At Pelagona, sustainability translates into long-lasting pieces which are exceptionally made and which you will hopefully love for a long time.
Each piece is the result of months of designing, sourcing and producing with the highest possible quality of materials and partners who share our values and empower the people who made our products. Our philosophy is that luxury stands for high quality materials, impeccable craftsmanship, ethical work places with fair wages and preservation of knowledge, skills and traditional techniques.
We are constantly experimenting and looking for innovative ways to make our product development, supply chain and operations more sustainable.
I wanted to create a brand which sells more than just a beautiful product. I always have the Pelagona Woman in mind: genuine luxury means that by buying an item she loves, she contributes to empowering the people who made it, preserving knowledge and culture and protecting our environment.
Working with artisans is the most important part of our brand-DNA. Luxury comes from appreciating craftsmanship, effort and artistry. We celebrate the people and their stories behind every product and seek to empower artisans by increasing the potential reach of their skills and contribute to sustainable income opportunities. Therefore, we opted for a slower-paced model and invest a lot of time to build up trusted relationships with local artisans, ateliers and family businesses.
Furthermore, we aim to partner with organisations and/or female-run businesses who also give opportunities to female artisans. Pelagona is based on long-term relationships and trust and we pay the artisans promptly and fairly. We have deep respect for the local culture. Our designs are co-created and we not only appreciate the knowledge and skills of our partners but also listen to the meaning of the work, patterns and designs. We do not appropriate the local culture, we want to celebrate the artistry and our design development takes into account the geographic specificity and meaning of artisanal works, techniques and motifs.
Our founder’s ties to Asia let her experience the negative impact of globalisation at first hand. Liz saw that increasingly, traditional artisanry has been replaced by mass-production under questionable circumstances or even employing slave labour. No matter if it was cheap finds at local markets, fast-fashion items at global brands or luxury products – unethical und unsustainable practices can, unfortunately, be found anywhere.
Many of these traditional techniques are at the verge of disappearing. Hand-embroidery, for example, is a time- and cost-intensive craft. Due to mass production, many types of weaving or embroidery have become financially unattractive for the artisans who have handed down their knowledge from generation to generation. They often cannot compete with the lower quality machine-made items which may look similar from afar. Furthermore, many companies try to cut cost by replacing handmade techniques by machines. However, the difference in quality is obvious. A fully hand-embroidered item speaks volumes via its intricacy, quality and beauty. We believe that these traditions and skills are worth preserving.
We do not follow short-term trends as we want you to cherish your Pelagona item for a very long time. Furthermore, we do not overproduce for the sake of following the event calendar of the fashion industry. Instead of mass products in big quantities, Pelagona focuses on selected designs and on handmade high-quality items which are made to last. This process requires a lot of time. Hence, we produce in small batches to celebrate their uniqueness as well as the traditions which inspired them.
Every item itself has a story to tell – the one about the people who made it, the tradition influencing it, the skills required to make it.
High-quality materials are the core of our production. We aim to minimise the use of synthetic fabric, such as polyester, and also aim at increasing the share of natural dyes. We also try to find smart ways to avoid waste. For example, many of our garments are made-to-order. Secondly, for some pieces, we find smart ways to deal with leftover fabric from the production of other garments and turn it into limited edition items.
Our sustainability effort does not stop at the garments and other items we produce. Packaging is a huge part of our sustainability efforts. We try to minimize unnecessary packaging, source from recycled and certified sustainable sources and try to offer packaging which may be reused after the shipment. We also aim to minimize our use of single use and virgin plastic and paper.