By: Athena Kung
As part of this week’s Q&A we catch up with one of our Accessories brand of the year finalists, Boita. A small brand selling bags that are ethically manufactured from start to finish using eco-conscious materials, and where the people making each bag is personally known. Read on as Adam (founder) shares their experience with entering the Awards, changes they would like to see within the industry, and more.
Q: How are you coping in light of COVID-19? Do you have anything to tease about upcoming projects?
A: We’ve seen a huge slow down in retail and even online, as people are shopping less for work bags now, given the shift to working from home since the beginning of the pandemic. However, in the interim we have been developing new lines including a Tote and Wallet for those everyday usage occasions, to tap into those everyday needs away from the office.
Q: Why did you enter the Sustainable Lifestyle Awards?
A: To show that it is the smaller and more agile brands that are really taking sustainability seriously, instead of the greenwashing which is often seen with big brands and retailers in the industry. Small brands blaze the trail for a more sustainable future, educating and changing people’s perceptions along the way.
Q: What have you learnt from entering the Awards?
A: The Awards made us more determined to look at future materials and plan our pipeline. We were inspired by the other entrants to do better, and it is this mutual respect that reinforces for everyone to keep going, and keep doing better.
Q: What are some challenges you encountered in the sustainability world?
A: I think the biggest thing is knowing when you have to compromise due to cost. Some materials and processes just aren’t quite commercially viable yet for small brands, which is frustrating, but part of the process.
Q: What change would you like to see within your industry?
A: For smaller brands to be given more opportunities and exposure, through more accelerator programmes. Also, for small brands to be given the chance to network and be introduced to key buyers and mentors.
Q: What feeds your passion? Where does it come from?
A: Creating something from the bottom up. Seeing people love your product just as much as you do, and the product then becoming a part of their everyday life. All our users constantly get back to us with how many comments they get from our bags, and how this makes them feel great. And as a brand, seeing that our customers love our bags make all the sacrifices and hard work all worth it.
Q: Is there a brand/business/KOL you’re loving at the moment?
A: I love Labo Mono rain jackets. They were part of London Fashion Week with us at an ABSOLUT Vodka event, where we were showcasing our line amongst other sustainable brands.