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Who made my clothes? During Fashion Revolution Week, we globally fight for a more equitable, fair and sustainable fashion system for people and planet. Do you know where your clothes come from? Who attached your zipper and sewed on your button? This week, we take a moment to think about who designs and produces our clothes. As part of Fashion Revolution Week, MAD highlights 5 young Brussels fashion brands that design and produce locally, honestly and sustainably.
Fashion Revolution was founded in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. Since then, the organization have grown to become the world’s largest fashion activism movement, mobilising citizens, brands and policymakers through research, education and advocacy. Fashion revolution is a global movement of people who make the fashion industry work. We are the people who wear clothes. And we are the people who make them.
Méson is an upcycling brand that is 100% produced in Belgium. It is the journey of Annabelle and Thaïs, both with a great passion for creativity and materials. The duo created their business in 2021 with the idea of giving a second life to household linen and fabric waste to create sustainable clothing and accessories. Each capsule, of 3 to 8 items, is based on a story that starts at a room in the house, the bathroom, the entrance hall, the bedroom etc.
Having a local production is the brand’s first pillar. Méson reduces its carbon footprint thanks to good relationships with local partners. For their raw materials, they give preference to fabrics intended to be thrown away from Belgian companies. Upcycling is about giving value back to materials and objects that are destined to be thrown away. The goal is to reintroduce them into the consumer chain. Méson believes that upcycling is the way to be part of a fairer and more value-based industry. Circularity is at the heart of their collections. The brand aims to use every piece of fabric. They work together with Belgian craftsmen and designers that use their fabric waste for the creating of home decoration. In this way, the loop is really closed.
In addition to local production and circularity, Méson is all about transparency. Through a QR code on the label of each product, the client can trace its history. The brand wants to share how the product was created, where it came from and who was behind its design. The brand is also transparent by highlighting the right price, without having the major role of moralising. Unfortunately, the current consumption system has habituated us to low prices, that do not respect nature and people.
EVEN is more than a label, it is an adventure. It is the journey of two friends, Camille and Marie-Céline, who design high quality clothing for non-conformist muses.
Less is not more. Less is just enough, as long as you equip your wardrobe with the essential, sustainable quality clothing. That's the driving force behind EVEN. The brand reflects the global movement in its work that believes in selecting rather than accumulating, quality over quantity. Therefore, EVEN chooses to produce a limited number of pieces that are easy to wear and combine. In order to increase their longevity.
EVEN punctually offers capsule collections, all made from upcycled second-hand items. For example, they transform an old pair of jeans into an elegant skirt. Handmade in the EVEN atelier in Brussels, their exclusive pieces stimulate our imagination and our skills to give the planet a well-deserved break.
Next to the sustainable and local character of EVEN, the brand is also a statement. Through the choice of fabrics, cuts and colors, the Brussels-based brand aims to blur gender boundaries and reach a place between boldness and softness, where individuality meets universality.
Atelier Cubillos is a fashion studio located in Brussels. It creates everything specific and only on the client's request. The design studio offers the opportunity to conceptualize old clothes into unique, colorful, extravagant and custom-made pieces.
Atelier Cubillos was founded by Maria Cubillos. She inspires her work on multiculturality, gender fuck and streetwear. Conceptualization and research are at the center of Atelier Cubillos' creative process. These steps are essential for Maria to the realization of each piece. Each cut and detail is meticulously designed while maintaining the identity of the client and the artistic style of the designer.
Ever since she was a child, Wendy Malinovsky has been in love with pink. Probably because of her grandmother whose wardrobe was all pink. Wendy truly believes that colors can make life less sad. Her palette developed as she grew up with one motto “Good vibes only”.
Japan, a country she loves very much, inspires her work. The kawai culture, the pop colors and the fun that brings people together and makes them happy. She combines this culture as inspiration with Moroccan craftsmanship to create her Wendy Malinovsky DNA. A touch of fun and a lot of sweetness!
Wendy creates and makes all her pieces in her own atelier. That’s why the brand only offers collections in small productions of 10 pieces maximum. In her atelier no fabric is wasted, everything is transformed into a unique piece. She recycles old forgotten textiles from our childhood to give them a new life. This adds a vintage look to her collections but most of all, it gives her clothes a sustainable character! From leftover fabrics and leather, she makes wallets and scrunchies.
By her choice to produce locally, handmade and with recycled fabrics, Wendy wants to stand up against the fast fashion culture and the large distribution and exploitation that goes with it. The small and local production scale and sustainable character of her brand, make Wendy’s collections piece by piece unique. It reinforces the closeness between the artisan, the customer, the designer and the product.
Marguerite Tenot launched her brand in 2020. She combines basic pieces with haute couture clothing, and plays on the contrast between the two. All her designs are handmade with love and care.
Marguerite studied fashion design in Paris and got her bachelor degree there. She then moved to Brussels and graduated with a master's degree in fashion design from La Cambre. After her studies she decided to start her own label. Her passion for the textile craft, unique fabrics and striking colours is reflected in her work. Besides her own collections, Marguerite sometimes works as a freelancer for various fashion houses.
Marguerite is always looking for new skills. It is her goal to use a palette of different fashion techniques in her work. Besides an extensive knowledge in embroidery, pattern printing, sewing and draping, she is also active with photography and Photoshop. In her work, she not only focuses on the classic cut, but also likes to look for new patterns and ways of wearing. She experiments with the three-dimensional aspect of clothing with a futuristic view.
With her creations, Marguerite Tenot addresses people who like to dress fashionably, cool and express their style. No matter what age, every fashion lover can find a piece at the brand. Marguerite draws inspiration for her collections from her friends and family. Each collection is linked to a 'muse' for whom she designs the clothes. In order not to be limited to one particular style, a collection may include workwear as well as wedding dresses.
Sustainability is an important issue for the young brand. Marguerite works with recycled materials and uses up-cycling techniques to ensure that not a single piece of fabric is lost. In this way, she wants to encourage customers to buy less but better clothes. Marguerite Tenot's creations are made in European ateliers where makers work for fair wages in correct working conditions. The simplest pieces are created during social reintegration workshops.
Do you want to raise your voice during Fashion Revolution Week?
During Fashion Revolution Week, you can participate to the #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign which runs from 18 to 24th April. Anyone can participate! You can join alone or with friends, family, colleagues, as a company, or organization.
How to participate yourself?
Post a picture on your social media platforms, showing the label of your clothing and/or holding one of the Fashion Revolution posters that you can find HERE.
Tag the brand you are wearing and add #WhoMadeMyClothes to your picture.
There are many options to participate! You can also post a picture with these related tags and posters: #whomademyfabric #imadeyourclothes #imadeyourfabric #whatsinmyclothes. Or use your own tags to raise awareness: #livingwage #payyourworkers #goodclothesfairpay.
Are you curious about other stories and campaigns in the fight for a fair fashion sector? Check it out on the website of Fashion Revolution Week!