Getting to Know You: Minna

I love nothing more than hearing about creative people who are doing things that make you look twice. So, I decided to start Getting to Know You, a series of interviews with the talent behind some of the most exciting and inspirational brands, ideas and initiatives out there.

First up is Finish designer, Minna Hepburn who started standout eco-fashion label, Minna. Handmade in the UK from organic, fair trade and recycled materials, Minna also has a zero waste policy which sees all fabric remnants upcycled into embellishments, accessories and a kid’s range. Not only does Minna have serious ethical cred, each ethereal design is ridiculously lust-worthy.

Images from Minna’s S/S 10 Collection

Let’s get to know Minna…

C: Why have you decided to take an ethical fashion stance?

M: I used to supply a high street company, witnessed the short shelf life of fashion, 6 seasons a year and the never-ending rush to produce something new and exciting. I did not feel passionate about what I was doing and decided to take some time off and research the ethical fashion sector. After all, the designers have the power to decide what fabrics they are using. Why not using organic or fair trade fabrics?

My brand has a story to tell and most pieces are one-of-a-kind the way they are embellished. I think each piece should have a story to tell and I think I have succeeded based on the customer feedback. I am constantly pushing the boundaries and my next collection will utilise some very high tech fabrics showing that being green is not boring.

C: So, what is inspiring you at the moment?

M: I do not know where to start. From the beginning I open my eyes in the morning, I am inspired. My worse enemy is time. I have 2 young children that take a lot of my time. I love being a mommy but sometimes it is frustrating when you have ideas and you do not have time to make it happen. At the moment, I am thinking about my next collection and I am so full of ideas. I love Summer and always find easier to design my Summer collection. That must come from my Finnish roots as Summers in Finland are magical!

C: And what trends are captivating your attention?

M: I never stop working. Even when I am in the playground with my children, I am always looking for starting to inspire me. I draw inspiration from my travels, interior designs, blogs, magazines and people around me. It is never ending and exhausting as I have so many idea but I tend to forget them if I do not write them down….

C: Us Melbournians are known for our fashion love affair with black. But why did you decide that all pieces in your A/W11 collection should be black, black, black?

M: I always wear dark colours when it is winter. Maybe it is my Finnish background, but Scandinavians are minimalists and love pieces that are wardrobe stables. Or maybe it is that I am getting older and wanted to wear black and dresses only, which would really suit my busy lifestyle. After all, black goes with everything. I also watched a lot of black and white films and was inspired how the women always wore dresses and looked so effortlessly dressed up and chic.

C: Running a thriving business and being a hands-on mum sometimes leads to a divided heart. How do you keep both balls in the air?

M: Running a business and a family means constant multitasking and I am often seen cooking, sorting out the laundry and the kids, while ordering fabrics. It is exhausting and you can only do it if you are passionate and love what you are doing. My son Hayden is an expert with fabrics as I often have to drag him with me to sourcing trips. The key is to have help and I have amazing babysitters and au pairs at hand. Without them I could not do this as family comes first!

C: And finally, what’s next for Minna

M: At the moment, I am so busy with orders. We have new stockists opening every week and I think next season will be exciting. We are moving into new offices and will start working with a local charity that supports young people who have had some tough time in their lives. I am so excited about this project and will see that growing very quickly. I am hoping to show in Paris next season so we are currently doing a thorough market analysis of all the cool shops in France who to contact. Not that I need any more projects but we are keeping our pop-up shop schedule busy, one taking place in Helsinki 7 – 8 May and one planned for London with other cool green labels, and possibly one in North America in Autumn.

Minna is available from Harrods and Anthropologie in the UK, and exclusively at Eco Fashionista in Australia.

9 Comments » | posted on by | posted in FASHION,Style | tags: ,