with Dena Simaite
Founder of Noumenon
Image Credit: people.amfi.nl
"Instead of just looking at the physical meaning of a garment, at Noumenon we are facing a shift into viewing at the garment and its relation with ethics. The story, the process, and the people behind it create a transcendental value."
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What is your background and when did you start your project?
I studied styling at Academy Vogue in Amsterdam for 2 years, and after that, I started my International Fashion Management degree at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. During my studies, I have worked in many stores as a sales woman. I learned many things from working in stores, as this is where people make decisions to buy or not buy the product based on interesting reasons. In my third year, I did a product development internship at Tommy Hilfiger HQ in Amsterdam - this is where I learned how a collection is being built from scratch, how the fashion seasons work, and most importantly, what is a good quality garment.
After graduation, it was time to follow my own passion, which is vegan & ethical fashion. And this is how Noumenon started - following my intuition and doing what I think feels right.
Noumenon started 1.5 years ago, after I graduated at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute.
What inspired you to start this project?
When I was studying at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, I was a vegetarian who was transitioning to becoming a vegan. Being a vegan is a total lifestyle, it is not only about eating cruelty-free food, but also wearing non-animal-tested make-up and wearing no leather, wool, fur, or silk. I was looking for cool vegan fashion brands to wear and noticed that there weren’t any, that’s when I thought of just creating one myself.
How are you reinventing the relationship people have with clothing/ fashion?
Instead of just looking at the physical meaning of a garment, at Noumenon we are facing a shift into viewing at the garment and its relation with ethics. The story, the process, and the people behind it create a transcendental value. The garment becomes more beautiful when it is created with positive energy, because there is no pain or guilt being felt when wearing beautiful fashion.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far?
The biggest challenge is to find the right suppliers for fabrics and the production of our garments. We don’t want to overproduce, so we focus on small quantities, and this is a challenge in terms of getting the most competitive pricing for the market. Also, there are limited fabrics available which are vegan and which are fashionable. So creativity in terms of finding the right balance within these challenges is key.
What are you most proud of?
Noumenon is most proud of creating a concept which in the first place seemed impossible - a vegan & ethical collection which is fashionable. But after creating the first samples, step by step, a capsule collection was born and introduced with great success at the Ethical Fashion Week in Berlin. That is something that we are definitely proud of.
Do you have any advice to share with our audience?
Enjoy fashion and have fun with it, but do it consciously. Our motto is: "Change the world and look amazing while you do it."