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What first sparked your interest in sustainable fashion creations? Tell us more about the story of your brand and it’s mission.
My name is Nía and I am the creative director of my namesake brand Nía Thomas. Slow fashion and accessories designed and made in NYC. Created for all beings who value sustainable ethics and wearable art. I’ve always taken great pleasure in offering consumers products that they will feel amazing wearing while supporting ethical practices.
What drives your motivation and what are your main sources of inspiration?
My main motivation is pushing myself to think outside the box and creatively leave my comfort zone. My art drives me completely mad some days but that passion for it always makes me feel alive in a way that other things don't. I am inspired by my travels and the amazing people I meet through my journeys. Colours, textures and techniques that stand out to me always end up in my work somehow or another. Anything that makes a lasting impact does. My brand is truly an extension of myself, my thoughts, emotions and growth.
What’s your relationship with ever-changing fashion trends?
My brand doesn’t focus on fashion trends. The narrative is based on celebrating individuals not conforming to the masses.
Taking into account that you are a creator that works with challenges every day, what’s in your opinion the biggest challenge of the fashion industry today?
There are endless challenges to being a designer in today’s industry. I’ve tried to maintain my brand's mission statement by keeping my supply chain as clean, unharmful, and as responsible as possible in an industry that depends on fast fashion. Creating collections against the grain of fast fashion and trends is an uphill battle but for a bigger goal. Finding investors/funding/mentorship has been my biggest challenge of 2019. Investors usually don’t want to get involved with funding brands unless the brand is heavily trend and “influencer” focused.
What is your personal view of fast fashion? Do you feel that the industry as a whole is falling a bit behind when comparing to sustainable fashion?
Fast fashion is one of the most environmentally harmful industry in the world. They’re so many human rights violations committed daily, mainly to women and children in fast fashions harsh circle. I feel not enough people are asking themselves simple questions such as: Who made my clothes? What chemicals are in the fabric of the blanket I’m wrapping my newborn child in? Why aren’t as many clothes made in the USA anymore? Why do I continue to buy trendy, poor quality garments every season instead of investing in a well-made piece that will last me years? The industry is falling behind in making their products more ethically sound. Although, as consumers, we have a responsibility to demand more from these companies. They will definitely get the hint when sales go down and sustainable fashion brands sales soar.
Virtually all major clothing companies have a work in progress in the field of sustainability. What makes your brand stand out?
The clothing and accessories my brand produces have the power to transform worlds. They’re instantly metamorphosized into the person they want to be. By holding their heads high wearing something they know is good for the planet but simultaneously gives them confidence. To helping the garment workers and their family make a living without further polluting the planet in the process. My brand encompasses UN Sustainable initiative goals and isn’t pretending to be "eco friendly’’ as a marketing tactic, unlike H&M’s sustainability initiative where all of their garments end up in landfills. There is an increíble high number of brands that are greenwashing which is completely irresponsible.
If you had 3 words to summarize your brand to somebody who didn’t know the brand, which words would you choose?
Sensual, multicultural, sustainable.
What does the future hold for your brand? Any plans you could share with us?
We are excited to announce that in early 2020 The Canvas by Querencia Studios will be selling Nía Thomas New York in their new store located in Antwerp, Belgium. We are also looking forward to debuting a new collection, travelling to new magical locations to shoot our products at and pushing the inclusivity envelope FARTHER. We want to work with as many women as possible to make sure our voices and narratives are apart of every discussion.