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How a Young Entrepreneur Pushes Sustainable Fashion Into The Spotlight With 'Noumenon'



Reading time: 4-6 minutes    

Here at Straw by Straw, we work to support sustainable business and entrepreneurs across all industries, from our own sector of food and drink to the fast-changing world of fashion. We’re all united under a common goal. Moving towards a healthier, more sustainable and less wasteful society.

One such entrepreneur and her business is Dena Simaite’s Noumenon, the ethical yet sophisticated fashion brand bringing both design and quality to Amsterdam. Much like Straw By Straw’s goal - to work towards a more sustainable world - Noumenon believes modern beauty is achieved not just through stunning design, but also methods that retain quality continuously and promote sustainability. The brand’s focus is on purer fabrics than an average retailer, including linen, pure cotton, cupro, tencel, and even innovative recycled fabrics. These fabrics are sourced purely from the GOTS and the BCI, two initiatives which ensure sustainability and organic sourcing in the fabrics used in your new clothes. Furthermore, the fabrics are all sourced from Europe, reducing CO2 emissions and allowing the development process to be honest and clear. Put simply, buying from Noumenon cements your part in changing the world - and looking great while you do it! 

Noumenon x Straw by Straw

Noumenon tackles most directly the concept of sustainable fashion, a movement and process focused on dealing with a range of cultural, social and economic issues. The history of this movement started in the early 1960s, when a biologist revealed many troubling connections between widespread pollution and the chemicals used in fashion. This original study sparked far more investigation in the coming decades, which in turn has led to widespread action in the last 30 years. In the late 1980s, the brands ‘Patagonia’ and ‘ESpirit’ both began to seriously consider this issue due to their owner’s growing awareness of the environmental impacts of waste in fashion. Even back then, the companies looked at multiple solutions, with Patagonia focusing on consistently re-modelling their environmental impact by analysing their cotton, wool, nylon and polyester, while ESpirit focused on finding alternatives to cotton. Interestingly, these two models, of analysis and alternative seeking, have remained relatively consistent as the dominant force in sustainability across all sectors since their conception, and especially in fashion. As the years have gone on, sustainable fashion brands have routinely been created and dissolved, offering many different solutions to counter this problem, but it is fully established that much work remains to massively reduce waste from the industry.

To stick to reducing waste, a long-lasting aspect presents itself across all of Noumenon products, as they are all focused around slow fashion. With slow fashion’s aim of creating timeless products that emphasise the product itself, items become seasonless and therefore garments become more than just a craze which we can or want to get rid of quickly. This reduces waste and adapts to an ever-changing world, as people travel more and more and experience more and more climates. By ‘recycling’ trends rather than contribute to waste, as the fast fashion industry does, you’re helping to create a world driven by the passion to supress climate change, be environmentally aware, co-create and be ethical. In light of this, the mission statement of Noumenon is to #changethegame and be the revolution - by wearing these clothes you are fighting against the harmful trend of fast fashion. To put this idea in context, retailers like Missguided can sometimes release two hundred and fifty products a week, and Fashion Nova release at least 300 new styles, including individual outfits, each week (source here). This drives customers to buy as fast as they can and promotes items that are not bought or made to last. In contrast, Noumenon has released around one hundred products in the last three years, assuring quality consistently, making customers feel a deeper connection and value in the clothing; their items are not just for that season, but for life. 

In fact, it was the same earlier mentioned founders of Patagonia and ESpirit that first promoted slow fashion, pointing out that reducing waste was unlikely or even impossible given the exponential growth in the fashion industry, so much so that ESpirit posted a promotional ad in a relevant country paper making a plea to people to be less wasteful. In a similar mindset, Patagonia ran an ad and a PR campaign called "Don't buy this jacket" with a picture of Patagonia merchandise to promote the consideration that needs to be taken around overconsumption and encouraging people to purchase only what they need. 

If you’d like to make more small changes to your lifestyle and consider some plastic alternatives, just as you might personally with Noumenon or provoking others like Patagonia, Straw By Straw might be the place to start. Every day we use thousands of plastic straws around the globe. Why continue with that when there are millions of straws growing in nature every year?

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