Has Pura Utz become a fashion brand?
Hmmmm… Let’s start somewhere else without providing a politician response (i.e. change the subject). 😁😁😁
The past months have for sure been eventful.
We feel blessed to have grown and become long roads of experience and knowledge older (hopefully, fingers crossed, wiser as well, wink, wink 😉🤞).
We are beyond grateful for all the love and support that have allowed us to grow throughout the covid crisis (which is still a reality - we know that!!!). We have experienced more love than ever before and been endorsed by people we look up to and admire. Thank you for that, it means everything! MEGA AMOOOOOR***
It is, however, with mixed feelings that we see ourselves become increasingly engaged with a system that we love and hate at the same time: the fashion system. Ugh, things are getting real now but let’s get to it…
Today’s fashion system relies on a growth logic that expects infinite resources of a finite world (World Resources Institute 2017). It is an inherently unsustainable and ugly system that rests on linear take-make-waste business models where new products are designed and produced at an ever-increasing pace (Skjold 2015; Fletcher 2015). We feel the pressure, that’s for sure!!!
No matter whether we like it or not, fashion is a constant subject to novelty and change. Going forward, we can no longer say that we are fully independent of that.
We call Pura Utz an empowerment project and our mission is the same as always: To be a vessel for change and help increase self-worth and agency through economic growth and opportunities. Our products are not designed to improve life in the sense that they are saving lives. Let’s be honest: Nobody needs a new necklace. This is where the ugliness taps in!
Despite being marketed and sold as commercial products, our designs are brought to life in the pursuit of meaning and purpose. Generating profit, they are a necessary vehicle for impact in the sense that we would not change anything without them.
Pura Utz is more a project than a fashion brand. But we are and have increasingly become a project that operates in a fashion system. Thus, we are increasingly limited by it. Being a project that operates in the fashion system, we are also a business. We choose to be a business and not a non-profit organization because we believe that the commitment we make towards each other as women and team is more equal when it is transactional and based on mutual dependency. It does not eradicate privileges and unequal division of power in the value chain of production and consumption (that’s an old and crazy colonial factor that has deep, deep roots). By working transparently and sharing everything we do with all our team members, paying fair and just salaries and giving the honor where it is long due is how we try to defy this.
In a fashion system where businesses compete on novelty and change, consumers want to see new products all the time. Thus, it is nearly a requirement for brands to introduce new products again and again if they want to stay relevant. Being an empowerment project that operates in a fashion system this is our reality.
We want to stay relevant but we do not want to participate in a consumerist fashion system where products are designed and produced to lose their value in little or no time. We neither can nor will compete on speed. That is simply not us! Our pace is slow, and we want our products to last, be loved and have value many years ahead. Our FRUTAS come in glass beads; they won’t wither. 🙏🙏🍒
Irrespective of the fact that we are moving forward and starting new chapters, we will take all Pura Utz memories with us. If or whenever we introduce a new design, we encourage you to remember that nothing Pura Utz is ‘so last season’ in the fashion way. Everything we do is made with love, so facing a new design should not make you any less happy about your previous Pura Utz purchases. 🙂🙃🙂🙃🙂
We don’t introduce new designs to devalue older ones. We do it out of love and being entangled in this awkward relationship with a fashion system that we love and hate at the same time. ☯️🍊
We are not a fashion brand but we operate in a fashion system that has increasingly imposed itself on us. We hope it will accept us for who we are and that we will have the required strength to resist its attempts to change us.
Shout out to those - businesses, people and those in between - who make quality win over quantity and refuse to perceive speed as a success criterion. We will do the same! 🤝🤝
Team Pura Utz ❤️
Fletcher, K. (2015). Other fashion systems. I K. Fletcher, & M. Tham, Routledge
Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion (s. 13-24). London & New York: Routledge.
Skjold, E. (2015). Towards fashion media for sustainability. I K. Fletcher, & M. Tham,
Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion (s. 171-180). London & New York:
World Resource Institute (WRI). (5. July 2017). By the Numbers: The Economic,
Social and Environmental Impacts of “Fast Fashion”. Derived from World Resource Institute: https://www.wri.org/blog/2019/01/numbers-economic-social-and-environmental-impacts-fast-fashion (15. February 2022).
Text by Mette Dalgaard
Artwork by Marie Heissel
Imagery by Stephanie Geddes