We always shoot our campaigns to give you all a sense of adventure, and we are lucky enough to have been supported by some of our fellow sustainable brands to loan us styling pieces from their clever collections. Back in February we travelled to Tenerife for our latest shoot and were loaned some sustainable fashion pieces by fellow ethical brand, Lana Organic to style up our looks (see above!). We sat down with the family run team to chat more about why they love what they do, plus check out their editorial from this season with happy appearances from our shades.
How did Lana Organic start?
In 1987 my parents started LANA as an organic brand for children’s clothes. At that time polyester was everywhere and it was hard to find sustainable alternatives. Soon they also created a womenswear line and developed a strong expertise in ethical and organic production over the time. Sustainability is in our DNA for over thirty years!
Can you explain what your name means to you?
The origin of the name comes from wool (ital. Lana) which was one oft he main materials my parents used when they started, which has changed over time. Today it means family for me – I grew up at, and with, LANA.
What makes Lana different as a brand?
Because we can look back at thirty years of experience we know our materials and production partners very well. We still develop the whole collections ourselves in-house: we make our own patterns, create our own fabrics and prints, which is quite rare nowadays. In comparison of course to fast fashion brands we do almost everything differently.
Tell us about where and how you work as a team?
We are based in Aachen, Germany on the border to the Netherlands and Belgium. LANA is a family business, lots of our employees have been with us for over twenty years. We have three other brands (Rosalie, Minu and Lana Baby) and the core team working on the LANA collections and the e-commerce is only a team of four, which makes working together very intimate.
Do you have any daily rituals at work?
We breakfast together every morning! This is a great way to stay connected and laugh together. It makes the family feeling even more complete.
What or who do you believe in?
We believe in strong partnerships. We have familial relationships with our manufacturing partners, other brands and stores and to some of our regular customers, which is important to us. Only together we are able to compete with fast fashion houses.
Why do you feel ethical fashion is important?
For us that’s the only way to go! We never felt otherwise. Everyone in the supply chain has to have the opportunity to make the most of life and should not need to suffer for the benefit of others.
Who would be your dream ambassador for Lana?
This is a tough one. I guess Emma Watson would represents the values we stand for pretty well. She is independent, strong and has a voice she uses to bring change. But we think it’s us, our customers and friends who are our most valuable ambassadors.
What has been your best travel experience to date?
When visiting Japan I realised that everyday objects and infrastructure there were designed to make people’s lifes easier and more convenient – Japanese designers seemed to really have thought their products through and how their products could benefit everyone. That really impressed and inspired my own designing process. No more skirts and dresses without pockets!
And if you had to pick one other city to live in, where would it be?
Stockholm probably. I have family there and I love that there’s water everywhere!
Tell us about the best decision you have made.
I answer this from a LANA perspective: Giving the next generation a voice was a huge turning point for us. When I entered the family business four years ago, the team became more diverse over time and processes that ‚always were done this way‘ were rethought and adapted towards this new era of conscious concumers. I think that’s what society and politics need to do as well: Find a way for the generations of babyboomers and millenials to communicate with each other to find solutions for our future. There’s just no time to waste.
What is the most valuable advice you have ever received?
It may not be the one advice, more fractions of different ones: What helps me through every struggle I may have to face is that if you know yourself and your values and if you take care of yourself and what you love you can always rely on that and find strength from within.
If you could lend one book you have read to us, what would it be?
I really enjoyed The History of Bees by Maja Lunde – It’s a beautiful book that shows what big effects little things can have. It made me believe that every small step I personally take to make the world a better place can have a huge impact even though it sometimes may not seem or feel like that.
To mark the start of a new season of fair fashion we’re giving you the chance to win a pair of our sunglasses and £100 in vouchers for anything from Lana Organic! Fancy your chances? Head over here to enter.
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Felicia is our ‘camera ninja’ when it comes to photography for the Pala website. Hailing from Sweden, but now based close to the Pala Brighton HQ. When she’s not exercising her skills of mind control to make models relax on shoots you’ll find her in a cafe enjoying a good cup of coffee, or at home baking cinnamon buns.
Emma is our marketing guru. When Emma isn’t planning, strategizing and creating content, she can be found travelling the world exploring its wonders, or in more recent times – headphones on with a paintbrush in her hand creating an abstract masterpiece!
Mary is the team leader of the Care4basket project in Bolgatanga, Ghana. When Mary is not organising and supporting the work across the communities, you will find her sowing sweet potatoes, ground nut, millet and looking after the animals on the farm.
Izzy is our Sales and Comms mastermind. When Izzy isn’t throwing herself down a mountain on a snowboard, she can normally be found rummaging through vintage shops or pounding the fields with her beloved puppy, Mac. She once mislaid a finger on a night out (eek!) – girl knows how to party!
Justin is our ‘Film Alchemist’. When he’s not laying on the floor looking for the next shot he’s either exploring the finest bourbons and listening to obscure country music tracks from the 50s and 60s. Normally found planning his next trip abroad or fuelling the pineapple on pizza debate. Just so you know he’s firmly in the Hawaiian camp!