We – Jonne and Andrea – are not the only ones in Amsterdam that want to help you make better fashion choices. We’d like you to meet Noor, Marcella and Melissa. These three ladies founded Project Cece, a platform that collects fair and sustainable fashion on one website. It’s a beautiful initiative in which we find many shared values and ideals. In this guest blog they share their story.
Although there are many amazing brands that produce sustainable fashion, sustainable fashion is still thought of as being the boring little brother of normal fashion.
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, as fair fashion is only a fraction of their fast fashion counterparts. We as consumers can change this! To make it easier to buy sustainable fashion we (Marcella, Noor, Melissa) started Project Cece.
On the Project Cece website we collect conscious clothing from many different web shops. In this way, instead of having to go through long lists of sustainable clothing brands, you can see the items immediately on one website. In this blog we tell you about who we are, our experiences with fair fashion (we’ve not always been fair fashion saints) and we explain some more about our website!
Who are we?
With ‘we’ we mean Noor Veenhoven, Marcella Wijngaarden and Melissa Wijngaarden. Last two are indeed sisters ! We are three Amsterdam based (former-)students. Marcella and Noor just graduated their masters in Astronomy & Physics and Melissa is currently doing an exchange semester in Hong Kong before –hopefully- graduating her bachelor in Economics & Finance.
Not really an average combination to start a company in the fashion industry. Here’s what happened:
Noor’s wardrobe has always been fairly sustainable, as she’s a big fan of vintage and receives a lot of beautiful pieces from friends who don’t wear them anymore (they call her the clothes hanger because of her “I fit everything”- body type). Marcella and Melissa, however, used to be the opposite. We enjoyed shopping sprees in Amsterdam’s Kalverstraat (especially at that time a fair fashion hell) and we’ve spent a lot of our clothing money at big fast fashion brands like Mango, Zara and H&M.
Until at one point it became clear to us that someone else was paying the true price for our 3 euro shirts (watch the famous documentary “The True Cost” for more details on that). At that point we decided to avoid our beloved fast fashion brands and switched to fair fashion. As we were newbies in the fair fashion scene, we didn’t know any cool brands and our Google results only returned super expensive mud green T-shirts with a text that was somewhat like “Veganism is life!!”. Needless to say, this wasn’t really our style. After some more elaborate searching, however, we came across a lot of sustainable ánd fashionable brands. We concluded that conscious clothing can be a serious alternative for fast fashion if more people were able to find these beautiful brands. This is why we started Project Cece (Cece = Conscious Clothing).
At Project Cece we collect items from the most beautiful sustainable fashion brands and arrange them into clear categories. We’ve kind of created Project Cece because of our own needs. Of course we were willing to shop sustainable, but we found all the searching through different lists, blogs and websites annoying. Not only searching for nice sustainable fashion brands, but also searching for information about these brands to see why they claimed to be sustainable, took us way more time than normal shopping. One brands’ definition of sustainability was that their items would last long, while the other brand used the word to describe that they applied the fair trade principles throughout their production/supply chain. To make the container concept sustainability more insightful, we’ve created five labels which we use to allocate to brands that explicitly work hard on that aspect of sustainability.
These labels are:
- Ecofriendly (the brand is taking concrete steps to reduce its ecological footprint)
- Locally Produced (the brand produces everything inside Europe)
- Vegan (a brand only makes vegan products)
- Supports Local Community (the brand runs projects that help develop the local community in production countries, for example with schooling programmes)
- Fair Trade (the brand can guarantee fair working conditions for its employees)
By using these labels, you can decide for yourself what exact criteria you mean with sustainability. Furthermore, we write short descriptions about the brands and –if it has any- show its certificates. These descriptions are shown next to their products and you only need to hover over the image of the certificate to discover what exactly it guarantees.
By reducing the searching time involved in buying conscious clothing, we hope more people will do so. Our goal is to make sustainable fashion só easy to buy, that many people will (start) buy(ing) fair fashion and that conscious clothing will eventually become the norm. Have a look at our website and let your money speak for your values. In the end we are the ones who decide which companies are big and whose impact will matter most!
PS: Starting September 20th we’ll also have a German website!