Wealth and Elegance 2.0
by Ingrid Bruha, ethical fashion designer
The day I inherited my grandmother’s fur coats–then a symbol of wealth and elegance–I stared at them. I did not want to wear them, nor did I want to throw them away. I had never agreed with the necessary cruelty to produce these coats. But getting rid of them was not an option either: It would have meant killing the animals a second time. So, I ripped them apart; I added the pieces to the bags I was designing; and consciously, I created luxurious totes, pouches and clutches with mostly products that were either recycled or unused leftovers.
I invested into two ideas: to protect our resources and to invest into a circular economy; two ideas that are growing fast across all industries.
A Stylish Elevator for an Ethical Bag
As published in First Class Life magazine | Mexico
There is an old elevator in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, so old that there are no buttons to push, but instead, a cable to maneuver expertly once the primitive steel doors are closed. This is as vintage as it can be: breathing life into memories and ghostly stories alike while eluding a romantic New York, a far cry from the Hudson Yards that recently opened just a few blocks away to the West.
Once inside the third-floor loft, painted in dark and woody colors, a feeling of entering a special world takes the visitor even further. The furniture is a balanced mix between antique tables and lamps found in flea markets and modern sofas and tables. On the right, a small corner office is filled with leather pieces, bouts of fur, African jewelry and a dozen of handbags: clutch, shoulder, tote, crossbody and pouch styles. They are all part of the collection that Ingrid Bruha, a French woman who moved back to the United States with her American husband Sheldon and their three children in 2013, has created for her eponymous and fast-growing brand.
Ethical Fashion: UpCycle!
Fire chat with Gabriella Smith, the founder of the UpCycle Project
Passionate about fashion and an entrepreneur at heart, Gabriella Smith wanted to be disruptive. Her clothes had to be more than just a brand, more than just beautiful. “I wanted a story of purpose, respect, transparency and reasonability.” So, after a first corporate experience at Estée Lauder, she launched The UpCycle Project, “an education platform to raise awareness of the waste the fashion industry creates by developing hands-on workshops, student mentorship programs, debates, as well as innovative events and products to develop circular solutions for fashion and other industries.”