Sustainable Fashion w/ ByTimo
“She wants something more than just a label! She cares about the story behind the garment. She wants to know how the garment is made, that it is made of good quality, that it feels great to her skin, makes her feel feminine and strong, and that it is unique!”
When I discovered byTiMo and found this quote on their site, I knew I had stumbled upon something special that spoke to my soul. With this new phase I am moving into in my life, focusing on my own health and wellness, I have been learning a lot more about how our environment, the food we put in our mouths, the supplies we use to clean, and the media all directly affect our physical and mental well being. Not only has this prompted me to work on changing my diet, and how I treat the earth I walk on, it also has turned my interests towards sustainable and eco-friendly fashion brands, as fashion has been my life for the past 8 years. Knowing the story behind the clothing I am purchasing, where and how it’s made and it’s quality is becoming increasingly important to me.
ByTiMo, headquartered in Oslo, Norway really caught my eye with their timeless, romantic, vintage inspired collections. Adorned with floral fabrics, lovely lace, and classic feminine silhouettes, it satisfies the girly girl in me without being too demanding on my wallet. With an emphasis on high standards and attention to every little detail, byTimo makes sure to create ethical products that are built with integrity. From recycling dyed water so that no colored wastewater will pollute rivers or drinking water near the factories, making sure their workers are being paid fairly and have proper working conditions and hours, to being mindful about taking care of the animals that are giving them the cotton, silk and wool. Not only do they do good by producing an ethical fashion line, they also do good by supporting charities. They work with women’s homes and shelters by providing care packages and also by giving away byTiMo water bottles to guests at events, where one bottle given away provides a lifetime supply of water to one person in Kenya.
On the website, founder Tine Mollat mentions, “I can feel that we are experiencing a grand shift in trends, both mentally and physically. The woman that is feminine, yet powerful, who has confidence and who speaks up for herself, who is an individual and is inspiring in every way! This is what I believe in, and I can now see that this will be the forthcoming trend.” I myself hope for this trend to continue to manifest as well, within myself, and for woman around the world. I have great respect for brands that are truly creating art, with principle and are pushing for change in the fashion world, to benefit humanity overall. Hopefully someday ethical production will become the norm, and fast fashion that sacrifices integrity for quick money will be unfamiliar. Until then, I’ll continue down my journey of finding and supporting brands like byTiMo with hope to create this shift!
All that being said, I was so inspired by the brand and what I was able to learn on the site, I reached out to byTimo with hopes of snagging an interview with Creative Director Tine Mollat. Luckily they were willing and as an added bonus, I was also able to get my hands on the Fall collection to create this exclusive editorial that you see above. Check out the wise words from Tine Mollat below.
-What inspired you to start byTimo and to move into sustainable fashion?
After working in the commercial and very greedy part of the fashion industry for many years I wanted to create my own universe, without compromising on my values and ethical beliefs. I did not want to cut costs simply because I wanted to make more money. I wanted to create an honest business that created long lasting, beautiful feminine clothing.
-Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love vintage and have always been very inspired by vintage fashion, and today, my collections are almost one hundred percent inspired by vintage and antique designs. I have a huge archive, with everything from slip dresses and lingerie from the 20’s, beautiful dresses, coats and so much more! Vintage hunting in cities like Tokyo and New York is really my favorite activity.
-What themes tend to influence your work?
I’ve always felt very inspired by the Far East and the stories of the ancient Orient. Things like the Geishas, porcelain and kimonos, its something about it! Yin and yang and finding the balance in a look, an outfit, colors and prints inspires me every season!
-Who is the byTimo girl? Who would you love to see wearing byTimo?
The byTiMo girl is strong and independent, yet, she is playful, and she dares to be feminine and romantic! She has a cultivated hard-earned free spirit, all delivered with emotion and individualism. She cares about the process behind the garments and how the world and environment is treated. A girl that embodies these qualities, will always be my dream girl to dress!
-Who are your top retailers?
Its hard to say, I feel very humble to be in so many stores at this point, and I appreciate each and every one of them just as much! Yet, I have always had a dream of seeing my designs at Dover Street Market, which has always been a huge inspiration for me.
-Do you think sustainable fashion will start to be the norm someday/ where do you see sustainable fashion going in the next 5 years?
I created byTiMo 12 years ago with the ethos of offering sustainable, long lasting fashion at a justifiable price. And I did this, without using it as a marketing tool. Today, it has become more normal to say it out loud, which is great, and the consumers are demanding more as well. I think brands will become more and more sustainable, as both the brands and the consumers are demanding them to!
-Can you walk me through the process of making a sustainable article of clothing? What is the main criteria to choosing where you manufacture your product?
For me, the whole process matters. The fabric should be long lasting, and be made with the least harm to the environment. The factory workers must have decent working conditions, salaries and working hours. And, when the consumer wears my designs, it should last for seasons. And here it comes back to my vintage inspiration again, by being inspired by timeless designs, my collections can be used season after season as it is more season less.
-What countries would you say are the leading manufacturers for sustainable clothing?
I think several countries are great to work with for sustainable fashion, it all comes down to the individual factories and how they work. We work with factories in India, China, Portugal and Poland.
-Is it more cost effective to produce sustainable clothing as opposed to standard production?
No, it’s not. But I have never believed in cutting costs, simply to make a higher profit. Sustainability, ethics and long lasting fabrics, do cost.
-What’s next for byTimo?
Right now I’m excited to launch byTiMo in China the upcoming year. I’m also working on a new project involving social entrepreneurship. The byTiMo concept will be taken even further, and I simply can’t wait to get started!
Such an inspiring woman and brand, I myself can’t wait to follow along and see the beauty byTimo continues to bring to the world!
Is sustainable fashion something you are interested in and would like to see become the norm? Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below!