Woron creates comfortable and sustainable lingerie - "The last thing you want to take off"
You may already know a little bit about our lingerie collection by the danish Woron: minimalistic Scandinavian style, with comfortable bras and undies. The brand was founded by Anya and Arina Woron, two sisters based in Copenhagen. Anya and Arina agreed to discuss fashion, sustainability, beauty and underwear with us.
What makes Woron different, if we do not take into account the sustainability?
Our inspiration comes from our 3 keywords: Sustainable Fashion Essentials. This is the essence that we kept coming back to when we were still in the planning stages and brainstorming our ideas for our brand. We have a very minimalistic Scandinavian approach and what we find fascinating, is that something so simple and clean can be so attractive. This is also the message that we want to get across, that less definitely can be more.
What can the customers expect from your collections in 2017?
We are a slow fashion brand, so we do not make big collections that keep changing season after season. But in 2017 we will both introduce a few new favourites to our base collection and furthermore, we are working on some new colours.
Could you tell us more about the production, and the materials you use?
We work with a family owned factory in Hungary. The factory is ÖkoTex certified. Hungary has very strict working regulations both in terms of minimum wages and working standards. The factory offer their workers higher wages than the standard minimum wage (5-20% higher depending on the position, demand etc.).
Furthermore, the factory is pretty much only run by women, employing mainly women and they offer some additional benefits for working mothers. This is quite unusual in Hungary, since almost all higher positions are usually held by men.
Along with this, the owners have also made strict rules when it comes to the working hours. Nobody can be forced to work additional hours even in really busy periods. And in busy periods the workers can sign up for additional shifts where they get a higher salary etc.
Basically, the working regulations that are being dictated by the state, are quite similar to the ones that are applicable in Germany and in most of the West and North European countries.
Last year the factory was still running with a GOTS certification. They believed that a sustainable focus and GOTS certification was the right way for them, but due to the lack of demand, they chose not to extend the certification for another year; since it is quite costly. But they have not changed their workflow and working standards.
Every underwear garment is made from sustainably sourced fabric called Lenzing Modal (Öko-tex certified), which is a fine, smooth fiber made from beech wood. Our modal is created by turning the wood into pulp, extracting the fiber and then reconstituting the fiber so that it can be spun into fabric. The beech wood used in our Modal production is from sustainable forestry plantations growing native trees.
The Lenzing fiber is also produced in Europe, so we keep each step as close to 'home' as possible. The fabric is cool to the touch and very absorbent, meaning less waste of water.
Furthermore, the fabric is more resistant to shrinkage, fading and graying than cotton, thereby extending its lifespan. And it is just great for underwear because it is both super soft (has a silky touch) that gives that luxurious feel that we are aiming for and it is also a fabric that naturally has an antibacterial property because of its plant origin.
Is sustainable fashion business based on softer values than the mainstream fashion world? How do you see this in practice?
Well, sustainability for us brands is all about taking the extra time and effort to think and re-think each step or at least parts of the steps throughout to supply chain. So when you turn each ‘stone’ in order to examine and use that extra effort to re-evaluate the choices, it gets quite clear what ‘the right thing to do’ is. So a sustainable fashion business is based on softer values than the mainstram fashion world.
There is a few interesting sustainable lingerie brands in the market, but it is not so easy for a consumer to find them, do you expect the market to grow and how?
Right now this field is still dominated by new and therefore smaller brands such as ourself. But as we grow bigger and stronger, we are sure that more brands will follow.
We read recently that in Belgium about the difficulties of small fashion brands, it can be hard to convince consumers to select clothing made in Europe for example, if the price is higher, what is your message to the starting ethical entrepreneurs?
To the newly started, remember that we are the green wave that we have been waiting for and that we are the future that we have worked so hard to create. So it will take time for consumers to jump on board. Therefore, the most important part is, a solid foundation for your product and that sustainability permeates all facets of your company. From there it will speak for itself with time.
... and the consumers?
We hope that we can show the world and prove to our customers, that sustainable thinking and design can be super fashionable. And we aim to promote a more ‘clean’ and healthy lifestyle overall, right from the way we perceive beauty (without push-up bras etc.) to the more direct and instant benefits of non-toxic fashion and fair fashion.
Woron collection is easy to see as part of slow fashion, which was already mentioned here, was this the purpose?
We founded the company because of the strong desire to share our take on the perfect lingerie line. We realised that the first thing that we took off when we got home in the afternoon was always the bra; lowering the straps, un-hooking at the back and then followed by an “ahhhh…” of relief.
Our aim is to create lingerie, that will be the first thing you want to put on and the last thing you take off! It is comfort without sacrificing feminine shaping, fashion & style - and style without sacrificing sustainability.
Our mission is to create underwear that is beautiful yet comfortable and will have longevity, so that you won't have to throw out your favourite garment every few months to stay chic.
How do you see the role of sustainability in the lingerie fashion?
Lingerie is the clothing pieces that are closest to your skin and covering the intimate areas. So with the growing awareness of how toxic the conventional textile industry is, we believe that more and more people will strive to find ‘cleaner’ and healthier options when it comes to their lingerie.What are your favourite ethical fashion brands to follow?
Mat & Nat, Raw Apparel, Pura Utz, Kowtow, MUD jeans.
You live in Denmark, and as you must know, Scandinavia is year after year considered one of most inspiring areas in fashion, which are currently the strongest trends in the streets of Copenhagen?
The colors pink and orange are starting to make their way back on the streets again after a long winter. And here in Copenhagen most women bike to get around town etc. so we love sneakers and dressing a bit more casual.
Thank you so much for your time with us! You can check our Woron collection in our webshop.