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Starseeds Natalia Zawada
STARSEEDS BY NATALIA ZAWADA
Founder Natalia Zawada STARSEEDS
I see Starseeds as a lifestyle movement. I want to inspire people to live freely, bring awareness to the ethics behind clothing production and change the way conscious people feel about fashion. I see yoga as central to that freedom and consciousness raising – that’s why I trained to be a Traditional Hatha Yoga Teacher, so I can co-teach community classes with our brand ambassadors.
My background is fine arts and fashion. While studying traditional printing techniques at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts I was working in the stylist department of a leading luxury lifestyle magazine. After relocating to London in 2008 I got some work experience at Alexander McQueen which inspired me to follow the master and sign up for a fashion degree. I chose Traditional British Tailoring techniques at the London College of Fashion. That’s where I got to explore sustainable materials and learned more about ethics behind fashion.
I was working crazy hours and yoga helped me find balance and stay healthy, eventually having such an impact on my life and wellbeing that I decided to let go of high end fashion and gravitate towards the slow fashion movement. This is how Starseeds was born.
You can find me in East London where I rent an office. I share the space with other creative start-ups but we also have a little studio where I can hide when I need to work alone. When I’m drawing I always put on psy-trance music – it helps me to connect.
There can be up to five of us in the office so, if any of us need space, we use the quiet areas in the lobby or take a break on the rooftop. Although I sometimes need to work by myself I do prefer working in a team of two or three. Every other month we organise brainstorming meetings where we share ideas – these meetings are my favourite thing. I believe in the power of the collective!
At Starseeds we use only organic, natural, or top quality sustainable textiles which are super soft against the skin. We believe that every choice we make in the production process affects the people who work on the products, people who wear them, and the environment. These choices are our votes for what we want to see in the world.
This way of thinking creates challenges!
Every new style and fabric must pass performance tests. We give them to our brand ambassadors - experienced yoga teachers who test them on and off the mat and give us feedback before we apply changes and make another sample. It’s a lengthy process.
Another issue is that most consumers are not aware about the advantages of sustainable fabrics. And they tend to question the use of eco-friendly materials, when they see the price. The fact is that the organic and compostable ones are kind to your skin but they don’t last forever. That’s why they are kind to the planet too. The manmade fabrics, on the other hand are not compostable - only recyclable – so we make sure that our customers are able to wear our pieces for longer. Lastly, the ethical production means we are restricted to working with a few factories and if anything goes wrong- we miss the deadline and have to wait for months to release the product.
I will keep on designing clothes for as long as people want to wear them. I’m excited about the future and sharing my ongoing journey into sustainable fashion.