Annika Deboer: Timeless, Sustainable Fashion I'll Wear For Life
Less is More.... Inspired by mindful consumption & garments that play with a contemporary timelessness. It is our philosophy that less is always more. - Annika Deboer.
As a lover of fashion, I find it hard to walk away from beautiful garments. But ever since completing The Minimalist Challenge in April, I've had a new outlook on my wardrobe.
Less is More.
Annika Deboer has been on my radar since January 2018, and now I'm the very proud owner of two pieces that will be in my life for decades to come. It's one thing to find a brand who's clothes you adore, but another to find out they embody your values in every single way possible...
Annika Deboer is a New Zealand designer, based in Rotorua. Sustainability drives her every decision, and this is reflected in the stunning way her clothes are designed and created, and even feel on your body. Annika uses raw, natural materials, like linen and cotton, and incorporates shell buttons which accentuate the natural feel. The mills where the fabric is made, hold strict standards around fair wages and safe working environments, and Annika makes all the garments herself.
Unlike the fast-fashion industry who typically drop 52 seasons a year, Annika designs season-less fashion, that is wearable all year round. It never goes out of style. There are random drops throughout the year of new designs and styles, but always the basics, and always mindfulness around pieces that will last forever.
Annika's A/W collection was inspired by the 18th century. The sleeves, cut, and impeccable tailoring are taken from Annika's love affair with the era.
The Grace Top: Vichy
I never thought I would, but I've been wearing the Grace top in winter! It goes perfectly with higher cut jeans or a skirt, and I'm going to try it with a tank top underneath for more warmth too. I often get shoulder tapped when people notice the little shell buttons running down the back of the top. The fabric is light and airy, but the cut means I'm still hugged warm in the right places.
The Grace Dress: Oatmeal
Whether I'm running on the beach, going out with friends, or appearing randomly on the national New Zealand news hub: I'm in my Annika Deboer, Grace dress. My love for square cut necklines, linen, and sweet buttons, has met it's match. I often call my Grace dress my 'uniform' because I feel it so accurately describes me: plus I wear it a lot. The length is perfect for my ungraceful antics when adventuring, and I don't need to shave my armpits.. hehe.
I asked Annika a few questions for us, the consumers, to understand the process of curating a collection, and owning a sustainable fashion brand.
How do your collections come to life? What is the design process like?
Its usually an idea or interest at the time that sparks a design and it grows from there. I can also be selfish and design something I am missing in my closet, like The Pauline Two Piece from this season.
I really want to focus on less is more and beautiful construction. Pieces that can be worn through the seasons and with different pants or a top, for example.
What are the main challenges you face as a sustainable fashion brand in the great big fashion industry?
Sustainability is a big conversation at the moment, which means the spotlight for sustainable brands is growing. But the challenge is getting people to make that decision to shop with you, and purchase something that will last longer.
Fast fashion is a force, and a strong one at that. The new designs hitting the shop floor every week make you feel out of date, out of style, and they create a need and want to buy more at an affordable price (a price I can’t beat). It is changing that mentality and thought process that is the biggest challenge.
What does a day in the life of Annika Deboer look like?
I work a 9-5 job in interiors, then come home and sew into the night, work on orders, create new designs, answer emails, and the general running of a small business. It starts at 6am and finishes around 11pm or 12am, with a lot of coffee in-between. My weekends look the same, filled with sewing orders ready for sending on Monday.
Sundays are my favourite day of the week. We sleep in and then head down to our local market, get a coffee, and take a walk with our dogs in the Redwoods. At the moment we are renovating our home also so any spare moment is spent helping my partner gib, insulate or paint.
What does mindful consumption mean to you?
To me it means a constant check of how does this fit into my life, do I require it, and does it add value to my living.
Mindful consumption was something I have learned and practised, it didn’t come naturally at all. I am a creative person. Nature and things excite me, so I always had a collection of things from rocks, sea glass, to clothing and tea pots. You name it, I’ve probably tried to have a reason to collect it.
Mindful consumption is repurposing and reusing in everyday situations and creating as little impact on the environment in terms of our waste.
To most people we live like minimalists. But really, we only have what we need and what brings us joy. Our books, records, and dogs.
To me, investing in a garment I will hand on to my own children one day, is priceless. Knowing that it is made by a woman (backed by her husband and dogs) with passion, drive, and a love for our planet, means the world to me.
As a rule, I only work with brands I love, use, and can whole heartedly back. This is a sponsored blog (I can't pay my electricity bill with free natural beauty products), but 100% my own words, photos, and opinion.