromising design or sustainability.
Shop our collection of Dauntless products here.