So, it’s been a bit over a month since we officially launched Gaál and the support we have received has been beyond amazing. Before I write any more, I should introduce myself. I’m Brianna and I run the Gaál label with my husband Mat (no that’s not a typo, it’s Mat with one ‘t’). I design our collections and together we do everything else (small business!). When I first started dreaming up the idea for this label I learnt so much crazy information that I couldn’t believe most people, including myself, didn’t know about fashion. I knew from the start it was important that we not only make great clothes but that we also share stories about how clothes are made or more importantly, show how clothes could be made. That is why I wanted to create this blog. Sorry, it has taken me a while to get started, but I’m definitely here to stay. For my first blog, I wanted to give you all a little bit of background on our label and the way we approach designing and ethics. We focus on creating effortless, bold and sophisticated styles, without compromising the health and wellbeing of our planet and the people who make our clothes. It’s 2019 and we think that in creating a new label today, ignoring any of this is just not an option. Plus, why would you want to? That being said, after a couple of years of researching the fashion industry, sustainability and ethics it’s pretty clear that there is no right way to approach it. Ethics are deeply personal and sustainability involves making hard choices as everything you do will have some impact on the environment. We are in no way perfectly sustainable or ethical, in fact, that almost certainly doesn’t exist. We have done our best to understand the problems, some of which are super complex, and create the best possible solutions that align with our values. These will no doubt change over time as we learn new information and as new materials and technologies become more accessible. But for now, I wanted to share with you our approach to style and ethics and what we stand for at Gaál. Every Gaál piece is designed with the wearer in mind. When I design I try to consider our customers as much as possible and design for a range of body shapes. Currently, we only offer a limited range of sizes but this will grow as we grow. I love designing classic, effortless silhouettes that feel easy to wear. When designing, I am always thinking about how much so many of us have to do in a day. We live such dynamic lives and our clothing needs to work for us, rather than restrict us. For some reason, ‘comfort’ and ‘sexy’ are perceived as mutually exclusive, but really, who doesn’t feel their most confident and sexy when they are comfortable in the clothes they put on their body. If you don’t agree, I hope I can change your mind :) Nothing feels better on your skin than natural fibres. They are versatile and breathe easily. They can keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I never really got this until I bought a Linen shirt last summer and even though it was long-sleeved it was still keeping me cool on 30 degree days, far more than a polyester blend tank top ever would! However, not all natural fibres are created equal, so I have looked everywhere to find the materials with the lowest environmental impact, made fairly and with an end of life plan. I want to spend a lot more time talking about this (trust me I could!) but I’ll save it for another blog. We aim to reduce waste as much as possible and design for longevity. I want to design clothing you want to wear for years to come but this doesn't mean our aesthetic is minimalist. I love colour and bold design details. These things are special and make expressing ourselves and wearing clothes fun and playful, as it should be! I’m also a realist though (just kidding, I’m totally a dreamer!). Regardless, it doesn’t matter how well made or well-loved our clothing is, one day it’s likely to be thrown away. Sometimes this is because the clothing is out of style or it may be damaged beyond repair. Over its lifespan, a garment may be rehomed or upcycled a number of times but at the end of the day, somewhere between 6 months and 70 years after purchase, almost all of our clothing ends up in a landfill. If our clothes are made with petroleum-based, synthetic materials such as polyester (most of them are these days!), we can bet the time they are worn is just a blip in their lifespan (polyester can take up to 200 years to biodegrade in a landfill). In contrast, natural fibres can often be composted at home and biodegrade within weeks. We thought this sounded like a much better option, but for it to work the entire garment has to be made with plant-based materials, so we have swapped out plastic buttons for corozo nuts and polyester thread for organic cotton - it’s all detailed on our product pages along with anything in our garments that is not compostable (our zippers are recycled polyester - we’re working on it!). To sum it up, we are a brand that wants to design clothing that fits you and your lifestyle, not the other way around. We know that ethics aren’t straightforward and are unique to every person. We aren’t going to tell you to what to think, value or wear. Instead, we have done the hard work to give you the best options we can find, and equip you with all the info to make the choice that’s right for you. We can’t promise to be perfect. We all know perfection doesn’t exist. We will always be thoughtful in our work and honest with all of you. We will always be learning and striving to do better with each collection. And finally, we really hope you love our clothes. We loved making them and we hope you love wearing them!