INTERVIEW WITH JOY VASILJEV on SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS for the magazine, Isabellas.
The interview was published on May 13th, 2019 in the ‘Countrylife’ Issue.
Isabellas: How is sustainability considered in the production?
Joy: In addition to all our products being produced in 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton, all our packaging is also made from recycled materials. Furthermore, sea transport, which is the most sustainable mode of transport, is our primary means of transport, when sailing our products home from our suppliers.
Also, we work with the development of alternatives for single-use items and prioritise good quality in all aspects. Besides focusing on organic materials, we also value the principle of ‘less and better’.
In fact, people of this world should only be producing organic (to protect the balance of our planet, the animals (both small and large), our ground water resources, and our health) AND people must consume less. We would like to see that all conventional cotton production is replaced with organic cotton as well as a drastic decline in the total production volume. Is that possible? Yes, we believe so. We need to recycle more. And when investing in new items, then ensure to select organic and good quality.
As a single important contributor alone, selecting to produce products from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton makes an enormous difference to our planet, as GOTS certified organic cotton production uses 91% less water and emits 94% fewer greenhouse gases than conventional cotton production.
Source: SOIL association.
Isabellas: Is sustainability a prerequisite for the creation of the products, or is it the product which is in focus? What does it take to make sustainability the most important element?
Joy: Sustainability is our platform. It is inevitable. The product itself is created based on our design principles: It must solve a problem, meet a need or lift a category.
We will not launch products just to expand our product range. Naturally, this poses a challenge, but honestly, decisions do not always have to be easy – and taking responsibility correlates strongly with thoughtfulness, right?
Isabellas: According to you, which challenges do you see arising from changing to a completely sustainable production?
Joy: Changing to a completely sustainable production requires knowledge and change of habits. First and foremost. And decision making.
Generally, company boards and directors need to lead the way. And that in itself is challenging.
Over and over, we hear large corporations chit chatting instead of acting, and I believe that this is caused by 1) outdated knowledge, 2) lack of knowledge, 3) habits. Along with a fear of a negative impact on the financial bottom line.
I would wish to see all companies having the courage to spend time and resources acquiring the right knowledge and then to act and change their ways. Because, in many cases, this change may lead to an increase in expenses – temporarily anyway. But perhaps, these expenses are actually worthwhile? Initially, with an overall better conscience, and secondly, through increased sales, as the demand for sustainable solutions is increasing significantly.
And honestly, one million more or less, the largest corporations are already making so much money. Come on – take responsibility and join the change for sustainability.
Isabellas: Which new tendencies are you seeing within sustainability? And which tendencies do you feel influenced by?
Joy: The most prominent tendency is, that consumers are becoming more informed. And that’s the greatest thing to see. When the company was founded 12 years ago, people did not really believe in our mission. With a tilted head, saying, “ahh, that’s cute – is it a hobby project?”.
Today’s world is much different. Luckily. And there is A LOT of talk about sustainability. But we are missing the action behind the words, from many different sides.
Isabellas: Can you feel a larger demand for GOTS-certified textiles? If, yes, how?
Joy: Yes, we can. And that makes us so happy. We can see it both in pure increase in demand for certified products and in a higher demand for collaboration. And we also see it when our customers state the GOTS certification in their newsletters and on social media platforms like Instagram.
We love it.