Oblivious?: A sustainable business to highlight the positive power of questions in our lives.
Her-Age team has interviewed OBLIVIOUS?, a purpose-driven brand founded by a mother and daughter duo, that aim to inspire people to be more curious and ask more questions through creating sustainable fashion and upcycling vintage clothes.
Questions are asked everyday, but many people have forgotten how powerful a question can be and how it can harness the power of one's life.
Thus, OBLIVIOUS? was created after an in-depth conversation about the power of questions to help connect, take better decisions and boost creativity.
● Founded by a mother and daughter duo, How was the idea of "OBLIVIOUS?" initially born? What inspired you to start with it?
There are multiple aspects that led to us creating OBLIVIOUS?: We have always had a close-knit relationship and very similar interests and taste in fashion and design, which we have naturally bonded over. Over the years, our creativity and curiosity has often made us discuss potential business ideas and projects (this has happened since Jacquie was around 7 years old), but often without the intention to move forward with them - the timing wasn’t right, the ideas didn’t quite stick or it wasn’t quite feasible. When Jacquie was finishing her studies, we had a conversation about the power of questions and that idea really stuck with us.
We started thinking about how we could highlight this positive power, combining it with our love for fashion and the understanding that clothing is a way for us to express ourselves and inspire others - in this case, a platform to increase curiosity and to ask more questions. We were so convinced by our idea
that we decided this was the moment in time: to start a business together.
While we knew that inspiring people to ask more questions was the main purpose of OBLIVIOUS?, we knew if we were to put anything new into the world, we would do it as responsibly and sustainably as possibly. Because we pride ourselves on asking questions, we felt it was necessary to question the standard fashion practices and work on being a more sustainable fashion
● "OBLIVIOUS?" claims to use the power of questions. Why did you
create a question based concept, and what makes this so
unique and approachable by the clients?
Asking questions is something we do naturally and we do so everyday. It’s easy & always accessible - however it seems we forget how helpful it can be to ask more of them and ask the right ones: to create a greater understanding of ourselves, to improve our relationships with others, to make better decisions, to fuel our creativity and learn more about the world around us. We really
wanted to create a ‚reminder‘ to ask more questions, which has led us to create items that are statement pieces and conversation starters, that people would want to wear as they relate to the question, but also to inspire others.
We believe that our Question led approach makes us differ from other slogan based brands, alongside our aim for sustainability. As humans we are hardwired to pay attention to questions and want to answer them - we play on that desire with our brand.
● As a purpose driven brand, how are you setting or
creating sustainable fashion that highlights the power of
We started out offering premium casual ready-to-wear for Men and Women, meaning T-shirts and Hoodies that are made from a 100% GOTS certified Organic Cotton and produced in Europe. We wanted to offer casual chic items
that were fashion-forward and minimalist with a sliver of a streetwear aesthetic. We still focus on these, however we now also create Upcycled Items.
As a brand wanting to be more (!) sustainable, we wanted this to run throughout the whole brand. This includes packaging being recycled and / or recyclable, as well as details such as hangtags or our labels being printed, instead of extra fabric being used, printing our items with eco-friendly inks etc. We have been steering clear or plastics as much as possible and have also introduced Pre Orders, as well as items being made on demand, so that we can make sure we only produce the quantities needed.
● Upcycling has become an emerging trend among consumers
who want to draw attention to the problems of overproduction
and overconsumption. How is your upcycled range created ?
The idea for Upcycling actually came to us very early on, but we only started reworking pieces later on. Our Upcycled Range (currently Blazers & White Shirts) is made using carefully selected Pre-Owned items that we embroider or print with a question and rework in Germany (e.g. crop them). They are statement pieces that are still simple enough to wear frequently - a twist on basics that also give these items a ‚second chance‘ by giving them a new life. Every item is unique, which makes it more exciting for us and our customers and also enables us to be part of another more sustainable approach to the fashion industry.
● Many brands are currently giving the option of Pre-Orders &
Made-on-demand. What are the advantages of this strategy,
and what is the sustainable impact of it ?
To us, made-on-demand is superior, as it truly means we only create what is needed and combat having stock we don’t need. It means we don’t have to guess a quantity, but actually respond to the market and focus our resources - the made-on-demand aspect for us pertains to the printing of the item. We introduced the option of Pre-Ordering after creating a very small batch of our Upcycled Blazers -after the response we wanted to offer people a chance to get their own, but we knew it was going to take time to source them and have
them reworked. Again, it also means we only produce what is needed, but it takes more time.
● Based on your experience in having a brand following a
sustainable business model. What makes a brand truly
Sustainability within the Fashion Industry is difficult to define. There are many different views on this and what is sustainable or what isn’t. This is why we call ourselves a more sustainable brand. There is no way to be a 100% perfectly sustainable, if you are creating something new - however we will always have a
need and want for clothing, which is why we want to do better and be part of a changing industry. To us, being more sustainable means weaving more sustainable options throughout the whole brand - from the fabrics we use, the production, the details and how it arrives with you. Focusing on different ways of
approaching this (e.g. Upcycling and cut & sew made from organic fabrics), as well as focusing on more natural resources and thinking about the after-life of what we create is important too - can it be recycled?
● What is the future of "OBLIVIOUS?" , Where do you see it heading ?
Our aim is to grow as a brand and reach more people - to continue to highlight the power of questions, to inspire people to ask more of them, but also to create fashion-forward items that are comfortable, easy-to-wear, stylish and of premium quality. We hope to expand our collection and include more ways of working more sustainably, upcycling more items & creating conversation-starting pieces. We’d love to create a community of like-minded people and to cater to them and inspire them with questions - so that we all realize that we have this very effective tool with us at all times, we just need to use it.