We’re proud to partner with Vegan Resort Wear on measuring and showcasing their impact. Edina is the founder of Sundays Designs, an ethical manufacturer of linen clothing, and as the name suggests, they are focused on resort wear. Working out of New York, she uses only European linen which has a low water and carbon footprint.
“The main goal with Sundays is to have a community behind it. I want people to ask questions and be in the know!”
How it all started
Let’s talk about your journey. What inspired you to start Sundays Designs? Why resort wear?
After living in two countries before moving to the US and traveling across Europe at the age of 18, I was still passionate about traveling and learning about other cultures. When I travel I just feel complete and feel at “home” no matter where the journey takes me. As I became vegan and became conscious about my shopping habits I knew I had to make better choices of where and what I shop. I have been in the fashion industry for over 10 years now; from being a stylist, or working for fast fashion companies, to working at luxury showrooms, I always knew my path would be in this industry. It brings out the creative side of me and I love to take the new challenges.
Once I got settled in the US, I wanted to see this beautiful country and started traveling more frequently. I love summer months, and personally don’t do well during colder seasons, so my main picks for the next destination is somewhere tropical. I wanted to refresh my summer wardrobe and I wanted to buy from sustainable designers, but back then I didn’t really find a brand that would suit my style. That’s when I came up with a brand that would offer vegan, sustainable, and ethical travel clothing to conscious consumers.
What’s behind the name?
The name is pretty self-explanatory, we offer PETA-approved vegan clothing and accessories for conscious travelers. To me, personally it was hard to find 100% vegan friendly clothing brands, that don’t use blends (like polyester) or offer 100% organic cotton. I am not a fan of viscose, modal or rayon and a lot of companies prefer to use those materials as a lower cost option than linen or hemp for example. I want to buy the highest quality that has also been made in the US.
What is the goal behind Sundays?
My main goal with Sundays is to have a community behind it. I want people to ask questions and be in the know, from sourcing the fabric to delivery, you should know how we maintain sustainability and how ethical we are! People started traveling more and more; I would like if people would build their capsule travel wardrobe with our pieces, because they would know the inside and outside of what we do, and they can just focus on enjoying their vacations.
Name 3 things you think fashion entrepreneurs need to focus on for success.
These are three most important things that fashion entrepreneurs need to focus on. First, trust yourself and don’t let the small things to get you because starting a new brand in the fashion industry is not easy at all. Second, try always to learn something new, the more you can do by yourself the more you can save for other things. As a small business owner I had to learn how to use my camera to create high-quality content, to use Photoshop to touch up images, learn everything about bookkeeping, learn how to file my quarterly taxes, research the best available fabrics, trims, supplies to remain sustainable and the list goes on. And third, network! Every connection you make in this industry will help you and you never know when you could use some extra help as well!
Knowing your impact
You’re someone who was really keen on knowing your impact, working with the factories to learn about it and finally with us to measure it. It’s a bit unusual in the fashion field and I’m sure you had some push back. How did you overcome those challenges?
Since I became conscious about where my clothing was made and who made it, I became obsessed with brands who manufacture in LA and NYC and started buying from them more frequently. I immediately noticed how well made clothes were made and, no matter how much I wear them, that no signs of wear be noticed. Even when I bought from a sustainable brand that had been made in Asia, the quality of work just wasn’t the same. It was a nobrainer for me to manufacture in the US although, I knew I would be paying higher wages to the people who are making our pieces compared to the Asian market. However, as I mentioned before, quality work and the treatment of the employees at our production facility is priceless.
How hard was it to find the right suppliers? How did you go about securing them?
I chose a New York based factory that’s only a train ride away from my home, so I was able to visit them every week. I think the closeness of the factory has helped me a lot with challenges. While in the design process we changed and revised the patterns frequently to improve the fit so this definitely helped me rather than flying out of the country.
What kind of checks and balances do you have to make sure you’re using organic linen?
I am very lucky that I found a great supplier, even though our linen is organic, it is OEKO Tex certified (OEKO Tex Organization tested our products for over 100 harmful toxins and chemicals before approving for public use).
Walking the talk
People think that green fashion is expensive. How do you respond to that?
I know many brands that are super affordable, you just have to do a little research, and we believe we offer affordable prices too! Trust me, I had a huge walk-in closet filled with clothes that I hated, wore them once and never wanted to wear them again. Most of the time, after two wears they started falling apart anyway. We have been living in this society, where we just want cheap clothes and if they get ruined we just toss them. Do you ever think about how many pieces of clothes are in the landfill? Do you know synthetic fabrics can’t compost? To me, I made the switch pretty easily. I sold all the fast fashion brands from my closet and slowly brought in sustainable and ethical pieces that had a story behind them. I started discovering new and better brands that I adored, I followed them, and if they were on the pricier side I saved up for months and purchased a piece once I could afford it. And let me tell you, it feels so great, I look at those pieces as my investments that will never go out of style, they are comfortable, don’t contain any plastic, and well-made. Also, if you follow your favorite brands on Social Media, they tend to offer discount codes so you can splurge on your favorite items 😉
What is the effect you want Sundays to have on your customers and peers?
I want people to join our community and not be afraid to ask questions. Since we started we are very transparent, we hold weekly educational discussions on our Social Media Platforms too, if you are interested in learning more about these topics.
How green are you in your own life? Any tips for those looking to lead a greener lifestyle?
As a vegan and someone who is eco-conscious, I try to be as close to zero waste as I can be. From using reusable shopping bags, bringing my own metal straw to restaurants, to trying to avoid produce wrapped in plastic as much as possible. The most important thing is to take small steps and don’t try to be zero waste right away, or you will just get overwhelmed.
If you want to follow Edina’s footsteps, here are a couple of things to get you started: