An Interview with Maria Jose and Nicolas of Casa Lefay (Part Two)

What is your customer base – the demographics?

Women between 20 – 45 years old, nature lovers, women that appreciate sustainable living and its initiatives, multiculturalism in the world and its traditions.

Women that demand confort clothing, exclusive and fair trade designs, boho-chic style, clothes with meaning and social responsability.

There have been large tragedies such as the Rana Plaza collapse, which was the largest garment factory accident in history with over 1,000 dead and more than 2,500 injured. Others were the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911) and the Pakistan Garment Factory Fires (2012). What are the importance of human rights and worker rights in this new movement, and to the garment industry?

Human rights must be over any kind of work we all have a right to a different world. These tragedies are the result of our lack of conscience, our indifference and our monetary slavery.

As human beings we must act for our collective conservation and interact with nature in an organic way. The new movement is the slow movement. With peace of mind, understanding that every point in the chain has a history, understanding that we are One and We need to evolve.

Women and children are the majority of the exploited and violated work forces. What is the importance of te status of women’s and children’s rights in the ethical and sustainable fashion world too?

It is imperative to fight for the rights of all members of society without exception. Of course, an industry so closely linked to the feminine universe has the duty to protect with greater effort the fulfillment of the rights of women, above all, before the samples of society of not wanting to do it.

The rights of children equally, must be an assured guarantee, therefore must be respected and taken into account at all times in the chain.

Fashion is an art that should not cause suffering to any member of society, on the contrary, it must provide a form of expression.

Children are the most vulnerable population. Women tend to have less status than men in societies including the right to decent working conditions, decent pay, to vote, and so on. What is the relationship between the need to implement women’s rights and children’s rights?

A society that has a vulnerable population is a vulnerable society. A society whose population that has no rights is a slave society. The human race is composed of each and every one of the individuals that make up this society, if there is someone who is bad in society, we are all wrong.

Child labour and slavery are problems, major ones. These include children throughout the world. Tens of millions of children in the case of child labour and a few million for child slavery.

All members of society participate in one way or another in maintaining the system working, so that if we observe that our actions promote slavery, we can refrain from carrying them out. It is a chain in which we all participate, and slavery is a condition that concerns us all. We must abolish it definitively, and for this we must actively participate in denouncing, choosing well, supporting.

There are many organizations currently working for make visible the problems of made fast fashion under non ethical principles. Each person should be in solidarity with others, because even though he does not know them, they are human beings and have the right to a dignified life.

How can individuals, designers, fashion industries, and consumers begin to work to implement those rights so that these vulnerable populations in many countries of the world have better quality of life?

Individuals can choose materials that are not harmful to the environment, garments that guarantee an ethical production, with both humans and the environment. Choosing ethical designs with the environment and with society is a simple way to contribute to the change we need, because it guarantees the well being of the community.

Designers and fashion industries must be coupled with the cycles of nature and use the imagination to create a different panorama in fashion.

What topics most interest you?




What are the importance of mentors in the fashion world for professional, and personal, development?

Sharing knowledge always gives rise to creating new ideas, new ways of doing, improving their forms.

From personal observations, more women than men involve themselves in the fashion industry by a vast margin of difference at all levels. Why?

Women have in fashion the ability to create characters, send messages, redefine and create new roles. Historically, culture has made the clothing arts an activity for women and they have found in the world of fashion a language with which they can express themselves in all spheres and in all segments of society.

The majority are women because it is a universe that culturally allowed women to build and therefore is designed for them.

What personal fulfillment comes from this work for you?

We want to convey a message of inclusion and new forms of conscious consumption. We invite people to rethink about our responsibility and relationship as humans and what kind of world we are creating.

The population growth and its consume demand for food, water, energy, etc is devastating forests, jungles and drying drinking water sources. The time is now! Change start with our decisions, what are you going to eat? Who mades your clothes? Are you supporting fair trade practices?

Is important to be awareness about how your buying choices affect the work conditions of someone in China or Colombia or Peru and contributing to preserve the Amazon river or support water supply in Guajira.

As entrepreneur you have the option to be sustainable and innovating in fashion business, be actively part of an evolution and support the social development in third world countries.

What other work are you involved in at this point in time?

Sustainable living in the Andean Mountains, Permaculture and herbalism.

Any recommended authors or fashionistas (or fashionistos)?

Gilles Lipovetsky

Bill Cunningham

Any recommended means of contacting Casa Lefay?

Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion based on the conversation today?

We are very grateful for your time and your interest in Casa Lefay and supporting sustainable living. Everyone make a difference; your buying choices are important.

Thank you for your time, Maria and Nicolas.

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About the Author

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping and gardening, and runs In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

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