Creating the iconic Son de Flor dress: behind the scenes

Girls in Son de Flor dresses

Creating the iconic Son de Flor dress: behind the scenes

I was so happy to be able to interview Son de Flor co-founder Vaida Ribinskaite who founded the iconic brand with her sister Indrė. The sisters were inspired by their mother’s classic and much-loved linen dress and decided to create their own version to be as timeless as hers. Their trademark classic dress with its vintage feel swirling skirt and Peter Pan collar can be chosen with a short sleeve, puff or long sleeve and as either a mini or midi dress, in a selection of block colours and floral or gingham patterns to suit everyone.

Feminine and flattering to all

Son de Flor creates a beautiful range of linen clothing that is flattering to all body types and sizes and embodies a classic feminine charm. They source their linen fabric in Europe to create their famous range of dresses, including smock dresses and even wedding dresses, alongside beautiful shirts with plunging or high necklines, flirty full skirts, and wide leg and fitted linen trousers.

the son de flor wrap dress
Son de Flor wrap dress in Marsala Red
the Carmen mini-dress
Son de Flor Carmen mini-dress in Forest Fern

I really love their wrap dress in Marsala Red, a retro swing dress with contrasting turn up sleeves. It’s the perfect summer dress that you could wear to a whole range of ocassions, even including a prom! And then there’s their Carmen mini-dress with a ruffled sleeve in a gorgeous light green. You are spoiled for choice.

Designed with flexibility in mind, the brand have their own “wear it 5 ways” challenge encouraging you to make the most of your beloved linen clothes. And for those worried about the nasty toxins we’re hearing so much about these days, their fabric is certified by OEKO-TEX to be chemical-free.

As well as sizing flexibility from petite to plus-size, Son de Flor dresses know no barriers and are open to all. Their day dress is famously (and a little bit controversially) loved and styled by their friend David Ross Lawn who shows that their linen dresses are open to all!

And one more thing, Son de Flor linen is so long lasting, and floaty styles evergreen, they have now launched their pre-loved range, meaning a discount from the regular price for beautiful, high-quality preloved pieces.

What’s not to love?

Sisters Vaida and Indre, co founders of Son de Flor
Co-founders Indrė and Vaida

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Tell us about your sustainable fashion brand and what sets you apart?

As many other brands, we focus on slow and sustainable fashion creating timeless garments from 100% linen. Yet what sets us apart, that being a super small local company of only 20 ladies, we managed to create a huge global community of amazing like-minded women who keeps inspiring us daily to keep doing what we are doing!

What is your background and what made you decide to start up your brand?

Life played a trick on me (Vaida) as I have no background in design, yet I am designing all our collections! My strongest part is probably big heart and good communication skills that always allowed me to attract the right people to fulfil all the needed tasks as the brand was growing.

Today we have a fantastic team of close to 20 highly skilful ladies, who are driving this business forward! Together with my sister we created the brand very organically lead by quite a dramatic personal circumstances when I just lost a job and had to think of something new to maintain my family. The key learning is you never know when your failure becomes your success and vice versa! Thus always stay positive and yet humble.

Son de Flor classic dress with Peter Pan collar
Son de Flor classic dress with Peter Pan collar and short sleeves

Tell us a bit about how you source your fabrics and base materials

We are very lucky to be born and based in Kaunas, Lithaunia, the country where linen has very deeply rooted craftsmanship traditions! Our linen producer is based just a few minutes away from our production house, so are the outsourced little local factories that we produce our linen garments in.

All the base materials like buttons, zippers, labels, shipping boxes and anything else needed also made in Lithuania, thus we are very happy about the little CO2 footprint when it comes to production.

As much as possible, we are always looking for possibilities to work only with 100% natural materials, however if the market does not supply it yet, we also take into consideration the reputation of the supplier, how transparent and certified and trustworthy it is.

Do you take into account the recyclability of your products?

Very much so, starting with our inner circle projects to close the gap., ie. bringing our ‘outgrown’ dresses from our clients home and finding them new owners via our Pre-Loved project. We also up-cycle some of our garments that do not find their clients in a given frame of time, for example, recently we up-cycled some of our dresses of smaller sizes to more popular size skirts!

We are happy to know that linen is one of most friendly fabric not only to human beings, but also to our mother Gaia, from growth of the flax, to biodegradability once the garment is of no use. We also focus on producing timeless garments so that they overpass fashion trends and are trendy timelessly! 🙂

Girls in a selection of Son de Flor dresses
The classic dress worn in different ways
Vaida and Indre wearing their creations
Vaida and Indre wearing their creations

Who makes your clothes / products?

The majority of our garments are made in small local outsourced factories, that we communicate and daily! A lot of accessories are made upon demand in our office as we have 6 amazing seamstresses in-house.

We also offer our clients custom made garments, knowing the skills of our team members, as sometimes our clients wants our garments to be adjusted to their special needs. We are happy we can offer this options for our ladies!

Are any animals used in the production of your products and if so how do you make sure that they are treated ethically?

We do offer a beautiful line of 100% wool garments in Fall and Winter season. We work only with certified suppliers with assurance that animals are not hurt in the process of wool gathering.

What else makes your brand sustainable/ethical?

Amazing kind energy and synergy of what we think, what we talk and what we do as a team and as a brand, the harmony somewhat synergised our efforts and keeps our brand and our community growing! Universe somewhat favours us and we assume it’s because we are working with kind intentions!

Son de Flor dresses in white and green
The Son de Flor dresses, swirly skirt and classic blouse
Son de Flor blouse
Son de Flor top

What are the biggest challenges in operating as an ethical and sustainable fashion brand?

The biggest challenge is to navigate the final prices of our garments. We’d love that as many members of our community could afford to wear our dresses, yet when we sum up all the cost of materials, production, maintenance of our team with proper salaries and all the administrative costs, all the marketing cost of finding our audience and still maintain buffer for the growth – it all ads up to the final price of the products.

But at least we hope that our clients feel that the price they are paying is worth the idea, quality and all the energy we put in creating and producing these garments.

“Sustainability is not about being perfect, but is a journey”, how can you further improve what you do and what plans do you have for the future?

We are always looking for ways to improve our production as well as sales processes.

That’s how we created the pre-Loved project to give a chance to our dresses that are not worn any more by our clients, the up-Cycled project when instead of wasting our stock we recreated it to something that our clients loved, to producing tote bags or head bands and small craves from production waste.

Sometimes our clients are happy to receive their dresses in second-chance boxes that we received with returned garments. We are always trying to stay open for all kind of creative ideas not only from our team, but also from our community!

What one thing could fast fashion brands do to improve?

Not only fast, but generally all fashion consumers as well as producers should never forget that every piece they are wearing (or producing) is made by human hands, the same hands that are not only working, but also maintaining and taking care of their families, homes, friends and landscapes. What can we all do to make their lives at least a little bit easier?

Son de Flor dresses in various sleeve lengths
I love that their dresses come with so many sleeve and other options!

What are your favourite products in your range right now and why?

I am happily ever after in love with our Classic Dress with Peter Pan collar. This is the dress our little sustainable adventure started with and this is the dress that never fails me 8th year in a row. I wear it to so many different locations and occasions. I truly believe it’s the most timeless piece from all the timeless pieces on our planet Earth!!

Thank you so much to Vaida for taking part in this interview, we love what you’re doing and look forward to seeing more of your beautiful linen designs!

To get your hands on these beautiful dresses, or to check out their ethical and sustainable skirts, tops or trousers, check out the link below:

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