Sustainable Fabrics – Interview with Kristi Soomer of Encircled
Photos by Tracey Tomtene
“Align your values with your wardrobe.” – Encircled
Photos courtesy of Encircled
I’m thrilled to once again join Duc-Duy Pham from Be1More for their fireside chats to interview Kristi Soomer from Encircled. Kristi is the founder and CEO of this wonderful brand that upholds ethical and sustainable core values, and therefore a company I was happy to learn more about. You can listen to the interview above or, read excerpts below! Also check out Encircled on instagram here.
DD: What is the scene like in Toronto Canada for conscious apparel?
KS: We’re a very global company, so although we’re based in Toronto and have people that come in and shop in the studio, and we do events in the area we are still 98% online sales with more than half of that going to the U.S. and beyond like Australia and England so we have a big global customer base…
DD: Can you talk a little bit about the cloth and the dying process, because I think that’s something that you guys do differently than a lot of other brands:
KS: Fabric has definitely been a bit of a bottle neck for us primarily because we use sustainable eco-friendly fabrics which are in limited supply, in terms of buying them in stock. In the fashion industry “in stock” means you’re buying 50-400 meters. If you’re knitting your own and dying your own, there is a lot more required. You have to buy more volume. For small businesses that can be prohibitive.
So we do knit about 25-30% of our fabric here in Toronto. It’s a fabric called micro modal which is derived from beach tree pulp. All the dyes that we use on our other fabrics which are primarily modal, tencel, and bamboo, are all free from harmful substances. There are a lot of chemicals that go into the dying process and if you think about it, those chemicals will inevitably end up on your skin, against your skin, and then in the water system that we’re all drinking water from every time you wash a garment…
DD: Would you say sourcing the fabrics is the most difficult challenge in starting a conscious apparel brand, or are there other aspects that you’ve come across that are more difficult?
KS: Sourcing is definitely one of them because sometimes you want to make a design and you can’t figure out how to make it, and you could use some non-sustainable fabrics. There is innovation that is happening but its not happening at a rate that’s fast enough to make it accessible, not only at a distribution stand point but from a pricing stand point. I know that they’re making faux leather out of some really interesting materials these days. We will use more traditional fabrics as accents. For example to get a recycled zipper is very difficult and very expensive so I think there’s a lot of movement that has to happen there, that will happen eventually when the demand goes up for sustainable apparel…
It’s been a joy for me to interview and learn from Kristi, I hope it has been for you as well. Are there any other sustainable fabrics and conscious brands you’d like to know more about? Comment below!
May 20, 2017 at 2:16 am
Oh my goodness I love all of these looks!!
May 21, 2017 at 12:49 am
I’m so glad Lauren!
Karen@The Curate Collaborative
May 20, 2017 at 7:35 am
Sooooo good! Sustainable ways of fashion production processes have a flow on effect, great interview.
Such a vital transition for the industry to start running full speed with. I worked as a product and development designer for over a decade and back the changes towards more sustainability 150%.
May 21, 2017 at 12:48 am
Karen, Thank you very much. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview! I agree it’s a vital transition for the industry and can’t wait to see more innovation in this area! Thanks for backing change!
May 22, 2017 at 6:44 pm
Great pictures and loved the interview 🙂
Whitney Magnuson aka Mrs. Millennial
May 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm
Love that black dress!
May 26, 2017 at 3:09 pm
Love the photos! I especially love the transformational pieces too.
May 28, 2017 at 10:32 am
I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.
amazon online shopping
May 30, 2017 at 11:28 pm
Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article. I like to write a little comment to support you.
May 30, 2017 at 11:54 pm
I don’t even know how I ended up right here, but I assumed this submit used to be great. I do not recognize who you are however definitely you’re going to a famous blogger should you are not already. Cheers!
May 31, 2017 at 10:58 pm
Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and may come back later on. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great writing, have a nice day!
digital camera warehouse
May 31, 2017 at 11:28 pm
Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.
small business tips
June 1, 2017 at 8:19 am
Very good blog post. I absolutely love this website. Continue the good work!
July 5, 2017 at 5:20 am
I went over this site and I think you have a lot of fantastic information, saved to my bookmarks (:.
July 6, 2017 at 4:31 am
Hello everyone, it’s my first visit at this website, and post is actually fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these types of articles.
May 7, 2019 at 10:10 am
May 26, 2019 at 8:21 am