Dena Semaite just graduated from The Amsterdam Fashion Institute and now, a few months later, she has already launched the conscious fashion label Noumenon which has been called out as nr.1 vegan fashion brand within The Netherlands by Fashion Week Nederland. She was shocked by the darker side of fashion. Everybody knows the glamourous side of fashion, but not many people know the other side. That’s why she wanted to translate her ideas into a conscious label, with the use of beautiful fabrics and a real feminine and outspoken style. She is ready to change the game and wants to become the nr.1 one vegan fashion label of the world.
Veganism and ethical fashion were not there yet in a form that she was looking for. She wanted to create a fashion brand that was 100% cruelty-free and a brand that would educate consumers instead of misleading them into buying things they don't really need. Noumenon likes to give consumers the advice to “only buy when needed’ in order to prevent overconsumption, which leads to lots of waste.
Their biggest goal is to make “vegan” fashion the standard, because they think it is old-fashioned and unnecessary to use animal materials for fashion, as there are so many innovative and beautiful alternatives available. Also, another goal is, after being called out as nr. 1 vegan fashion brand within the Netherlands by Fashion Week Nederland, their next step is to become ‘THE” vegan womenswear fashion brand worldwide.
They think that there is nothing beautiful about making yourself “look good’ with products where animals had to suffer for. There are many cruelty-free alternatives available. The issue here is that many people don’t know about this. Therefore they like to educate the consumers through their weekly blog posts on www.nou-menon.com, where they talk about cruelty-free body care and make-up products and even give recipes away on creating their own personal care products.
Consumers compare prices, and nowadays want the best possible products for the best possible prices. This has created a race between fashion brands in order to achieve the lowest price possible. However, low prices are in most cases very un-ethical as someone within the supply chain had to pay the price. Many workers don’t earn as much as they should and have to work in an unhealthy and toxic environment. As a fashion brand, they have access to more information than the consumer, because they are in contact with (fabric) suppliers and (clothing) manufacturers on a daily basis. At this point there are crucial choices that you can make as a brand.
Noumenon: ‘Within the sustainable industry, we see the prices of organic prices and ethical production. It then becomes clear what the “True Cost of Fashion” really is, and in many cases fair prices are higher’. ‘If you inform yourself a little more, it becomes clear that someone within the chain had to “pay” a higher price, which probably is someone’s health or even life.’
There are a few things that consumers can do. The first advice is educate themselves and do a little research about ethical and unethical fashion practices, as a start watch the documentary “The True Cost of Fashion”. After that, we as consumers can decide where we spend our money on, which company are we willing to vote for? Because we as consumers have more power than we think, the things we prefer to buy will grow in the market place. Ask yourself the question: Do I want to support local or ethical businesses, or (in many cases corporate) fast fashion businesses?
I hear you think.. what can I do to buy more conscious? Well, follow these 5 Noumenon ethical shopping strategies!
1) Minimize your wardrobe, what are the essentials, create a capsule wardrobe. Do you really need more clothing? Can’t you borrow or swap something from a friend?
2) If you do really need something new, go for fashion that is already out there, which is vintage or second hand. There are so many great vintage markets out there these days. Good for the environment and your pocket.
3) If you don’t like second hand, buy new fashion, which has a higher quality and is more durable.
4) Go for 100% qualities, meaning 100% organic cotton, 100% linen etc. and try to avoid blended fabric contents like 50% cotton/50% polyester, because this can’t be recycled at the end of the lifecycle. 100% pure contents can be recycled at the end of their lifecycle, which is better for our planet.
5) Enjoy guilt-free fashion and support ethical & cruelty-free brands. Make sure to check the fabric content and the origin of production. Ask brands for more information, if you want to know about the origin of your garments.