What is Shinrin-Yoku and why is it so great for your health?

What is Shinrin-Yoku and why is it so great for your health?

It's time to relax and unwind. It's time for a Forest Bath.
September 27, 2022
The Importance of Soil on Life

The Importance of Soil on Life

Think of soil as the foundation. The foundation of everything that lives on Earth.
July 19, 2022
How can fashion help the wildlife? Here’s our answer!

How can fashion help the wildlife? Here’s our answer!

Ever wondered if our fashion choices affect wildlife? Find out here!
February 15, 2021
Compromised cotton: slave labour, genocide, and the Uighur population

Compromised cotton: slave labour, genocide, and the Uighur population

What does sustainability have to do with it and what are GNGR Bees practices? Find out here.
January 30, 2021
Why Sustainable Fashion Matters

Why Sustainable Fashion Matters

Being environmentally minded when it comes to fashion is important given the impact that the industry has on the planet - and a big part of being an eco-conscious shopper is knowing what true sustainability stands for. 

As we have discussed many times here, fashion itself isn’t the issue - it’s the new model by which fashion is made and consumed these days. Currently, it takes two weeks for fast fashion houses to develop a full collection, sample, manufacture and distribute it into every store across the globe.

It all gets put into perspective when you come to know that it took a whole year for me to develop the first collection of GNGR Bees - which carries only seven pieces. So what do I mean when I say “understanding what sustainability stands for’’? 

I know, the definition of the word has somehow become lost and that is because fast fashion houses are dying to jump on the trend and make you buy that label from them - but make no mistake, sustainability at its purest is a package no one can sell unless they have it in their core values. 

To dive a little deeper, let’s take a cotton T-shirt. A sustainable model starts from thinking where the seed of the plant came from. Then it moves to the soil, the farmer, the workers, the machine, the production, the water, the waste, the manufacturer, distributer and anything and everything that comes in this chain and around it. 

Are the workers being fairly paid, protected? Are they happy? Is the soil being kept well for the next plants? Are the plants using fertilisers? What is done with the water waste and so on? The process of how this T-shirt gets to its end destination and how the user may give it a life and then dispose of it are all also considered as opposed to a fast fashion model.

The fast fashion industry simply does not have the time to think about the seed, soil, workers and carbon footprint of its T-shirt because by the time they half consider any of this, a new collection has already launched and the price they budget to pay for this entire process is so small that moving any one or other side of the supply chain would be disastrous financially, so they simply don’t. 

The stats of the global fashion industry - largely contributed by the fast pace everything gets manufactured at - are alarming: it uses 93 billion cubic metres of water in textile production annually, and its carbon emissions takes 26 per cent of the global carbon budget.

If that doesn’t scare you, £140 million worth of clothing goes to landfill every year, with a quarter of all industry resources wasted as fabric and garment leftovers. 

This is where GNGR Bees comes in. You see, our aim was never to contribute to the fast fashion industry or to think where the seed initially comes from. Our aim was to clean the waste of all of these industries - fast and sustainable fashion, and beyond. 

Saying everything we do starts from trash can often seem strange. Perhaps even a little unhygienic - but make no mistake, this is where our own version of sustainability comes in. 

Getting materials made from raw resources just for us wouldn’t allow us to resolve an issue - no one needs leggings made out of bamboo, or corn mailing bags. It is just more waste and more footprint in our environment. It is just us putting a mask on the real problem of wanting to solve the world’s waste issue and looking for a better source but not taking the best one.

It takes me a long time to develop a collection because I must find each material I will work with individually and then ensure they are safe, made with good quality to last you well and that every part of my supply chain considers the individual components that are part of it - my workers, waste, pollution and so on.

Sustainability for me at GNGR Bees is at the core of what I do and I don’t tend to talk about it because, personally, to me there is no other way to make fashion (or any other thing, really). 

On that note, as the new collection launch approaches, I would like to reinstate that I will only start new product lines if I find a material that has been discarded by another industry (I know, you are dying to get your hands on some T-shirts and I am working on it, I promise!) because making anything else out of something that takes nature from our planet given we already have so many already-made resources sounds completely unnecessary to me. 

