Edward prides himself upon creating pieces that are gentle, ethereal and poised, using marbling as the medium to translate his vision on to his pieces. We sat down with him to learn more about this stunning brand that creates gorgeous wearable art.
- Describe your brand in a few sentences.
Based in the United Kingdom, the namesake of its founder and designer, Edward Mongzar is a ready-to-wear womenswear label that specialises in luxury, handcrafted and ethically conscious pieces.
- What is the story of Edward Mongzar? How did it all start?
I had previously worked for a high street brand and spent some time working for a couturier, during which time I saw a side of fashion that I didn’t really like. I loved the job and the process, but I didn’t agree with how things were done and what it cost certain people in the supply chain. So, I decided to use my experience in the industry, and with a desire to be the change I wanted to see, I launched my label Edward Mongzar.
- Can you tell us more about the manufacturing process of your products?
When hand marbling, we attempt to capture the subtle nuances and natural flow of the colour swirling on the water; impressing upon the fabric a serene colour effect. A lot of the fabric used in my collections has been hand marble dyed by my partner and I. This has allowed us to have a very close connection with the collections and means that I have been able to add my own personal touch to each and every piece.
We are also able to make sure we are as sustainable as possible as we recycle the water we use to dye and we dry everything in the natural heat of the sun, therefore completely eradicating the need for any kind of electricity or harm to the environment. We work exclusively with independent suppliers that have passed a work welfare test.
- Personally, what does sustainability mean to you?
For me, sustainability plays a part in absolutely everything that I do. Sustainability to me is about the way we treat one another and also the environment. It’s about sourcing sustainably made fabrics, using natural fabrics, cutting carbon emissions, reducing poverty, paying workers living wages & ensuring safe working environments. I see it as making the most of things with no or least amount of damage and doing it with honest intentions.
- As a sustainable brand, what are your biggest challenges?
Most of our challenges are the same as any other brands really. However, one problem we have had being a sustainable brand that also wholesales is trying to work out where we fit in the fashion calendar. With so many buyers still working to the calendar of seasons, it’s difficult for us as we are making efforts to become seasonless this year but we are trying to find an organic way to continue selling to our boutique partners as well. Sometimes it can feel like you are one step ahead and waiting for the rest of the industry to catch up.
- Where do you gain inspiration?
My core beliefs as a designer are perfectly represented by the hand marbling that I use. The gentle swirls of the marbling, juxtaposed with the unpredictability of the dye, represent my belief that womenswear should be soft and gentle, as well as freeing and liberating.
I view the marbling process as a representation of the ideal ‘live and let live’, with the water and dye acting independently but coming together to create something beautiful. I believe in effortless elegance through simple designs and for my clothes to be honest, have integrity and practicality. I don’t want my clothes to define any woman who wears them; I want the woman wearing the clothes to define them.
I want to create pieces that are functional; I am a big believer in ergonomics and though I like to innovate with the crafts I use, I always aim to keep my pieces wearable. I am not claiming to sell art, history or the future; I am just a designer trying to make the best out of my creative ability to make beautiful clothes.
- What is your favorite item from your collection and why?
My favourite piece is the Hand Marbled Silk Wrap Dress. It is my favourite piece because of all the hard work that my partner and I have put into it. It’s a very unique and handcrafted dress, it has not only been hand marble dyed, giving it a unique pattern, but also treated specially with natural sea water to give the silk a special, slightly coarse feel.
- What made you choose Eco Fashion Labels to sell your products?
We love the focus that Eco Fashion labels gives to sustainability and how the platform supports labels that are doing things the right way. The platform has a really great curation of talented designers and we’re really happy to be part of it.
- What are the biggest challenges sustainable fashion is facing right now?
We are so happy to have seen momentum growing in the past few years for sustainable and ethically-made fashion but the pace of change isn’t as quick as it could be and there is still such a long way to go, especially in high street fashion. Greenwashing is a huge problem and will make it increasingly more difficult for consumers to stay educated and choose real sustainable and ethical options and we as brands and consumers have a duty to keep the pressure on, constantly encouraging these businesses to change for the better.
It has been amazing to start seeing customers who are asking questions about how the clothes are made, who by and where and that is amazing, customers taking an interest in these things is definitely helping to drive huge change across the industry and organisations such as Eco Age and Fashion Revolution have been massively instrumental in this. The Rana Plaza collapse was the start of a movement across fashion to make the industry better and safer for workers and the environment and it’s so important that the movement gains steam and doesn’t slow down.
- What can be improved in this sector?
I think the biggest improvement is transparency and much more linked-up supply chains. This makes people in decision-making positions much more accountable for what goes on in their supply chains. Currently they are so far removed that they are always able to remain ‘unaware’ of the abuse of workers in the supply chain or unsustainable practices, but making them more directly involved and joining up the supply chain would help solve this issue.
I also think customer education is key, it’s our duty as brands to make sure that when we tell the story of our product and labels, we are telling customers why the way our products are made is so important and that if they aren’t paying the price for their clothing, somebody is somewhere and ultimately, so is the planet.
There should also be large efforts made to sustainably source materials much more and move away from synthetic materials and back to natural ones, which so often have a much lower carbon footprint and are much better for the environment. The industry as a whole also needs to work much more on reducing its carbon footprint. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries and we simply have to tackle this issue head on. We are really proud as a label that the only electricity used in our production process is for stitching.
A big thanks to Edward for this interview!
Shop the collection on Eco Fashion Labels : https://ecofashionlabels.com/pages/seller-profile/edward-mongzar
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Written by: Chantal 🙂