Tackling Fast Fashion through crowdfunding

The designer behind the popular bag brand Gabe has launched a crowdfunding campaign on local platform Zaar to support the purchase of equipment needed to turn quality fabric remnants of all kinds into uniquely designed bags.

As a ‘slow fashion’ pioneer line established in 2009, Gabe aims to prioritise the quality and longevity of all products, in a move to counteract the throw-away culture of the ever-dominant fast fashion industry.

The brand’s mission also extends to reducing its environmental impact as much as possible, by using the so-called ‘dead stock’ materials discarded by many major brands of the fashion industry. These high-quality leather and textile fabrics are often discarded unnecessarily, and usually end up in landfill sites despite being recyclable.

“This concept was born out of a desire to help reduce the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry,” explains Gabe. “After watching the eye-opening and truly shocking documentary ‘The True Cost’, it made me consider possible alternatives – such as using quality remnant fabrics discarded by major fashion houses and other companies. The less we throw away, the more we help nature to recover from the damage caused by industrial waste, however small the impact of the individual may be.”

In a bid to further reduce waste, Gabe has launched the crowdfunding campaign on Zaar to raise the €2,000 needed to purchase the specialised equipment required to be able to work with different types of materials.

“With the help of crowdfunding I hope to purchase a so-called ‘walking foot one-arm’ industrial sewing machine, to be able to work with all kinds of materials. In this way I can use even the thickest leftover leathers, fabrics and remnants used by the furniture, fashion or any other industry. Plus, with this machine I can achieve a much faster production time while ensuring the highest quality.”

Gabe also believes that, by showing that so many recyclable materials may be used to make unique, quality products, this may also inspire a movement that educates about the alternatives to fast fashion, while promoting a new way of thinking that celebrates individuality.

“We can create a new ‘wave’ experience in our time and make quality and mindfulness come back into fashion,” explains Gabe, who already has the support of CamilleriParisMode, which is supplying her with off-cuts and left over materials, “I hope to inspire everyone to be unique, to be themselves, to dare to be different and to buy consciously, with an eye for quality instead of always trying to ‘fit in’ by following every passing trend. Changing our culture and attitudes towards fast fashion could have a deeper effect on our own lives and mindsets as well as having a tremendous environmental impact.”

Visitors are invited to see the ‘GABE – Layers of Beauty’ crowdfunding campaign on the Zaar website for more information or to make a contribution.