And then on another front, I shall leave you with my real thoughts on buying anything ever - which is always what I say out loud whenever I get the incredible opportunity of meeting any of you, my incredibly supportive clients: in sustainability, the first choice is wear what you already have, the second is to shop vintage/second hand and the third, if you really must, is to buy GNGR Bees. 

See what eco friendly sportswear we have in stock on our website.

March 10, 2020
Why greenwashing will stop the fashion industry reach its full potential

Why greenwashing will stop the fashion industry reach its full potential

 

 

As Fashion Week comes to London, Conduit member and GNGR Bees founder, Nathália Grisard, reflects on what her experience working as a model and entrepreneur has taught her about greenwashing, consumer responsibility and the potential for a cleaner and more creative fashion industry.

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I threw on my puffer jacket & beanie, and wandered down towards Kensington Gardens with my golden retriever, Sammy.

It’s was a mild yet bright mid morning, 12°, which seems perfectly acceptable for mid September and we saw a few familiar faces as well as lots of unfamiliar ones. I pause for a moment - the images of people in Pantone colour coordinated outfits is both perplexing and strangely familiar. I quickly put two and two together: it is fashion week after all - the outdoor fashion show confirms it.

I smiled to myself - what was once a world so familiar now seems so distant. Teenager Nathália was a willing captivate of the wonders of the fashion world - bright lights, catwalk, make up and hair, private drivers & travelling - how naive I was, ignorant to all the laid below that shiny façade. A façade which as my time in the industry went on, started to crack and fracture giving glimpses of something I knew I didn’t want to part of.

Sammy and I stopped by a tree and watched the young and beautiful models for a while and from where we stood, we could see them fleeting about in the backstage just before they passed through the curtains, gliding down the runaway. Though it looked like any other fashion show - perfect lighting, music and designs that were on the surface as wondrous as ever - this year, below the surface there was a particular heavy undercurrent that accompanied Fashion week. Whilst there were for a long time been critics of the fashion world it felt as though for the first time this year, there were more people critically looking at it than ever before and as I watch it all develop, I felt reassured of the position I had once taken when I decided it was time for me to change paths.

My train of thought is broken as Sammy starts barking - a gust of wind has blown the blue dress of one of the models much to Sammy’s excitement and we carry on in our search for balls, squirrels and four-legged friends.

Modelling for big fashion houses was the first exposure I had to the inner workings of the fashion world and for all the criticisms I may level at this industry, fashion was and is at best, an art form, a thing of beauty - it holds the incredible power to be transformative to a person and it could be so much more than what it is but it does itself a disservice because all of this beauty is built on the top of ugliness. Destroying the fashion industry is not what I want - what I aim for is the complete opposite. It is to get its essence and make it as wonderful as it has the potential to be. I have a great deal of respect for designers that work hard to leave their mark in this world and that mark holds itself highly when we understand what the context of what brings fashion together is. What stories it tells and how and why each piece is created.

greenwashing fashion

The rise of greenwashing

As we are all becoming increasingly aware, the fashion industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to the environmental, human rights & animal welfare perspective. One of the most recent trends that perhaps has the most to answer in all of three of these fronts is fast fashion.

Fast fashion is the concept that by the time you have bought the clothing from the shop, taken it home, cut its tags and put it on your body, it is already outdated - and it is purely done to drive profits. The fear that anyone could be seen on social media in the same outfit more than once is enough to terrify any teen. And maybe not just teens.

Although we are becoming more conscious and whilst this in overall a good thing, there is an emerging trend that is linked to this: greenwashing. Greenwashing is a two way street and it is not just for the fashion houses to be blamed, it is also on the individuals. We’ve entered into a greenwashing bargain, where we tell the fashion industry, ourselves and anyone that listens, that we want to be green. The fashion industry responds by taking in token steps that are just enough to appease our fickle conscience but if they and we are honest about the impact these things are having we would know that these half measures (at most) aren’t going to be enough to make a lasting social and environmental impact. The most significant casualty in this greenwashing bargain continues to be sustainability,

 

Balancing profit with purpose

It is because I have so much love for fashion that the current fashion system disappoints me - it is, after all, possible to live in a world where businesses are not only driven by profitability but by the exciting chase of creating new and better products that align with the current sustainability agenda for the world we all want to see in the future. We must disrupt this cycle of greenwashing bargain and to do that both companies and individuals must sign the deal.

