A journey of creating Another Lover

A journey of creating Another Lover

Lithuanian fashion market is slowly becoming aware of a new sustainable fashion brand, which has already found its way into more than one woman's closet. The founders of Another Lover talk about the idea of creating a shirt with luxury and exclusive construction and details, the challenges they faced in their quest to create as sustainably as possible. 

Livia & Ruta

Tell us, where your journey began?

L: First of all, the idea of creating a fashion brand has been burning in our hearts for a very long time. I grew up in a sewing factory where my mother and her sister worked, so I understand what it means to have a quality garment and fabric, and how much work and time goes into creating a garment from scratch. I joke that this idea has always been in my blood and it was only a matter of time before I dared to create and pursue my dream.

R: Although my family is not involved in the fashion business, I have always had a passion for fashion and creativity. From a young age, I have been interested in culture, art, designers and their creative stories. I met Livija at my first job, working in a Lithuanian clothing and accessories boutique. We became friends and quickly realised that we would definitely create something together in the future. We just didn't know that we would dive so deeply into this heartwarming activity and completely lose our heads for Another Lover!

And why did you come up with the idea of creating a sustainable fashion brand? After all, the fashion market seems to have been oversaturated for a long time.

L: With our active interest in the concept of sustainability and lifestyle, we realised that we must also create as sustainably as possible. It's no secret that the fashion industry is one of the most damaging to people and the planet, so we didn't want to contribute to the global problem.

R: Indeed, we have seen first-hand that creating a sustainable fashion brand in Lithuania is still very difficult - partners in all parts of the fashion industry are not yet ready to offer more sustainable alternatives, or don't see the point of being sustainable, because it often costs more. When we set the goal to create sustainably and to find the best solutions for us, it helped a lot that Livija was part of the Sustain Academy's sustainability training for businesses, so she was able to answer a lot of the questions we had right away.

And what challenges have you faced along the way?

R: The main and biggest challenge we faced was the availability of sustainable fabrics in Lithuania and throughout Europe. It took us 6 months to find the perfect fabric we wanted!

L: Rūta and I knew exactly what we were looking for: a stiff, thicker-than-normal shirt fabric that wasn‘t see-through, yet soft and felt very comfortable on the body. Of course, we set out to find a fabric with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification, which proves that the cotton we chose is organic and sustainably grown: free of chemicals that are toxic to humans and the environment, ensures safe working conditions and fair wages for cotton pickers and the producers of the fabric.

R: In our search for that one fabric, we found that the supply of GOTS-certified fabrics was slowly growing, but Lithuanian companies could only offer us knitted cotton, and unfortunately, we couldn't find any certified material for shirts. However, we are still delighted to have found the perfect material, which is praised by everyone who touches it. It is a luxurious cotton satin weave fabric with a special sheen reminiscent of silk.

L: There were, of course, more challenges. One of them - potential partners asking us why we require sustainable solutions from them, as this leads to a higher product cost. Well, I guess it would take a separate conversation to list all the challenges.

Why did you decide to make shirts? Did you see a niche for it?

L: Even though we had a good mentor - my mother, who has been in the business for many years, we can say that we entered this field knowing nothing and started from scratch. We had lots of creative ideas, but as we started to draw up production plans and a preliminary budget, we realised that we would have to start with a more modest collection first. So we settled on the shirt, which is our favorite piece of clothing of all time. In our eyes, the shirt is the most versatile piece of clothing that can be worn to work, for a weekend stroll in the city or on a date with a loved one.

R: We realised straight away that we wouldn't surprise anyone by designing minimal and clean shirts. There are many designers who have done a great job of creating classic shirts that fit perfectly, so we wanted our shirt to be different. All Another Lover shirts feature exclusive constructions and details that keep our muses at the spotlight.

L: As we were going through our own creative routine, we began to wonder whether women would really understand our unexpected ideas. Fortunately, once we started, we found that Lithuanian women are hungry for interesting design solutions.

What does sustainable creativity mean to you?

L: First and foremost, it's not just about choosing organic cotton and having a sustainable process for growing, producing and transporting it. Sustainable fashion brand creation also involves building a sustainable relationship with our partners. We both strive to work with those who share same values and philosophy. We strive to pay them fairly for the services we create in Lithuania and to support small businesses and crafts: our seamstress is a true goldsmith who sews everything by hand, our bags are made by a meticulous student from a small town, and our embroidery is done by a husband and wife who make a living doing it. We also believe that education about sustainable choices is also very important. We aim to educate our customer and encourage them to take an interest in the brand, its story, to ask questions and to make informed and conscious choices.

R: We are confident that we are working in the most sustainable way we can right now. From shirting thread to cards and labels made from the more sustainable alternative of stone paper, every element of our idea is carefully thought out and all questions are answered. Of course, there will be those who say that we are greenwashing and that we only tell our customers about sustainability to convince them to buy. But we sleep well, because we strive every day to be honest with ourselves. We know that we have done our best up to this point - we are also confident about our steps towards even more sustainable creations, and we are confident in communicating this to our customers. We believe that this philosophy of creativity and business will become commonplace in Lithuania.

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