AIAYU – It’s all about transparency2 years ago
Fashion Revolution Denmark has interviewed the brand AIAYU – a company with the philosophy of always striving for the best and keeping the concept simple and transparent
AIAYU is a Copenhagen based brand founded by Maria Heilmann, and together with the two partners Marie Worsaae and Maria Glæsel, AIAYU is specialised in knitwear and organic cotton. It is a brand with the mission to combine beauty, comfort and sustainable living. They have an objective obtained by creating alluring styles while supporting growth and community development in Bolivia, Nepal and India. To AIAYU it is given that ethical business practices and a fashion- forward approach to modern luxury should go hand in hand. They belief is that fashion should be known for its honesty and longevity not only for its aesthetics.
All their materials are created from 100% natural materials, carefully produced in their origin. It is very important for them to keep the value chain simple and transparent. AIAYU want to take responsibility throughout the value chain and strive to ensure full transparency of all the key processes. Strategically, they have therefore chosen to work with only one manufacturer that covers the entire supply chain from sorting of fiber dyeing, spinning and finishing production. AIAYU cherish long lasting collaborations with all their business partners based on the belief that the knowledge they build together is essential to obtain the best product for the end consumer.
Some of Aiayus production is 4000 meters above sea level in El Alto, Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in the world, and a place from which few international companies are choosing to buy their manufactured products.
In Bolivia 85% of the population are indigenous peoples with a strong tradition and virtue knitting passed from generation to generation for centuries. The people of Bolivia, have learned AIAYU new techniques and has just been willing to learn and work together to meet the needs of the Western world. By creating job opportunities in Bolivia, while preserving the cultural heritage and tradition of knitting, AIAYU is proud to offer you the best quality of the clothes, made with lots of soul in remote highland Bolivia.
We asked AIAYU: How does AIAYU define sustainability and how is it used in your company, and what does this mean for you?
Sustainability for us, is that the places we have proper production, both in the way they produce the materials they use, and the working environment employees work under. For us, sustainability is not an add-on, but part of AIAYU we can never evade. It’s the way we work and clear dogmas we operate. That’s the way we want to contribute to a better world and a dimension of what we do is essential for us. Quite factually, we have achieved WRAP certification of the factory, we started working on 10 years ago in Bolivia and our cotton produced in India at a GOTS and in an SA8000 certified work environment.
What do you think about Fashion Revolution and do you think that there is need for it?
It is such a good initiative of attracting consumers understanding and curiosity about where products are made and encourage them to engage with the brands they are dealing with. Making consumers aware – they may will make demands. And fortunately, the supply of sustainable brands become broader and better.
What do you think about companies telling where their clothes are produced, and thus become more transparent towards the consumers?
It is important to provide end customers an understanding of how their clothes are produced. Many times it is also knowledge that the end customers do not know they are actually interested in. So we as brands, have an obligation to inform them, many would actually like to be involved and informed. Not just the name of a certification – but the meaning and impact of the certification, and not least the people behind. The transparency is therefore not just about the certification to use, but let them get closer down to the people that are behind each product. We have at AIAYU also chosen that the hand knitters put their initials in the things that are hand knit to connect the consumer closer to the man who is behind the product.