5 minutes with Be Snazzy - Tradition, culture and travel!
What was the number one driver with setting up Be Snazzy?
So Snazzy began as a curated marketplace initially, when I (Stefani) decided to put my eye for exotic accessories to good use and set up my own website selling them. Not long after, I discovered a small workshop in India through a friend who lives in New Delhi and began directly working with artisans for one-of-a-kind bags made using off cut vintage fabrics. In a way - Snazzy the brand was born that very moment. Working with artisans, promoting their traditional skills and helping them to make a living is something incredibly rewarding. It's also very humbling to think that we are even in a small way contributing to the preservation of these amazing cultures. I was fascinated by traditional craftsmanship and the idea of making beautiful products that you would keep in your wardrobe as a treasure for years to come.
You are all about ethical and so is Seekd (horay!) what does that mean to you?
For us Ethical is all about being conscious of decisions we take as a fashion brand, starting most importantly with who we decide to work with and what we decide to produce. By working directly with Artisan’s and Fair-trade organisations, we are promoting the importance of the livelihoods of the makers of fashion, when so much of the industries production has been based on neglecting the needs of the makers. We have made slow, fair-trade fashion our mission, inviting consumers to “buy better, waste less”. We are not in anyway perfectionist’s in the Ethical movement, but we proud of the achievements and ethics we are able to stand by this far. The exciting thing about this is that there are always ways in which we can develop and improve.
You work with ethical partners across developing countries including India, Morocco and Kenya which is wonderful - why those countries?
At the moment we work with artisans in India, Morocco and Kenya. Each region has its own skillset of course - and typically in India we work with women artisans, in Morocco men artisans and in Kenya it is a 50/50 split approximately. In India we work with embroidery, crochet and banjara off cut embroidery, in Kenya we work with upcycled brass and handpainted wood, and in Morocco we work with a mix of traditionally tanned leather and more recently salvaged Italian leather as well as traditionally woven berber rugs for our pieces. Working with artisans definitely has its challenges at times but it's absolutely worth it.
Do you have any favourites from your collection?
The favourite piece of the moment is usually our latest edition, and in the case it is the Aziza convertible belt bag. Made with salvaged Italian luxury leather and handwoven berber rug by skilled artisans in Morocco. We predict the Aziza to become this Summer’s bloggers’ darling.
Who has been your main inspiration and is at the moment?
Tradition, culture and travel inspire us. Our artisans inspire us. It's amazing what people can do with a skilled set of hands.
The vision is to build a strong brand that people will love and understand. It's not always easy to awaken people to the problems of the fashion industry. There is SO much unnecessary waste and pollution caused by "fast fashion" - which essentially comes down to people buying cheap, mass-produced products that they end up throwing up away pretty quickly. Also sadly the majority of brands still to this day are not transparent enough about their supply chain and their employees work in very poor conditions for very little.
As a fair-trade brand, we are always looking for ways to add as much sustainability & ethical approaches to our design process. Most recently we have sourced a range of salvaged leather to use for our latest product - the Aziza belt bag. Using off-cuts of luxury leather that would have otherwise been disposed of, is a way of consciously adding to the sustainable side to the fashion industry. We are by no means perfect, but our commitment to taking more responsibility in all areas of the ‘Fashion Revolution’ movement, is something that we are always working towards.
Our vision is to play our part in changing people’s minds about becoming more conscious about their purchases. We want to promote artisan fashion, to encourage people to buy from fair-trade/ sustainable brands where possible, and to support traditional skills that help keep skilled artisans in demand and cultures alive.
We love having you showcased on the platform, what inspired you to get involved?
The answer is simple - we love the message that SEEKED is promoting, and as an emerging fair-trade brand we are always looking for new opportunities to collaborate with like-minded companies. For us this is absolutely key in developing our brand and promoting a positive message of change in the way consumers are buying from the fashion industry.