Sustainable Fashion is in our Jeans
This is the age of ‘fast fashion’: clothes are churned out onto a conveyor belt, negating any chance of originality. I’ve grown tired of the monotony of the High Street, seeing every girl in the same Zara jacket. Many are seeking individuality in their wardrobes flinging out their ‘Joni jeans’ for a pair of second hand Levi’s, perhaps.
Nowadays, charity shops are less like Granny giveaways, and instead offer a chance to snap up a piece that you know no one else will have. Increasingly, millennials are recycling clothes, opting to wear vintage, and the industry is recognising this.
One young start-up company that has adopted this ethos is ‘DeMoo’. These three university students hand-craft and embroider jeans, jackets and headbands, using a spectrum of fabrics, tailor-making each for every customer. They are the antithesis of the ‘fast fashion’ movement and have kindly taken the time to answer some of our questions.
CC: Who are the people behind the brand?
DM: We’re a three-woman wolfpack – Sassie, India and myself, Jess. We are second year university students studying a variety of subjects, based in Durham. We have all been good friends since meeting at the beginning of first year.
CC: Where did ‘DeMoo’ come from?
DM: We up-cycle old denim clothes in order to give them a new life. So, the ‘De’ symbolises our focus on denim, whilst the ‘Moo’ stems from our initial signature style of cow-print. Hence, ‘DeMoo’. We all settled for this because it doesn’t sound like anything else already on the market!
CC: What was the inspiration behind setting up DeMoo Jeans?
DM: Sustainability is at the heart of DeMoo. Denim is one of the largest polluters of the fashion industry – the chemicals used to make the fabric are hugely toxic, and this washes into the water system.The jeans sold in high street stores are being produced at a lower cost than ever, at the expense of cheap labour and the environment.
Browsing for clothes at charity shops last March, we realised just how much second-hand denim is going to waste. If you look in the right places you’ll find that the vintage/charity shops are scattered with some absolute steals. In our stock at the moment we have an array of flared Dolce & Gabanna, Seven For All Mankind and even Levi’s jeans.
CC: Do you think the clothes that you make reflect your personal styles?
DM: We all buy clothes from eBay and charity shops regularly – there are so many dotted around Durham and Newcastle. We used to endlessly browse eBay for old designer clothes, patch them up if needed, and then sell them on Depop. It was a great way to make instant money whilst finding some bargain garments to wear for ourselves.
The whole aim of DeMoo is to create unique pieces that cannot be found anywhere else on the market. With our customisation initiative, it would be near impossible to run into someone wearing the same pair of jeans: you can choose any unique combination of our ribbons to embellish your jeans!
CC: What were the biggest challenges in setting up your own brand?
DM: At the start, we were fuelled with so much enthusiasm to get the brand up and running. But we definitely had to take a step back and plan the development properly to prevent our products from looking haphazard and homemade.
Keeping up with demand has been a recent problem since all our products are custom made; on top of this, being at university, it can be hard to manage out time effectively. But, we still have so many visions for DeMoo – having more photoshoots, collaborations and releasing more styles is something we want to achieve in the future!
CC: Has Instagram been the main tool you’ve utilised to get your brand known?
DM: Instagram more than any other tool has been instrumental to our success. We think that Instagram is far more accessible than Facebook these days – you can follow people that you don’t have a direct connection to such as celebrities, politicians and businesses.
We have thought about setting up a website, but we get so many orders flooding into our DM’s at the moment, that we’re quite happy sticking to this casual format.
We’ve connected and collaborated with other student brands like RHIMANI, Glitta Glo and Bigger The Hoop – and this is all down to the power of Instagram. We’re growing everyday and you’ll never know who will stumble across our account.
DeMoo have almost reached 1.5K followers in the space of just one year. Starting with just jeans, they have grown to include jackets and accessories, constantly developing new designs for each piece. Earlier this year, they were featured in a charity Fashion Show, and whilst far from ‘fast fashion’, they are rapidly proving that eco fashion is well within our reach.
Words by: Emma Mason