Blog 1612 Margaret Hermione 1

Mar­ga­ret and Her­mio­ne: sus­tainab­le swim­we­ar strai­ght out of the sea

Thinking about how we (the human race) pollute our world it’s easy to feel very bad. Vienna based swimwear brand 'Margaret and Hermione' turn this immense pollution into something beautiful.

The desi­gner duo crea­te uni­que and high qua­li­ty swim­suits using fab­ric made out of old fishing nets found in the oce­an. The label pro­du­ces in Euro­pe in a trans­pa­rent envi­ron­ment under strict qua­li­ty con­trol, com­bi­ning a sus­tainab­le, eco-friend­ly atti­tu­de that coun­ter­acts the often undis­cer­ning fashion ste­reo­ty­pe. They pro­ve that the cli­ché of green clot­hing being beige and bul­ky real­ly isn’t true, ins­tead sel­ling color­ful, humo­rous biki­nis and swim­suits for every body type. Bar­ba­ra Göl­les (who­se grand­ma’s name was Mar­ga­ret) is respon­si­ble for ever­ything design, her part­ner in crime Andrea Kol­lar (who­se grand­ma was Her­mio­ne) illus­tra­tes all the prints by hand. The two met during their stu­dies and direct­ly felt the con­nec­tion and the aim to do some­thing big­ger than clothing.

How important is fami­ly to you?
A: We both have a very clo­se con­nec­tion to our fami­lies, alt­hough they don’t live in Vien­na. My fami­ly lives in Lower Aus­tria, Bar­ba­ra’s live in Sty­ria.
B: Both our par­ents are self-employ­ed and run their own busi­ness. Our fami­lies are super proud of us.

What made you take the step to found your own brand?
A: Bar­ba­ra and I first met during our stu­dies under Raf Simons at the Uni­ver­si­ty of App­lied Arts in Vien­na. After gra­dua­ting, Bar­ba­ra worked for Alex­an­der McQueen in Lon­don and Mühl­bau­er Hat Manu­fac­tu­rers in Vien­na. I worked as an inde­pen­dent illus­tra­tor. Begin­ning 2015 we both knew that it was the right time to found our own brand.

Blog 1612 Margaret Hermione

Why swim­we­ar?
A: Tha­t’s simp­le: I love to swim…
B: … and I love sum­mer but it was hard to find the right swimwear.

Tell us more about your uni­que fab­ric…
B: The raw mate­ri­al for our designs are fishing nets which are no lon­ger in use and are found floa­ting in the sea or ent­an­gled in wrecks and reefs. Every year, thousands of sea crea­tures perish in der­elict fishing nets. The nets are sub­se­quent­ly pro­ces­sed into yarn and final­ly into swim­we­ar fab­rics. So our fab­ric comes direct­ly from the sea.

What made you rea­li­ze that you can’t use tra­di­tio­nal’ fab­rics any lon­ger?
A: Bar­ba­ra and I both know the impact the fashion indus­try is making on the world, the peop­le who are working in this indus­try and the envi­ron­ment. We are con­vin­ced that the­re are opti­ons and alter­na­ti­ves in this indus­try to manu­fac­tu­re respon­si­b­ly and with care.
B: All of our pro­duc­tion steps are car­ri­ed out in trans­pa­rent con­di­ti­ons and qua­li­ty con­trol in the Euro­pean Uni­on. Our sus­tainab­le fab­ric is just one part of it.

What is the big­gest pro­blem you’re facing becau­se of your choice to pro­du­ce fair­ly and sus­tainab­ly?
The ran­ge of fab­rics and mate­ri­als is very limi­ted, the pro­duc­tion is more expen­si­ve and of cour­se our pri­ces are higher.

How do you ima­gi­ne the future of sus­tainab­le fashion?
Once you see, you can’t un-see. It’s a very long way to go, but we think that sus­tainab­le fashion will be the future of fashion industry.

Blog 1612 Margaret Hermione 2

You make swim­we­ar that suits every woman, how important is body-posi­ti­vi­ty in your work?
B: Women are very cri­ti­cal towards their own bodies. So most of them don’t feel con­fi­dent wea­ring a biki­ni. We design biki­nis and swim­suits that fit many dif­fe­rent body types. We want women to feel con­fi­dent and beau­ti­ful while wea­ring our biki­nis, inde­pen­dent of any body-trends.

neu­bau eye­we­ar finds its crea­ti­ve inspi­ra­ti­on in Vien­na’s 7th district – where/​how do you find new ide­as?
A: I guess living and tal­king with peop­le and of cour­se with each other.
B: It can be ever­ything – just ever­y­day situations.

As both of you are Vien­na based – what’s your favo­ri­te go-to place in the Neu­bau district?
A: I am addic­ted to Viet­na­me­se cui­sine so I love to grab some Pho or Bo Bun at a very small Viet­na­me­se restau­rant cal­led Tiger in Burg­gas­se.
B: It’s Gale­rie Zeit­los in Burggasse/​Kirchengasse. The­re you can have a look at all tho­se beau­ti­ful design classics.

What makes this area spe­cial to you?
A: Neu­bau is super cen­tral and very easy to reach. The­re are all the­se beau­ti­ful small bars and restau­rants.
B: It’s just per­fect to hang out with friends.

Could you ima­gi­ne lea­ving Vien­na to move to ano­t­her city? If so, which one?
A: So far I haven’t found any city I had bet­ter times than here in Vien­na.
B: I love this place, so at the moment no.

Whe­re to spend the next sum­mer holi­days?
A: I like to keep my sum­mer holi­days simp­le. Swim­ming is essen­ti­al to me, so may­be Croa­tia.
B: I would love to go on holi­day now, cau­se I’m real­ly not a win­ter girl. In sum­mer near­ly every place is beautiful.

21 Dez. 2016 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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