So how is it that we do this?

I don’t know what the answer is but some of the ingredients include: for companies, it is about making your social and environmental impact just as important as your profits and aligning yourself to be open and honest about what your company is doing well and what it can improve. For the individual, is not about shifting responsibility onto companies and governments before first looking at and changing our own habits: the way we think, consume and act.

 

For now, each time I come out of the station and walk down New Bond Street on my way to The Conduit, I find those glossy window displays and new outfits less and less appealing.

Nat x

February 21, 2020
The power of clothing

The power of clothing

The way clothing affects us is so interesting it even has a scientific name: “enclothed cognition”.  This is the idea that clothes impact the way we think and that the clothes we wear or see others wearing can change our thoughts and behavioural patterns.

But it comes at a cost.

December 12, 2019
Black Friday at GNGR Bees

Black Friday at GNGR Bees

 

Black Friday is in just over a week and amongst all the websites and stores doing their countdown for big sales I sit here in my office holding a pair of GNGR Bees in my hand and journeying back to the very start of this brand.

GNGR Bees was born of the dual passions I have for women empowerment as well as for saving our planet. It was born with a purpose that was so much bigger than having endless collections to sell over and over and over again until you (my customers) couldn’t find any more drawers to stuff activewear in. In fact, I have decided that the only way fashion can exist hand-in-hand with the  environment is by through immediate and drastic disruption.

Disruption of our relationship with consumption and our seemingly insatiable hunger to buy, buy & buy.  Disruption of that conditioned pattern of behaviours where we purchase clothing already mindful of the purchase that will follow or knowing that the garment will be out of season in a matter of months and will then be replaced. An endless cycle of buy-wear-dispose, which, all too sadly, we have become accustomed to repeating season after season and year after year.

On a phone call with my mother today, she asked me how much of a discount I would be offering this holiday season.  I said none.  She couldn’t understand, “everyone is expecting it”. My answer was simply that my customers don’t.  My customers understand that every penny that comes through my business has a purposeThat it leaves GNGR Bees as quickly as it arrives to fulfil that purpose. That purpose may be to pay our community partners in Sri Lanka or Rwanda (or the for now secret one I have just taken on board) or spent in R&D as we work on finding new ways to improve our ability to rescue (and re-rescue!) materials.

 

Everything (and I mean this when I say it), every thing has a purpose here at GNGR Bees. So discounting a piece that has had so much love put into it and carries a story which we are proud of would only serve to take away something from the purposes that are the very essence of GNGR.

When you buy GNGR Bees, you are telling a story that goes beyond words. It is a statement you make with your wardrobe, so why diminish this just to get a “good deal”? We often forget that these “deals” come at a cost of the environment and the people that have made the garments for brands that don’t advocate for a sustainable and kind future. Sure you feel good, but it is one-sided, somewhere someone or something pays the price.

And so, this holiday season, and the many that are to come, GNGR Bees will not be having a sale.   If you wear GNGR then this is what you already know:

1. GNGR Bees is not a fast fashion brand. We like things slow, made out of materials that have been rescued and transformed into products that are safe, with quality and comfortable to wear.

2. There are no seasons in our calendar. Everything you see at GNGR Bees is built to be worn any time of the year and also mixes and matches with previous collections and future collections.

3. We believe value should be provided every day, not only a few days over the year. Our profits support our partner communities so we are able to keep developing projects together and embracing more partners and empowering more people that do good in this planet.  People who wear GNGR Bees don’t believe in discounting the good they do. 

4. We are different. Born to empower and disrupt on our way through - following big fashion trends and concentrating on a few dates of the year such as Black Friday, Singles day, Cyber Monday and Boxing day provokes mindless consumerism, and that isn’t what we want for the world of today nor for the world that we will pass on to our children.

On that note, I’d like to say thank you to all of you who constantly support me and my business. To those that see the brand for what it is and what it is striving to achieve. 

 

Know that there are very exciting plans for the future but nothing happens without your support today. So thank you.

Nat x

November 21, 2019