This week, we would like to introduce you to Isabella Broden, Isabella is the founder of one of our favourite brands, Oramai London. She is also the creator and curator of The Sustainable Pop-Up. Her insight and time spent in the fashion industry led her to pursue new ways to make the industry more sustainable, after witnessing the high levels of waste caused by the industry. She created Oramai London in 2018 featuring a mix of elegant and relaxed pieces, all made of 100% organic linen, and not long after the launch of her first business, she successfully launched The Sustainable Pop-Up, which opened its doors again yesterday 10th of November for a Christmas Edition in Notting Hill, London.
You moved from working for others in the fashion industry to working for yourself, to create a revolution against the “fast fashion” trend and then from founding your own brand to owning your own pop-up. How has that experience been?Going against the stream is always difficult and especially when it’s against what you been working with and for the last 10 years. Everyone questioned why I was making it so difficult for myself – why not off-site production? Why using expensive materials? But for me it is exactly that that’s been my drive – to do something differently and something that at least I believe in.
You’ve begun a new wave and drawn attention to the fact that we ought to consider which materials our clothes are made from. What do you think about the future of the fashion industry now that a lot of awareness and attention is being brought to the issue of the industry being the second most polluting in the world?At the moment, “sustainability” has become a trend. However what does sustainability really mean? Is it a real thing or marketing campaign? It’s in the consumers power to put the real pressure on the fashion world. Why is this garment sustainable? Is it because they are trying to reduce something? Is it a marketing scam?
There is a clear theme with each collection you put out for Oramai, can you share with us your source of inspiration?
I don’t believe in seasonal collections, since I believe in buying less but better. Each item is designed to be used in many different ways and I create a core collection that works as classics that I update every now and then with new color options. In addition to the core collection, I create small capsule collections throughout the year, produced in small quantities, inspired by my travels. I love travelling, and embracing and supporting craftsmanship from all over the world.
With the sustainable pop up you don’t just provide a shopping experience but also well-being events which include meditation and gong baths. Is this something you practice in your day to day life?
My personal voyage into a more sustainable lifestyle started two years ago when I launched Oramai. I believe our habit of consuming is mostly based on an unsatisfied ego. With The Sustainable Pop Up I don’t want to offer only a space where you encounter brands from around the world with a mission, but also an introduction to mindfulness and to sustainable living. Something I am working on myself, and I am continuously exploring new ways to achieve mindfulness. For the upcoming pop up I have teamed up with yogi2me’s founder Sara, her mission is to bring experienced yoga and wellness teachers to Londoner’s home. We have curated a list of ‘Introductory courses’ for different wellness events such as reiki, gong bath, etc. Each Tuesday during November and December.
How do you choose which brands to work with and what is your process of bringing them to life at the pop-up?
It’s all very organic. I believe in no coincidences and I keep on meeting all these amazing people that come into my life, either someone knows somebody, or even some seek me with some ideas and I love to mentor and support them.
What is it like when you get to meet your customers in person and interact with them?
The best, people get very excited about the atmosphere we have going on in the pop up, we always have a mezcal amores bar and tribal shamanic music sets playing.
What should we expect from your next Pop-Up Christmas Edition?
A wonderful festive celebration embracing the best craftsmanship and materials and loads of wellness events that hopefully will introduce you to a more sustainable life.