Madara Freimane x Stories by DEVERDI TALKS

Madara Freimane x Stories by DEVERDI TALKS

LR: Hi Madara, what do you do?

MF: Hi Laia, I’m a photographer and videographer so, I work with different sustainable brands, all in the industry of fashion and beauty. I always want to work with someone that has a good impact, and that they care about the same things I do. I also created WYL and as I would say, before covid life, we organized some events in which we did like clothes swaps which was a cool way to be sustainable. Some events were more about network and bringing people together. I also created YouTube videos as part of my sustainable wardrobe where I interview people and show things that are in their wardrobe and kind of talk about their lives. But always trying to talk about sustainability in an aspirational and exciting way.


LR: Can you tell us a bit about the reason you started WYL and what would you like to achieve? 

MF: I started WYL when I was studying at university. I studied at the London Colleague of Fashion and I wanted to go and work in the fashion industry so I kind of mainly had to explore behind the scenes and then it was kind of several years ago when from there, I started WYL as an excuse to meet people and do things better. Now I’m just so excited to see how the world has changed and how there are many new brands over there, showing that sustainability can be cool in a way to create a brand and see how innovative they can be beyond the brand as doing resale, rental and also by being ethical and sustainable.


LR: Have you always been sustainably minded in the way you live your life or is this something that has evolved for you?

MF: I would say both, I started when I was a teenager with a massive wardrobe because I like fashion but after moving to London (I have to say that I am from Latvia originally) was so excited to see all these new brands in the same city. But for the other side was kind of like everything was a bit disappointing like expensive luxury fashion brands that a product is a new goal to get in the industry and in the high-street brands, for example, an item can be very similar to another one from a different luxury brand so that was a disappointment, to realize: “How am I able to afford the brands that I am excited about?” I always joked that I grow up in the forest and a lot of running and sports and things like that because there is a lot of nature, and then also Latvia is far less populated than here but before moving here I didn’t think about sustainability in fields like fashion and it came later on.


LR: What is your best advice for anyone looking to be more considerate of our natural world at this time?

MF: I would say for me, a kind of minimalism and nothing eccentric but kind of in a sense where you get things that you need and you get things you really like and everything that you own will have a purpose, I think that’s the easiest way, is eliminate things that you actually don’t need and that’s why nature would be more sustainable. And then looking at again at the quality that something is amazing on view but also it would last and I think it will allow nature would be more sustainable so figuring out new materials and things like that and then beyond that, for me, very easy way to shop sustainability is second hand but then I also have a love cool designer brands in platforms like eBay finding like these cool things that maybe can cost you £100 but it’s something affordable that you know you didn't have to bring it new it’s also another way to be more sustainable.


LR: Do you have any health or wellness tips that you are following?

MF: I find ways which like I feel is a personal choice, but it works more for me, I like to work out, I love running and it mentally helped me to go throughout the whole Covid, it didn’t matter what you could or couldn’t do as it was always allowed to go for a run. Those are the two main things and then everything with a balance but the normal things like meditation, use natural skincare, I worked with some amazing beauty brands that are good for you keeping it minimal but being organic and sustainable. I guess, just incorporating everything in your life should be easy for you and to be part of your life.


LR: How do you inform yourself throughout the day? What are you listening, watching, reading to inspire yourself?

MF: Here, my obsession with the SPACE. A few years ago, I watched this documentary, I think it’s called Harvest space program, and it was this whole at the end of the movie where people know the story about the universe and the solar system and they turned back the cameras and the earth was a really tinny and I think this concept gives you a concept of how we live in our space all together there’s nowhere to move at this point if we completely ruin this planet. And this gave me a new perspective and it also keeps me excited for all this space exploration so within that I love this podcast called Danielle and exploring the universe it’s like 40 minutes each episode and they take a topic, and they talk about anything space and physics-related.

I love things around innovation in all kinds of industries. All kinds of personality really in people things like that. I always like innovations as it keeps me often in the post situation and we are more excited instead of being sad or worried about what it’s going on.


LR: What are life’s small pleasures for you right now?

MF: Right now, is everything that you couldn’t do when we were in Lockdown so things like going to exhibitions, I think this is kind super exciting to go again and meeting your friends and going for a coffee date or for food, like small trips to places that we also couldn’t go before. After the pandemic, I’m scheduling and I work around with my fun because we didn’t have fun for a year and a half, so I think the goal is to see new people and talk to them as before covid I used to like to meet interesting people and I think that was amazing.


LR: Could you please recommend to us your top 3 local and independent ethical brands that you usually buy?

MF: I buy things very slowly but first that I would like to mention is my friend Hannah Fielder and that I also work with, it’s just her clothing is very expensive (but I will get there one day!) but it’s the craftsmanship of how it’s done, I was seeing the production, the fitting and seeing how much they invested in developing a garment, for example, she has trousers that would have a zipper line so it would be easier to put them or like a jacket with a belt so like in a sense work you can do the waist wider or smaller depends on how’s your body shape and I feel if something tries anything like that and then buy fast fashion when sometimes the garments are transparent by no reason or like sometimes doesn't fit at all, instead she invests the time taking lots of details and the tailoring and you see how her clothing fits you so well and with natural fabrics and everything is made in London, and she invested a lot in every garment.

Also, a very exciting scene that brands that you in general I love from Instagram or wherever that they have installed more sustainability and are incorporating it in the brand, I think that’s in the last a few years where the brands are leaning towards being more sustainable like a Spanish brand that they are applying a recycle denim or they use recycled fabric for swimwear so just they are not that fast fashion anymore, they also have more sustainable materials and so I really enjoy that.

And another Instagram brand J.Hannah, Is very excited from them they really managed to scale the brand to the point that that’s the full idea behind them and they have a lot of sustainability that people really wanted for the brand story and they had a massive investment so far but is just cool to see the success stories that can inspire other people seeing also that they can also create something that is that successful and then sustainability is not a compromise, is the future.


LR: What is making you feel optimistic at this time?

MF: I think for me is something that we mention before now sustainability is much more accessible, exciting and also there are more ways to be sustainable so before if you were compromising in buy a sustainable brand like 100% there or it was too expensive for you and now, first of all, you have an option like rent or second-hand and then you can go to buy something. There are big companies that are successful within that, and I really love that there is a lot of innovation in materials. I have a friend who works in a technic fashion I think that if realized in the future on the scale could be extremely excited to see where everything happens in which stage of creating a garment that’s also an option so it’s a piece of liable information for when you want to purchase a garment, to understand how it was made. Also seeing brands like Prada having recyclable Nylon and things like that.


LR: Finally, what does ethical fashion mean to you? 

MF: For me, I kind of go shopping or I want to buy something I look into a new brand and I look into this two aspects which is one I would say the ethics which would be the humans side looking at who made it, how they were paid, how they were treated and all that.

Thinking if they are being paid the national minimum wage and they are respected from what they are creating and then on the sustainability side we have the materials and all the other aspects like shipping, packaging and all these little things that come with the sustainability and really understanding the impact in nature of these products for me. The garment is kind of a must to have both if I want to buy something like that and that’s what I mean for ethical/sustainable.


Know more about Madara´s journey here.

Find more #DeVerdiStories here.

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