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In a world inundated with synthetic materials, The Manda stands out as a brand that cares about our planet. I’m delighted to be able to interview Precilla Sedney, the creative mind behind this brand that combines classic style with eco-friendly choices. I’m in love with their special creation – the Everyday Bag, which comes in a lovely cognac colour and is currently available for pre order.
It’s just great that more and more sustainable (and frankly trail-blazing) fashion brands are making items available for pre-order. Working on a demand based approach, The Manda avoids over-production and saves the excessive waste that the fashion industry is sadly known for. And conscious consumers are willing to wait.
The Everyday Bag is not your ordinary backpack; it’s pretty special. It’s made from apple skin, a bio-based material that feels like real leather but doesn’t harm animals or the environment making, it not only vegan but environmentally friendly too.
This backpack is lovingly designed by Precilla to be used on a daily basis and has everything you need – a pocket for your laptop, a wallet/phone pocket (how often do you lose your phone in your bag – or is that just me), a key chain, and a big main pocket. It’s made in a simple and stylish minimalist design that would look great with any outfit.
What makes it even cooler is that you can change it into a shoulder bag or Tote with a simple tug on the straps. You can extend it too by undoing the poppers on the side. Like having several bags in one!
It’s so great to hear Precilla and The Manda’s story. I hope you enjoy the interview!
Thanks to Precilla for taking part, here is her inspiring story!
Tell us about your sustainable fashion brand, what sets you apart?
The Manda offers a diverse range of thoughtfully designed bags and accessories for individuals seeking a blend of functionality and fashion. When you shop with us, you are supporting a small brand with big dreams.
What sets us apart from other brands is our material choice & mission. We are on a mission to Change The Way We Buy by using better materials, minimizing overstock & waste by using a demand-based approach. This means we try to produce as close to the demand as possible by launching products using pre-orders. In some future cases we will also launch products based on on-demand/made to order model. This means that a specific product is only produced when it’s actually purchased.
In terms of material choice, we’re using Apple Leather for our products. This is a biobased, environmentally friendly material choice.
What is your background and what made you decide to start up your brand?
I have a background in Fashion Management, with a specialization in Marketing. I did my studies in the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. After my studies I worked at various non fashion companies, however the majority all focused on sustainable production. I always wanted to start something of my own, but it took me a while to find a product I was truly passionate about.
I was commuting to work one day and I was extremely annoyed with my bag at the time. And then it clicked: why not make my ideal bag. That’s when I started doing some research on bag production.
At first Apple Leather wasn’t even on my mind. I wanted to produce a bag with chrome free leather. But a supplier who I was working with at the time mentioned Apple Leather. So I said yes to producing a sample with Apple Leather. When I got the sample I was so surprised about the quality, color and texture. That’s when I knew I was going to use Apple Leather.
Tell us a bit about how you source your fabrics and base materials?
Our Apple Leather is produced by a company called Frumat, in Italy. We buy our Apple Leather directly from them. They ship it to the factory, which is also situated in Italy. All the other hardware materials have been arranged by our supplier.
Do you take into account the recyclability of your products?
Yes, we try to take that into account as much as possible. Especially for future products we will see how we optimize for best recycling results.
Who makes your clothes/products?
Our first product is made by a family owned atelier in Italy. They have been in the business for 30 years. We value our partnership as they were willing to start with a small batch order.
Are any animals used in the production of your products and if so how do you make sure that they are treated ethically?
No animals have been used in the production. We use Apple Leather for our main material.
What else makes your brand sustainable/ethical?
Next to materials we try to produce as close to the demand as possible. This way we minimize overstock and the need to discount. We also work with suppliers who have their own sustainable practices to ensure full compliance.
What are the biggest challenges in operating as an ethical and sustainable fashion brand?
Trying to minimize costs for our customers. Sustainable materials & production in Europe are by default more expensive. Trying to balance this and making sustainable products accessible for everyone is sometimes challenging.
“Sustainability is not about being perfect, but a journey”, how can you further improve what you do and what plans do you have for the future?
We’re hoping to partner up with a third party tool to create product passports for each product. Next to that, investigate new sustainable materials, and engage in partnership with organizations who share the same values as us.
What one thing could fast fashion brands do to improve?
Start small and stop greenwashing.
Thank you to Precilla for sharing her story and we wish The Manda tonnes of success with their gorgeous Everyday Bag and look forward to seeing their new creations!
To get your hands on this effortlessly chic cruelty-free backpack, find the link below!
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