The Design Behind the Eco-Conscious Fashion Brand in Singapore

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Do Eco-Friendly Fashion Brands Have It All?

Fashion Designers appear to have it all. What images do you conjure up when envisioning the lifestyle of a fashion designer in Singapore or anywhere else for that matter? Socialising, networking, trips around Asia and extravagant lunches? Not to mention private financing that allows for the hiring of a team of designers and PR guru's? Well, while that would be AMAZING and true for some (possibly) it's so far removed from the truth and reality of what us sincere independant designers are going through and especially as an eco-friendly fashion designer where road blocks are already in our way. So, my lovely friend, it is incredibly important to support local businesses right now and in the future.

As an eco-conscious fashion brand in Singapore I choose to approach my designs from a different angle, a different market. I have deliberately chosen to become a sustainable fashion brand or if you like a responsible fashion brand (I think ''responsible'' sums the term up more simply. This really is the cherry on the top for you my wonderful friend who may already own a piece of Michelle Schulz. Of course if you don't, yet, now is a great time to browse the store as it's full of sale pieces.

What does this mean exactly? Sustainable is defined differently depending on who you ask and what part of any given process they are discussing. Essentially a business should make sure that all cogs in the wheel take into consideration and actively seek to continue to improve environmental and socio-economic factors in all that it does. In fact this is such a major global issue that the United Nations Member States in 2015 laid out a blueprint of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) that many of us eco-conscious fashion brands in Singapore are embracing.

Here's what Michelle Schulz embraces:

A slow fashion approach
A minimal waste approach
Using only natural and organic fabrics
Use of recycled stationary products

What is my slow fashion approach?

First I really need to consider the function and versatility of my designs. It is so important to me that my designs are wearable for almost any occasion. They need longevity and to be considered a timeless addition to your wardrobe which is why I adore classic shapes and understated simplicity. Don't you too?

"I love to imagine you thoughtfully considering your day and what impression you would like to make before you carefully select your outfit and step out into the sunshine."

I try to put myself in your shoes. I'm a busy Mother who is running Michelle Schulz but am also 100% around for the kids, making the dinners, cleaning the house and yes dog walking (my 2 adorable Dalmatians) it's exhausting and I need clothes that work with me. This is why you will find so many pieces in the shop that are in fact ''elevated ladies work clothes''.

I have always been adamant that my designs should be limited-edition too, steering away from fast-fashion by being, well, slow fashion. What do I mean by limited-edition? Well, unlike fast-fashion brands I can honestly say I do limited-edition (which is probably a huge weakness for my books but I'm passionate about this). To date each of my styles have been capped at 25 pieces across all sizes in that style except for one style which went to 32 pieces. Now future designs may fluctuate from these earlier preferences, who knows, but I will always keep returning to my ethos of a slow fashion approach.

What is my minimal waste approach?

Well, first let me say that I am in absolute awe of sustainable fashion brands who acheive a status of zero-waste, have you heard of this practise? There are very few eco-friendly fashion brands in Singapore diving into this area but there are a number of zero-waste stores to drop by*. Zero-waste is as the name suggests zero-waste, where every part of the fabric cut for the garment is done so by clever pattern-cutting techniques. There's a cool designer called Zero Waste Daniel who effortlessly corners this niche. However I am not in that league but do strive for minimal waste women's clothing designs. I keep all the fabric leftovers from the production stage and where possible use this to create small bags in which to package my clothing in. Additionally as part of my Green Initiative we encourage you to return your pre-loved Michelle Schulz items in exchange for a voucher to be used against future collections. What do we do with your returned items? They will be thoroughly cleaned and recycled into more packaging bags. How does this help? It stops us from needing to use plastic packaging even biodegradable types or even from having to produce any new packaging bags, reusable ones or otherwise. Ultimately it is better to practice to reduce, reuse and recycle techniques!

Only the natural approach will do.