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Inspiramais live: project highlights accommodating fashion that respects the cycle of nature and values conscience consumption

April 14 2020

With a focus on free spirit and sustainability, Inspiramais - the only Material Design and Innovation Exhibit in Latin America - and SEBRAE promoted another edition of the INSPIRAMAIS LIVE project. The Inspiramais Design Center consultant Julia Webber spoke with Tatiana Stein, fashion designer and founder of Brisa, a slow fashion tailored clothing brand focused on conscious consumption and hand-made goods, chatted about the theme "Brisa Slow Fashion - How a small company manages and positions itself against a new scenario"

The planet is asking for help: each year, the Earth Overload Day, calculated since 1986, arrives ahead of schedule. In practice, this means that humanity uses ecological resources faster than ever before in terms of the capacity of ecosystems to regenerate. Against the expenditure of the Earth's natural capital, the movement for conscious consumption emerged, focusing on what is really necessary, criticizing the lifestyle that values the superfluous and the excess, the ostentation of those who give more importance to having than to being. Along this vibe of growing concern with sustainability, Inspiramais - the only Material Design and Innovation Exhibit in Latin America and SEBRAE promoted an edition of the INSPIRAMAIS LIVE project (@inspiramaisoficial), with the theme “Brisa Slow Fashion - How a small company manages and positions itself against a new scenario ”. Fashion designers Julia Webber, consultant at the Inspiramais Design Center, coordinated by Walter Rodrigues, and Tatiana Stein, founder of Brisa, a slow fashion tailored clothing brand, focused on conscious consumption and hand-made goods, were invited to the chat. “Fashion is about communication, shaping and improving the market”, guarantees Tatiana.

Inspiramais is promoted by Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Componentes para Couro, Calçados e Artefatos [Brazilian Association of Leather, Footwear and Artifact Components Companies] (Assintecal), Associação Brasileira da Indústria Têxtil e de Confecção [Brazilian Association of the Textile and Clothing Industry] (Abit), Centro das Indústrias de Curtumes do Brasil [Center for the Tannery Industries of Brazil] (CICB), Agência Brasileira de Promoção de Exportações e Investimentos [Brazilian Association of the Furniture Industries] (Abimóvel), Agência Brasileira de Promoção de Exportações e Investimentos [Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency] (Apex-Brasil) and Programa de Internacionalização da Indústria Têxtil e de Moda Brasileira [Brazilian Textile and Fashion Industry Internationalization Program] (Texbrasil), Brazilian Leather, By Brasil Components, Machinery and Chemicals and support from some of the main sectorial entities from the country. The 2021_II edition will be held on August 5 and 6, at Centro de Eventos Pró-Magno, in São Paulo, permeated by the Free Spirit theme, which will shed light on the existence of a reorganization in the way of thinking and making fashion, guiding us with a free spirit and an ecological conscience, consistent with new principles, proposing reinvention through creativity. In the inspirational research carried out by the Inspiramais Design Center, it is there: “'Feeling good' in the clothes we wear is no longer strictly looks or comfort: it is about feeling good about representing something, about having purpose. So we believe that the “creativity” somewhat forgotten in these times of high volumes and stratospheric profits - has today become an important word. A reflection on the time of (r)evolution that we are witnessing, with a creative feeling very similar to that of the 1970s, a decade marked by countercultures and the power of street style”. As Ilse Guimarães, superintendent of Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Componentes para Couro, Calçados e Artefatos [Brazilian Association of Leather, Footwear and Components Companies] (Assintecal) stated, there is one very important job at this time: caring. “We face our responsibility to inspire and bring out the best in people, thus generating a feeling of hope and renewing energy to build new thinking”, she points out.

Before creating her own brand, Tatiana worked in fast fashion, but was dissatisfied with the traditional market model, focused on producing pieces that would be disposable in a short time to make way for a new collection. "It didn’t make sense. I was researching slow fashion and developing little by little”, she recalls. Brisa was created in 2016 and works with organic, natural and low environmental impact fabrics, using natural dyes and manual techniques, without abusing labor. "It is cyclical fashion, because it comes from nature and can return to it without harming anything", says the businesswoman. “Being small is an advantage. I am no longer just a clothing brand, I am a brand that welcomes, talks, manages to discuss this new movement, has patience and still sells, if people want the clothes”, she adds.


Brisa makes fashion that comes from nature and does not harm the ecosystem (Image by Bela Geletneky from Pixabay)

To boost her brand, Tatiana has the help of SEBRAE and Semente Negócios, through the AGIR - Programa de Aceleração para Geração de Impacto [Acceleration program for impact generation] in RS. “The work is aimed at companies with low environmental impact. This is very cool, because we get to have many management tools in line with our purpose”, she says. “In fact, we are building this market. It does not exist, there are no books, there is no way to know what will happen. We, consumers, brand and company managers, are the ones who are shaping the system, talking to each other”, she explains.

Julia Webber speaks of the importance of creating human contact between brand and customer, developing a sense of community between companies and consumers. “It is seeing Brisa as a bridge of feelings, a place for exchanges. The main focus is not just on selling the products”, she weighs. "This brings the idea of the citizen consumer, because those who buy it also have responsibilities, not just rights", she adds. Tatiana agrees. “We need to know that, from now on, our consumption is a type of support for the companies we buy from”, warns the owner of Brisa.


“Fashion is about communication, shaping and improving the market”, says Tatiana Stein (Photo: Taken from Facebook)

Another point raised by Tatiana refers to the backstage of fashion. “We always try to show that there are people behind the company. We seek a very genuine and transparent dialogue, making it clear that the market is not always fair. From time to time, we have difficulties in dyeing or in Brisa's internal processes. It´s normal”, says the businesswoman. “The clothes are much more than just something to be worn. There is a whole chain that needs to be well compensated, a foundation to be treated, an economy to be taken care of. I work hard on these values at Brisa”, she acknowledges.

The struggle that Tatiana and the other representatives of slow fashion face is to make consumers reflect in front of the hanger or the store window. “It's not just a piece of clothing, it's a story, a post-story. What happens to that piece when it is going to be discarded?”, she asks. “The responsibility for that piece to exist lies with the person who bought it, the company that produced it, the person who produced that raw material. I always say that I failed as a designer when a product stops selling or I create it and it doesn't sell. Because I created garbage, then it was no longer sustainable”, she points out.


“Those who buy also have responsibilities. Not just rights”, says Julia Webber (Photo: Disclosure)

According to Tatiana, defending the sustainability of fashion is not synonymous with making judgments. “We need more and more safe places where we can talk and understand that we will not be judged. No judgment even if you want to buy fast fashion. Everyone has the power of choice, their purchasing power. And everything is fine”, she defends. “I had customers who never bought at Brisa, but they had given me many pieces from their closet to dye and extend the life of those clothes. This is very cool, because the person does not need to buy from the brand, they can look at what the brand does and realize that there is not only a service there, but an idea to seek alternatives in relation to something they already have”, she concludes.

According to Tatiana, those who buy with Brisa have the chance to create the piece they are going to use. “We don't just want to sell, we are interested in having contact with the customer and that they have that contact with us, too. If I have a pair of pants that has been around for a long time at Brisa and the person doesn't want that color, they talk to us, we dye the garment and the outfit becomes very exclusive. In this market, we create together and the customer becomes a designer, in a way”, she defines. “We live in a multifunctional world, where everyone can be a little bit of everything and feel comfortable in this system”, she believes.

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