Meet FiercelyGreen Founder Yana Averbukh
Q1: Your career experience in the Luxury Retail Industry is very impressive. Can you tell us about what brought you into the industry?
YA: I have been working in retail for over a decade and my philosophy has always been to keep learning and exploring different facets of the industry. Luxury Retail is a great platform for learning about branding, building value into your products and cultivating lasting relationships with your clients.
Q2: We are sure your experience has prepared you for your curated online boutique, FiercelyGreen. Can you tell us how you got the idea to start a high fashion Eco-friendly boutique?
YA: The idea for FiercelyGreen first came to me while I was working on a project for an entrepreneurship class in a MBA program. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to leverage their experience while zeroing in on a future business idea. I was always curious about eco-fashion but saw very few examples of it in my day to day. As I started to do research and learn about current state of the retail industry and the amount of waste it generates, the reason and really the need for eco-fashion became apparent. However, when I actually tried to purchase a sustainably made item (I still remember it was a black pair of pants) I realized that it was nearly impossible to find. In that moment, the niche and need for a high fashion sustainable retail store became apparent.
YA: I look for beautiful design that is intertwined with an eco-friendly and sustainable manufacturing and sourcing. Each designer I currently feature on my site has been able to integrate at least one of these processes into their line. For instance, Madera Rogers, designer of MerelyMe, sources linen from Ireland where it is manufactured using cold water. She then designs and manufactures locally in Brooklyn, NY. She was able to partner with a sewing collective, which employs women who are looking for job re-entry to manufacture her ready-to-wear.
Q4: Why do you feel it is important to wear Eco-Fashion?
YA: The desire and need to purchase new clothes is not likely to decrease in the future. At the same time, people are becoming more aware of the negative side effects of current retail manufacturing processes and resulting need to protect the environment and their own health. With that reality in mind I think it’s the perfect time for eco-fashion industry to show consumers that they don’t have to sacrifice on style, while choosing an item that is either made from organic fabric or was sustainably produced. Wearing eco-fashion not only makes you feel good because you are wearing a beautiful item, but also because you are making a positive impact on the environment and, or community by supporting these upcoming eco-designers.
American Flora, another designer featured on FiercelyGreen is a line of beautiful beach wraps inspired by the beauty of natural world. Each garment is made with Repreve Polyester fabric created using recycled water bottles – the greenest, most comfortable performance fabric on the market, which ensures the ultimate combination of luxury and total green integration, from material to manufacturing.
Q5: Where do you see the future of Eco-Fashion clothing, down the road maybe five years from now?
YA: Eco-fashion is slowly increasing its footprint and influence. As more people become aware of the harsh cost of current manufacturing practices, as well as, availability of more positive options, the switch toward greener processes will hopefully become inevitable. The smaller designers, such as those on FiercelyGreen are able to pivot their supply chain much faster than the big established brands, at the same time their influence is very limited by their size, which is why it is so important to give them visibility because of the green ripple effect they will help to perpetuate in the industry in the future.
Q6: What is your best eco-fashion tip for some of our readers interested in starting their very own Organic and Eco wardrobe?
YA: Switching to eco-fashion does not mean tossing everything you own and starting from scratch! I think a lot of people are put off by the idea that they have to invest in a brand new wardrobe at once, which is not the case. My goal is to try to find an eco-friendly or sustainable option for each new item I need or want. This way I am slowly integrating eco-fashion into my wardrobe. Each eco-designer has their own aesthetic and the goal of my site is to bring together a wide assortment, which would satisfy different tastes. By signing up for newsletter on FiercelyGreen you can stay on top of every new designer who joins the site and easily find your new favorites!