S04 Episode 198 | VIN+OMI ON RESISTING THE TRADITIONAL FASHION SYSTEM + DOING YOUR OWN THING TO BUILD A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS

In episode 198, Kestrel welcomes Vin+Omi, award winning fashion and multi media designers, to the show. One of the leading pioneering eco fashion brands today, VIN+OMI are focused on sustainable approaches to business, design and textiles.

“We don’t need another fashion brand — we don’t. You know, we have enough clothes, if everybody stopped production tomorrow (all fashion houses and every fashion brand stopped), we have enough clothes to last us at least 6 generations.” -Omi, Cofounder of VIN+OMI

On this week’s show, Vin+Omi share more on the unique path they took to becoming fashion designers. They outline some of the sustainable textiles they’ve developed, including their latex project in Malaysia and their nettle project with Prince Charles.

Kestrel asks Omi to share more context on a quote from him that was featured in Business of Fashion where he said that “sustainability is a dirty word” that he hates.

They also discuss how they’ve intentionally resisted the traditional fashion system throughout their evolution, and found unique ways to work outside of it, by taking time to consciously build a sustainable business model.

The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:

  • When London first starting talking about Vin+Omi in the press, they called them “the black sheep” because they were known for being “against the system”

  • A Nesta scholarship early in their careers helped Vin+Omi further build the early stages of the company

  • Vin+Omi’s first project was focused on latex in Malaysia

  • “Because of the scholarship that we had, it really allowed us to step away from the system, and really decide whether we wanted to be a one hit wonder in fashion or if we wanted to really build foundations before we plotted concrete, and then plotted the house.” -Omi

  • “These Designers Want to Fight Climate Change. Just Don't Call Them 'Sustainable'“, BoF article where Omi said, “Sustainability as a word is so dirty … We hate the word.”

  • “The business needs to be able to shift gears and mold very quickly to what society demands, opposed to what we dictate to society, because the landscape has changed.” -Omi

  • Vin+Omi’s collaboration with Prince Charles

  • “We don’t need another fashion brand — we don’t. You know, we have enough clothes, if everybody stopped production tomorrow (all fashion houses and every fashion brand stopped), we have enough clothes to last us at least 6 generations. We don’t need another fashion brand — what we need is fresh ideas — we need thinkers. We need people to infiltrate the system, while keeping the economy going.”

  • “The fashion industry is in a cocoon — a really nice shiny little bell jar cocoon — and it’s just perpetuating the same problem over and over and over again.” -Omi