Sustainable fashion label Beira looks to cut a dash

A capital start-up focused on producing ethically made, sustainable fashion is gearing up for its official launch this week.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 2:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 2:44 pm
The business produces limited edition clothing, made in Italy, using cut-offs from luxury fabrics. Picture: Contributed

Beira, which is run by Edinburgh-based Antoinette Fionda-Douglas and her Milan-based business partner, produces limited edition clothing using off-cuts from luxury fabrics.

Set to launch on Fashion Revolution Day, which takes place on Wednesday, the brand targets “conscious consumers” looking for sustainably sourced clothing.

It champions the slow fashion model, which promotes the idea of buying fewer clothes of a higher quality that will last longer.

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Fionda-Douglas told The Scotsman that provenance of clothes is becoming more of a focus for consumers. She said: “It’s about knowing, when you put something on, that it’s made well, it’s ethical and it’s sustainable.

“Because if you put something on and it looks fantastic, but has been made in sweatshop conditions and has a big carbon footprint, it’s not going to make you feel fantastic. We have to take responsibility and make it easier for other people to do the same.”

The brand takes its name from a goddess in Scottish mythology.

Fionda-Douglas, who has held various roles in the fashion industry and previously worked as a lecturer in sustainable fashion, established Beira last year with co-founder Flavio Forlani, a factory owner who manufactures products for luxury fashion brands.

She was inspired to start the business after Forlani raised the issue of high quality “waste” products such as fabric off-cuts, buttons and cuffs being sent to landfill.

Beira uses these cast-offs to create exclusive lines of coats, jackets and jumpers.

The business model reduces waste, cuts down on carbon footprint, and allows a complete overview of the supply chain, as all of Beira’s products are manufactured in Italy.

Paying a reduced price for the source material also allows the brand to produce luxury items at discounted prices.

The firm has included transparent pricing for each product on its website, so customers can see the costs for each stage of the manufacturing and distribution process, and compare these with the breakdown for a traditional fashion house.

“The collection is purposefully very small because we’ve chosen classic pieces that are not trends,” said Fionda-Douglas. “We could be selling these next year and it wouldn’t matter. So it’s not seasonal in that respect. We imagine these pieces being in people’s wardrobes for ten or 15 years.”

The business is poised to extend its collection later this year to include lines of tops, T-shirt, and knitwear such as hats and scarves.

It’s long-term goal is to develop ways to recycle its own clothes, following a complete circular economy model.

Tickets for the launch event, which will be held at the Edinburgh Grand hotel, sold out within two hours.