At This Same Sky, we believe in the simple sentiment that we’re stronger together. And when it comes to sustainability, we’ve long felt that cooperation should be the primary instinct and competition, the secondary. That’s why we love partnerships with like minded brands and have collaborated with amazing businesses and marketplaces, like Olivela, Sudara and Armoire almost since our inception.
We also believe in the power of strong local networks and are proud to be one of the first designers in residence at Lela Orr’s Sept Studio in Trinity Groves.
To Dallasites, Lela’s is a familiar name. Not only is she a Project Runway alum, but her ethical luxury brand, Ferrah, earned her FGI’s Rising Star award for Dallas earlier this year.
Our favorite thing about Lela though is her passion for zero waste, and her kind heart. Lela has used her platform to spotlight other sustainably minded designers, and her brick and mortar outpost Sept Studios is the well lit equivalent of a candy store for ethical fashion junkies.
Featuring one of a kind pieces and accessories from a handpicked collection of designers, Sept is proof that one need not sacrifice style or creativity for a clear conscience.
Our founder, Sofiya Deva, sat down with Lela a few days ago as they were preparing for our upcoming pop up, and talked to her a little about her journey, and what they envisioned to be the future of fashion.
Sofiya: Lela, it’s been so wonderful being a part of Sept, and this family of eco-conscious designers you’ve curated. Tell me a little about why you chose this concept, rather than just focusing on your personal brand, Ferrah?
Lela: When opening a brick and mortar store, I wanted to shine a spotlight on the sustainable fashion community rather than one single brand as sustainability can be practiced in so many different ways. With Sept, I’ve been able to pursue my vision of growing in the sustainable fashion space through my own brand and working with other talented and passionate independent designers.
Sofiya: I love that. And it’s so true. There’s no one way to be sustainable. And the more designers, fashionistas, factories and farmers participate and engage, the more traction we’ll gain in actually disrupting the current model, which of course is extremely wasteful and exploitative.
No one brand or business can fix the problem by themselves, but can you say more about how you interpret sustainability and what that looks like in your work?
Lela: As of 2017, Ferrah is completely zero-waste and we use all-natural dyes and fabric. We also no longer use any animal products like leather or fur. And we exclusively work with factories that share our ethical labor standards.
Sofiya: That’s amazing. And how have fans of the brand responded?
Lela: Our clients have been incredibly supportive, and we’ve actually grown our footprint and following because we’re taking a stand for ethical luxury. As shoppers are becoming more aware of the environmental and human rights issues in the industry, they’re actively looking for brands and designers that are doing something different.
Sofiya: We consider ourselves an ethical luxury brand as well, and it’s been really fascinating to see how that category has evolved. I feel like luxury is morphing from being a status symbol, to a more intentional way of life. Slowing down, savoring the moment, enjoying fine craftsmanship. It’s not so much about keeping up with the trends as it is about creating a genuine connection, with self, environment and design…
Lela: That really resonates. And we tried to bring that into the experience at Sept. It’s not all about selling. It’s about discovering something new, and finding the right fit and story for you.
Sofiya: Lela, thanks so much for the ongoing support, and the insightful chat. I can’t wait for the pop up this Saturday. Is there anything else you want to say or share?
Lela: I’ll just encourage everyone to shop local, small and sustainable this holiday season. Together, we can make a difference.