Jackie Lutze is the brainchild behind the brand of the same name and she believes in wearing your heart on your sleeve, your organic cotton sleeve that is. That’s why they choose to keep animals out of their fabrics. With all of their pieces being 100% cruelty free using sustainably sourced fabrics, Jackie is doing her bit for the future of our planet.
What do you think the future of fashion is?
We’ve already started to see a shift in consumers demanding better from the fashion industry & I truly hope it continues down this road. The fashion industry is extremely harmful to the planet and consumers are finally starting to see that. Like anything consumers have the power and I think they will continue to push for better products.
For any aspiring designers, what advice would you offer?
Focus on why. Starting a business is hard, but if you are obsessed with the problem you are looking to solve it gives you a different drive to keep going when things come up. I am just absolutely obsessed with figuring out how to create a more compassionate fashion industry. It allows me keep things in perspective & focus on how to solve this problem, versus how to grow a bigger business. I make better decisions because I am answering “how do we do this better”, versus allowing the emotional business owner side of me take hold.
How often do you release new designs?
We just released our first collection for Fall 2019, but are hoping to expand for a Spring Line next year and already have things in the works for next fall.
Did you take any specialist courses before launching your brand?
I took as many courses & read as many blogs/ books as I could get my hands on. My background is in digital media, (social media, photography) so had some knowledge there, but didn’t know the ins & outs of running a business so wanted to learn as much as I could. Being sustainable is also a main focus for us so I spent a lot of time researching sustainability in fashion & in business to ensure that our ethics were in every part of our business.
Do you have a piece that is your favourite go to piece?
The whole business started out of a need for a wool free, sustainable blazer & not being able to find one, so I am definitely biased to our blazers. They are what started this whole venture.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently?
I want to say, Oh heck yes, but I am so grateful for everything I have learned. There are a ton of bumps, road blocks, learning curves when starting a business but each time you figure it out you learn, become a better business owner & it gives you a confidence boost of, “Hey, I can do this!”
Being sustainable is a massive factor in your biz, tell us more about this?
It is everything to me. I didn’t start out with just this dream of being a fashion designer, I dreamed of creating a more compassionate fashion industry. I wanted to prove that vegan & sustainable clothing could be chic. I know that if I prove that it could be done & that consumers want better clothing that it would inspire others in the industry to do the same. I want to start a ripple effect.
We also looked sustainability in every aspect of our brand. This includes using plastic free packaging & shipping, corozo nut buttons & recycled clothing labels.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
My husband & I love to travel. It is currently snowing in Colorado, so looking up flights to Bali happen at least once a week.
I love your mix on social media between quotes and designs, does social media play a big role in your success?
Thank you! Social media is huge for us. As a somewhat niche business it is so essential for us to be able to connect with people who share our ethics & therefore are looking for products that they can wear with pride. We also want to educate people about issues in the fashion industry & inspire them to learn more about the businesses they support. Social media allows us to do that unlike any other platform.
Have you ever followed any bad business advice and later wished you hadn’t?
Honestly, no. I just kept my head down for two years while working on the building blocks of everything & honestly didn’t tell many people until we were months from launching. So, by the time I announced what I was up to I was so far along, so committed that there wasn’t much anyone could say to deter me.
You often use hemp, what other things set your business apart?
I think the biggest thing that sets us apart is the combination of being ethically made, using sustainable materials & our dedication to being cruelty free. There are brands flooding the market that are hitting on one, maybe two of these areas, but we feel to truly be an ethical brand all three areas are equally as important. We want to create beautiful fashion that doesn’t harm animals, the planet or the people who make them.
What does 2020 look like for you?
We are hopeful for an amazing 2020. We are working on Spring items now, the biggest addition to hopefully include a men’s blazer. I am constantly looking at what items can you not currently get that are vegan or sustainable. So, we want to focus on tackling these areas first.