Interview with Siren Skirts by Rachael Lovette.....
Located in San Diego, CA is the one of a kind atelier, Siren Skirts. Get to know this zero waste, sustainable brand and the visionary behind these handmade works of art, Monique.
Get to know Siren Skirts
How would you describe Siren Skirts?
Embraces the female form and gives her the power to show it off, use it, work it, and embrace it all while feeling almost naked. Feeling of freedom & luxury while saving just a bit of the world by being zero waste & slow fashion.
What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
How am I going to pay the bills? Where am I going to get the money to do that?
What considerations go into building an eco-friendly brand?
Finding textile companies that are truly eco-friendly is hard. People don’t understand that there is so much more involved, such as:
What is the material made of?
Synthetic or natural?
How do those affect the ecosystem?
Natural doesn't necessarily mean the best? For example, cotton is a textile that uses enormous amounts of water to produce.
What dyes are used?
Are factories that produce textiles, are they helping or injuring the environment with their waste?
What kind of conditions are the workers working in?
How will the fabrics decompose in washes? How about 100 yrs from now?
Is it like plastic — will it harm our oceans?
The other side of the coin of problems in making an eco-friendly brand is that you are competing with companies that buy in huge bulk amounts for fast fashion, and good textile companies won’t sell to me. Fast fashion, even if using eco raw materials is still going to feed into cheap commercialism, which leads to cheap buying thrills and more waste going into landfills, and sweatshops.
Have you seen an actual sweatshop? I have! The one I saw was in Puerto Rico, and since its a US territory, I am going to assume it’s better than those elsewhere. That being said, I’m telling you, you would not want to work in those conditions. Americans, if they only knew how most clothes are made. It breaks my heart to walk into a mall. Overall, these issues are all important and I've only touched on the surface. It’s tough being the little guy trying to make a difference.
What are your aspirations with Siren Skirts?
Internationally known; Sell out every collection (4 each year with special editions surprises); make every owner feel like a rock star with her knowing no one will ever have her print, ever.
Get to know Monique
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
Omg! Young, like 9 maybe.
What inspired you?
As a little girl, the ladies in church that had such style with hats and accessories and men in suits with pocket squares, ties, the shoes, the socks. It's in the details, in the fit, color and most importantly, your own style, doing your own thing, not following, but leading. Presently, all that still applies, but in addition, I get inspired by nature, movies, music, dance, street style, travel & cultures.
Does your hometown or current city contribute to your design aesthetic? How?
My hometown is beautiful. We have the sun, mountains, deserts, ocean and plenty of music, art, & foodie events that let me just let my imagination go free.
Where can we find you when you’re not designing for Siren Skirts?
What would you like remembered about you?
My intense passion and creativity.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
You are on the right track.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
None. I’ve never been given “great” advice — I’ve always given just advice.
Here’s my top 4:
Be good, but if you are gonna be bad, call me
Always go for it! What have you got to lose? nothing! If you lose, you’ll be in the same place as if you didn’t try, But you would have learned something, and if you win? think of the possibilities
Always, always have integrity even if you stand alone
Just do You
To learn more about Siren Skirts check out their website: www.SirenSkirts.com.
- Rachael Lovette, Portland Fashion Week