Omroep Flevoland!

Unravelau as a guest at Omroep Flevoland, the regional broadcaster for the province of Flevoland

Omroep Flevoland, the regional broadcaster for the province of Flevoland, hosted Laura Meijering, the founder and creative director of Unravelau,to talk about her work, which uses recycled clothes from the residents of Almere and are made in an environmentally friendly way. 

Interviewer: Unravelau is your brand; from what thought did it arise?

Laura: Unravelau arose from my desire to unravel the fashion industry and only keep the good parts of it. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries globally. When I found out about that while I was a fashion student, I decided that I didn’t want to contribute to that pollution. After I graduated, I started my own brand Unravelau.

Interviewer: Were you the only one in your class who thought in this way about the fashion industry?

Laura: Besides me, there were a few other students, but it wasn't really a hot topic yet; it wasn't a trend. Now, you can see that it's starting to become a trend, which is a good thing because more people will understand it, but you should question if they really believe what they stand for. 

Interviewer: Let's dive deeper into your brand Unravelau. It's a brand for womenswear. For what type of women is it actually meant for?

Laura: Unravelau is meant for strong women who pursue their goals and put everything into them,but don't leave nature or style behind. 

Interviewer: Your studio is located at the Upcycle Centre in Almere Haven, where clothes from Almere residents are collected. What do you do with those textiles?

Laura: With the clothing that comes in at the Upcycle Centre, I take apart and make new clothes out of them. So I really make sure that the original piece of clothing isn’t recognizable anymore and is used for a new unique garment.

Interviewer: We also have footage for the people watching. But looking at the garments in the pictures, I don’t see any of the reused clothing. Sometimes, you have a garment, and you can see that it’s made out of different items, but this all looks pretty normal, to put it that way. How does that work?

Laura: The jumpsuit you saw was made out of new materials, but, for example, the garments made of denim were made out of old jeans that had previously been worn by someone else. But in the end, they are all unique because everyone has a different way of wearing their clothes.
Interviewer: But then I still wonder when people hand in their bag of clothes. Won’t you see 10 of the same items? Does that limit your designs?

Interviewer: But then I still wonder when people hand in their bag of clothes. Won’t you see 10 of the same items? Does that limit your designs?

Laura: It definitely doesn’t limit me; it gives me new opportunities and new challenges.
But it’s something the consumer should know well. If they buy an item of the webshop, for example, made out of denim, they should consider that what they see in the picture isn’t exactly what they are getting. The colour may differ slightly, but if, for example, light and dark blue denim have been used, it will come back in the item. But it still might not bethe exact same colour, and that is something you should make your consumer aware of.   

Interviewer: Because of that, every garment is unique. Is it possible to bring your piece of clothing and say, "I'm tired of it, make something new and fun out of it"?

Laura: Of course! That is always welcome! It's a bit harder right now because of the Coronavirus, but the nice thing about the location is that we are at the front of the Upcycle Centre so that people can walk in.

Interviewer: Now,about the webshop. When I buy something from a webshop, I know that they have 10 of the same stock items. If something is wrong with the item, I can just send it back or choose another model that fits better. How does that work for you? Are you able to keep a large stock of items?

Laura: We work with a made to order system. That means that the moment a customer orders an item, we start making it. We don't keep an extensive stock. That actually has to do with the environmental conditions. We don't want to make any items that end up not being sold. In our instance, we wouldn't throw it out or burn it, we'd take it apart. We want to counter that so we only respond to the demand of the customers. We do make sure that there are size charts on the website, so the customer knows that, for example, a size 40 fits a certain way at Unravelau. We also have measurements listed, so if the customer happened to have shorter legs compared to our size chart, they could contact us and we could make it shorter, or more tailored to their proportions.  

Interviewer: This year, you started the webshop. What are your plans for the coming five years?

Laura: I hope not only to have a webshop but also a physical shop. As i said, it’s nice to make new garments out of used items, but selling them online is a bit harder. A physical location is a lot handier, people can directly see what is hanging, and I also have direct contact with the customer instead of online contact. 

Right now, we are also working on lessons for middle schoolers and high schoolers. So I also want to bring awareness about sustainability on the customer’s side, and I think it’s best to do that with the youth because they can still learn a lot about what is going on in the fashion industry and contribute to making it better. So those are the things that I have in store for Unravelau.

Interviewer: We wish you the best of luck! Laura Meijering from Unravelau in Almere, Thanks a lot! You can find her at the Upcycle Centre in Almere Haven.