Do you have a favourite piece in your wardrobe, that just never goes out of fashion? A piece that has lived through decades of your life and you can’t imagine your wardrobe without it?
L´amour est bleu, a German sustainable fashion brand, was founded upon a story of appreciation and love to a dress. The brand has since grown and embarked on a mission to create sustainable fashion with a timeless elegance. In this interview we talk following dreams and changing the world through fashion with the founder of l’amour est bleu, Thien.
Could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m Thien, founder and designer of l’amour est bleu and also a wife and mother of two small children. My family are refugees from Vietnam and I was born in Hamburg, Germany. My whole life was and still is about the two cultures I carry in my heart. I was always looking for the place I belong and found it in Berlin with its multicultural lifestyle. While my parents are very traditional and wanted me to follow a traditional job, I decided to follow my passion. I was into art since I was a child and it was clear to me very soon that I wanted to become a fashion designer. After having finished my studies in fashion design I had to realize that working as a fashion designer for a fashion brand doesn’t meet my expectations of working creatively. I made a master in textile management with the plan to found my own fashion brand someday. I worked in many different areas in the fashion industry – product management, buying, e-commerce, marketing – to gain experience for my future business. After working 10 years in the fashion industry I had the feeling that it was time to found my own fashion brand.
Describe your brand in a few sentences.
l’amour est bleu creates fair fashion to fall in love with. Our timeless designs are reinterpreted fashion classics that are easy to combine with any wardrobe. Each of our designs is thoughtfully created for you to wear and love for a lifetime. Our mission is to dress you well for any occasion. Simple, fast and without fashion compromises.
Our clothes are made of the finest organic fabrics and produced fairly in Germany. Each piece of our collection is made to order by our team of seamstresses in Berlin. This way we save resources and reduce waste.
What’s the story behind your brand’s name?
I have a dress for nearly 9 years now that I still love. It’s blue and allover-printed with the words “l’amour est bleu”. I named my brand after this dress because I want to share the joy of wearing a garment you love with others.
What does sustainability mean to you and how do you contribute to sustainability in fashion?
Sustainability means to me being environmentally-friendly and fair in every step of producing a garment. We can’t be 100% environmentally-friendly because fashion uses natural resources and has an impact on our planet but my goal is to do it in the most environmentally-friendly way. That’s why I only use certified eco fabrics that guarantee that the fabric was made sustainably and under fair working conditions from fiber to finished fabric.
Fair working conditions is also an important part of our sustainability. While many fashion brands outsourced the manufacturing of their clothes to countries with low wages, I decided to manufacture my clothes in Germany. It is important to me to support the local textile industry and to have a close relationship to my seamstresses. Only this way I can ensure fair working conditions without having to travel far away several times a year.
By focusing on European fabric suppliers and a local production, I try to keep the distances within our supply chain as short as possible to save emissions.Sustainability also means taking responsibility for a product from the beginning to the end of its lifecycle. That’s why we’re currently working on methods to make our products more sustainable after they were sold.
Can you tell us a bit more about the manufacturing process of your products?
Each garment of l’amour est bleu is made under fair working conditions by our seamstresses in Berlin. I work with a team of seamstresses who I see 1-2 times a week. We work very closely together because they are an important part of my business. Over 95% of our collection is made to order meaning that we will make the garment especially for you when you’ve placed an order. On this way we cannot only save natural resources and reduce waste but we can also make products that fit our customers better. By personalizing arm and leg lengths or by modifying the fit to a customer’s body, we create clothes that fit our customer perfectly and will be worn a lifetime.
How did you adapt to the current situation? What are the challenges you faced and how did you tackle them?
I was very lucky that we produce all our clothes locally in Germany, Berlin. All our fabrics are from German or European suppliers. So our supply chain wasn’t affected by the pandemic at all. We faced zero orders in March last year when Germany went into lockdown for the first time but since then we’re growing very fast. I’m so grateful that more and more people buy sustainable clothes because they care for the origin of them.
What do you think the near future looks like for independent/sustainable brands like yours?
I think that people will appreciate the products of independent/sustainable brands more because they realize that they get a good product for a fair price. Another point is that smaller brands can be more transparent regarding sustainability and fair working conditions because the supply chains are more manageable. I also think that after a long time of big fashion players, customers will seek more personality and service which is likely to be found with smaller brands.
What can be improved in this sector?
The conditions I mentioned above. When there are eco fabric suppliers who have minimums of 500 metres and manufacturers with minimums of 1000 pieces, it will be difficult to establish a sustainable fashion industry. Overproduction leads to excessive consumption and waste – waste on landfills but also waste of resources and destruction of nature. Everyone in the fashion supply chain needs to find methods to produce less and more sustainably.
What are some of the products you have created that are closest to your heart? Please share them with us!
The Parisienne jersey dress was the first dress I designed and I’ve worn it many, many times without getting tired of it. It’s so comfortable and easy to wear, absolutely one of my favourites. And I love the maxi dress Jasmine because of its special Boho design. The allover print is so beautiful, I feel in love with it the first time I saw it. My newest favourite is the Michelle culottes. It’s perfect for the upcoming Spring and you can combine it to anything, tops, blouses, shirts. The soft flowing Tencel feels incredibly comfortable and the elastic waistband on the back makes the waist very flexible which is important for me. I don’t like wearing clothes that feel tight.
Thank you for your time!
Parisienne dress, Culottes Michelle, Jasmine dress
Written by: Adela
Image source: L’amour est bleu