Antonia Devereux talks to HUNA, a fashion brand born from two best friends in the midst of the global pandemic, creating made to order clothing from locally sourced materials in West Wales.
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Image Credit: Huna - Towel Collection
The fashion industry is amongst the biggest polluters, contributing 8-10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the UK, 350,000 tonnes of clothing is sent to landfill each year, equating to £140 million worth of used, still wearable clothing. A tremendous amount of effort, water, and energy goes into making each item of clothing, but for many years, the idea of knowing where our clothing comes from, or what it took to get to us, has been trumped by keeping up with the latest fashion trends.
Despite the gloom and doom, today there are a growing number of options to dress sustainably and still look good. Even if you’re not a fan of charity shops or second hand fashion platforms like Vinted, the number of sustainable fashion brands creating beautiful pieces with the planet in mind is increasing. One of these companies is HUNA, a fashion brand born from two best friends, with a dream of creating timeless and fashionable clothing via sustainable practices. Keep reading to find out more about the brand from the founders themselves.
Image Credit: Huna
When did you start HUNA and why?
HUNA began in September 2020, when the pandemic was having a massive impact on everyone's lifestyles and work. Bella and I had always dreamed of owning our own small business growing up, and with all the spare time that lockdowns created, we finally had to make it a reality.
Despite there being an array of ethical brands emerging, and even big high street clothing brands releasing ‘sustainable’ ranges, we felt that we could offer something different. HUNA provides personal and transparent clothing, by making small batches of limited edition designs.
Where do you source your materials from?
Our number one aim is to create products that are made from natural materials and technically, would be biodegradable. Our first collection was made from undyed European linen and natural rubber elastic for the waistbands. This year, we are using 100% organic cotton towelling for our beach range and encouraging our customers to be more aware of their impact on the ocean with our range of organic cotton accessories.
It can be a challenge to trace back where all the materials come from, which often can limit your options. It was clear from the start that we would design our collection around what fabric we could source sustainably, which we believe is the most ethical approach. At HUNA, we believe that if you can’t find material that is 100% natural, and from a reliable, ethical source, then it shouldn’t be used.
What does sustainability mean to you and the brand?
Sustainability and transparency are the foundations of our brand. Living a totally sustainable life is difficult, and often a daunting thought, but every change makes a difference, and at HUNA that’s what we aim to do. We made a promise to ourselves that if we couldn’t make our products from 100% natural materials and in an ethical way, then we wouldn’t do it at all. The fashion industry is one of the most damaging in the entire world, but informing consumers about this and offering better alternatives is part of the solution.
Image Credit: Huna - Duffle Bag and Shorts
What sets your company apart from other businesses in the market?
The majority of our production is done in our small county in West Wales, and although we do sometimes have to source from further afield, it’s never outside Europe. Our products are all cut, sewn, packed and sent from our studio, and we even use wool, lavender, and plant dyes from the local area, helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
On top of this, all our products are made to order, meaning that there is no overproduction or waste, one of the main problems within the wider fashion industry. Here at HUNA, we can also adapt and alter designs to special requests, meaning that whatever shape, size, or preferences you have, we can accommodate you.
What would be your main piece of advice for our readers trying to be more sustainable?