This is an interview published by Twig and Boat
When RebelRoot contacted us at Twig and Boat , one of the first things that came to our minds when we saw their fashion line was, "Wow. We love the designs on the scarves and shirts." After some digging around, our on-the-surface impression of the company quickly grew into a much deeper love affair. Why? For starters, their fabrics are simply amazing and the RebelRoot line is made using the highest standards of fair trade and ethical fashion. Twig and Boat has never met a company that cared more about the well-being of people, the Earth and fair trade. We need more designers like this - which is why we are proud to carry and support the fabulous and ethical works created by RebelRoot. Oh yeah! On top of all this awesomeness, owner of RebelRoot Eva Riu is new to the city from Spain which, in our opinion, is added coolness all on its own - bringing an entirely new twist to the items we carry.
An Interview with Founder of Rebel Root, Eva Riu
When did you decide to create RebelRoot?
I had the idea 2 years ago, but I start working about 1 year ago. It's very difficult to start an ethical fashion brand, because you have to find certificate fair trade and ecological suppliers.
What were your first introductions to the fashion industry?
I've had another fashion brand called The Mystic Onion with an illustrator called Gabari from 2003-2008. The Mystic Onion received many awards, walked the runway at the renowned Madrid Fashion Week (Pasarela Cibeles), as well as taking part in many industry runways shows, leading to international distribution of its pieces.
Who or what motivators helped to encourage the idea for RebelRoot?
I believe that a sustainable world can be possible, and fashion can do something about it. I'm not interested in superficial beauty, I'm interested in the history of those involved in making it a reality.
What is Ethical Fashion?
Ethical fashion represents an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing impact on the environment. This is based on 3 main fundamental principles: SOCIAL, Increasing the capacity and well-being of the people and communities behind fashion. ENVIRONMENTAL, Minimizing the environmental impact of all business operations, throughout the supply chain. COMMERCIAL, A sustainable approach includes quality products or services that meet market needs and demands and are fairly marketed.
How did you choose what kinds of designs RebelRoot would offer?
I think that the style of many ethical fashion brands is kind of hippy, stuck in the past. I think there is a new generation of people with a stronger attitude and look that believe in a sustainable world. We are offering clothing & accessories for this new generation of people.
Are there any specific ‘styles’ that RebelRoot emulates or embodies?
My new collection is called ColonyCollapse, a collection that showcases the conflict established between man and nature. Two opposed concepts: on the one hand, the survival of traditions and knowledge. On the other, the way man looks into the future without looking back. This behavior, leads man to the destruction of its natural environment and its cultural future.
The main pieces of Colony Collapse are based on reinterpretations of classic cuts for pants, dresses, shorts with suspenders, shirts, blazers, tuxedos, gowns and illustrated t-shirts.
What are the styles influenced by?
I 'm influenced by Vivienne Westwood's designs, who mixes fabrics giving a contemporary punk twist. I like to design cool products using traditional techniques. Beyond the protection of the environment, I believe in the protection of knowledge. Everything I do is based on recognizing and helping conserve the traditional techniques and artistic sensibility of those who are involved in creating our pieces.This is why my productions are small, very limited edition, ensuring sustainability and supporting the uniqueness of the items we develop.
Why is sustainability and ethical fashion important to you? Have your experiences helped to shape your desire to offer ethical items?
I think that all of us are responsible as consumers. We have the power choosing what we buy. We can spend 10$ in a cheap dress made in a sweatshop and sold by a huge brand or 60$ in a dress that will contribute to develop communities and protect the environment.
Two years ago I was traveling around Sud-East Asia and I realized how important is Fair trade. Fair trade not only helps those involved secure a better future but also ensures their working rights are fully protected as well as their work properly compensated. Also it protects our future as a unique brand making unique and beautiful pieces.
What is your creative process?
I usually listen something in the radio that inspires me. During the creation of my last collection, I was captivated by "Colony Collapse", a song by Filastine, who is a Barcelona's based musician. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXLED5HuI8o)
I usually start by putting together all the ideas and concepts that I have with all the materials and fabrics' options at my disposal. After that I do a lot of sketching. For our collection we did hundreds. Once I have a clear idea of the designs, I meet with my artisans and work to make some samples. As soon as I get the samples I decide which ones will go on production.
What are your most popular items this year?
One of the most popular items is the Inspiration Crossed Dress. Made under very high standards of FairTrade, with 100% Organic Cotton, it is very light yet opaque with a silky feel. Produced under the highest standards for environmental friendly processes, we designed it in Barcelona, keeping in mind the traditions of those who made it. Its very unique design features an asymmetric cut.
Triangular Forest Necklace
The perfect accessory with this dress is the Triangular Forest Necklace. It is a 3 piece, handmade, combining beautiful wood and brass fitted on a gold plated chain. The combination of materials symbolizes the union of nature and handmade work. It's handmade by the Artisan Ayak under World Fair Trade Foundation Certificate.