Get to know our designer Carolina Shearer, and learn more about Aéryne's sustainability work, in an exclusive interview in collaboration with the sustainable washing and cleaning brand Five Oceans.
Tell us more about Aéryne, what is unique about your brand?
Aéryne's style can be described as modern and edgy. Classic cuts with a twist of the modern woman’s confidence and her awareness regarding consumption and sustainability. At Aéryne we work with sustainability and style in focus. Not just sustainability relating to environmental concerns but also from a social perspective. Through our Empowerment Fund, Aéryne Academy (which I’ll talk more about later), we are contributing to the possibility for women to receive an education. Aside from this, we are working sustainably by mainly sourcing responsible fabrics from mills in Europe. We use a mix of OEKO-TEX certified fabrics and recycled fabrics. The fabrics are always of high quality and we use natural fibres as much as we can to minimize pollution from plastics and other toxic materials that get released from the textiles during the wash and wear. We also produce small collections and quantities to make sure we don’t overproduce, to save on valuable resources.
What does your design process look like?
Our design process is divided between me in our studio in Paris and our CEO Anna in our Stockholm office. Before every new season, I put together a Trend Report where I compile the coming season’s trends, colors and details. Thereafter we discuss how many pieces and what kind of garments we want to include in the collection. Following this, I start my sketching and material research phase. I create a collection plan that I send to Anna for feedback and validation. Anna comes with additional suggestions and ideas and it’s through this exchange we create the collections that you see on our website.
Tell us more about your investment in women and the Aéryne Academy?
Aéryne Academy is our Empowerment Fund - we believe in sisterhood and that empowered women empower other women in return. Through Aéryne Academy we financially support female students that otherwise would not be able to afford education. 5% of every order we receive is donated to our partnering school in Seva Sudan in Mumbai. There the girls have the opportunity to obtain an education in a safe environment. The girls come from different backgrounds but they all have one thing in common; they are either orphans or their families can’t afford to financially invest in their future. Through our partner school, they get a home and the possibility to grow and evolve, which gives them a chance for an independent future.
What should one keep in mind when building a sustainable wardrobe?
Invest in good quality clothes that are timeless for you. Many people believe that they have to assume a minimalistic style and only invest in neutral core pieces to build their sustainable wardrobe. For some, this works well but that aesthetic is not for everyone. I believe it’s better to create a wardrobe with high-quality garments that you can see yourself wearing multiple times and style many different ways. Regardless if it’s a hot-pink shirt dress or a classic beige suit. This is what I try to keep in mind when I design for Aéryne. I want people to be able to come to us and buy classic pieces as well as creative, colorful, more ”edgy” pieces that make your wardrobe stand out. A sustainable wardrobe is a wardrobe curated for you with clothes you feel comfortable in, that make you feel confident and that are well made, using good materials and manufactured under fair conditions.
What are your 5 best tips for taking care of your clothes?
In general, I would say we wash our clothes more than we need to. Many times it’s enough to just let them air out for a while after use. It saves on water, contributes to less pollution from emissions from the textiles as well as doesn’t damage the clothes as much. To wash cold is another tip, it’s more gentle and therefore gives the garment a longer lifespan and saves energy. For the same reasons, it’s also better to let the clothes air dry rather than to tumble dry them. It’s also gentler to steam garments instead of using a traditional iron. Additionally, by steaming your clothes they stay fresh for longer between washes because the hot steam removes dust, mites and kills bacteria. How we store our garments is also important to keep in mind. For example, to have your knitted pieces folded rather than hanging in the closet ensures maintaining a good fit and a nice fall.
What is your favourite product from Five Oceans and why?
The fabric freshener spray! It’s an excellent way to keep the clothes fresh in between washes. When you're able to wash your clothes less often, they get a longer lifetime, at the same time as the water consumption and textile-related pollution in our seas can be decreased. Furthermore, it’s a product I haven’t seen before and that I think fills a gap in the detergent and clothing care market.