Vancouver Fashion Week FW19 - Interview With Ann An, Founder of Blara Organic


Runway images provided by Blara Organic

Please share about your journey to founding Blara Organic House. Why did you choose to create a clothing line and why did you decide have it an organic line?

- Why all organic?

It takes more than 150gms of harmful chemicals to manufacture one garment from convention cotton with chemical dying. And the skin is the largest organ of a body. So, it is important to choose the healthy products.

- Why Vancouver base?

Vancouver is one of the world's most livable cities. It builds everything on top of the natural dying concept.

- Why named BLARA?

A MOTHER IS THE FOUNDER OF THIS ORGANIC BRAND.  THE WHOLE BRAND COMES FROM HER DAUGHTER'S RAINBOW.

"B" in BLARA refers the shape of a pregnant mother. "LARA" is taken from the names of the founder's two children.

 
How did you go about developing a design team? How does the design process work when you have a team instead of a single designer? 

“Slowing Down the Design Process” has always been Blara's design conception.

At Blara, the average design time for a garment is 90 days. It takes more than 3 revisions and 5 model fittings for the garment to reach its finest state and to be presented to customers.

Blara's infant clothing line is finely tuned to perfectly fit the baby’s different stages of growth. We apply several sewing details to our designs such as flat felt seam and flat lock seam on most garments in order to compromise a baby’s delicate skin and to allow completely free movements.

Hence, we need a professional team who has the common mission. 

Describe your brand's design style? Who is your customer? 

Blara's biggest feature is our natural dyeing and organic cotton fabrics. Sustainable fabric is usually used in children's clothing products but we wish to share this safe and comfortable experience with more than just children. Our goal is to make people feel that Blara’s design is based on perfecting the silhouette of comfortness. We work on designing for the perfect fit, practicality, and stylish details in order to suit a diverse market that does not have age and gender boundary. Although Blara mainly produces baby clothing and products but we have begun to carry some looks for adults. Our core customers are mainly eco-minded like us, who values organic, sustainability, and live an eco-friendly lifestyle.. 


I noticed you have a GOTS Global certification and I am sure many of my readers don't know what that means or how important it is to have. Can you share with readers how you get the certification and what it means in terms of your garments?

“The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.”

(information from https://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html)

We are proudly announcing that Blara Organic House is the FIRST clothing brand that receives GOTS certificate of natural dyeing organic cotton. From harvesting of raw materials, through garment processing up to labeling, our processes are ensured to meet The Global Organic Textile Standards. Moreover, the left-over water after dyeing process is safe enough to be used to irrigate directly without having any harmful impact on the environment

We passed all criteria in the certification by once, including the social criteria, which is based on the key norms of the International Labor Organization. To meet the social criteria meaning that all our employees are working under safe and hygienic conditions, and are all fairly paid.

This certification not only shows our concern about the people who are wearing our clothes, but also cares about the Environment and our employees. 


What challenges do you face as an organic GOTS Certified brand? Is it difficult to find the right fabrics? How do you know the dyes they use fit the criteria?

Challenges means more improvements and opportunities. For us the organic fabric with nature dying is a smart choice. However, it takes long to produce this kind of fabric and to apply the certificates. And the most significant thing is we need to tell a story to explain what is GOTS, and WHY SUSTAINABLE IS IMPORTANT.

Where do you find inspiration for new collections? Do your designs change each season or do you add and remove looks to a regular line that stays consistent? 

Our inspiration comes from the details of everyday life. We believe that one important aspect for design is to understand the basis of human needs. It is important to study what people want, and what people are looking for in their life so we can provide the market with customers’ need. We believe that loving life also help us realize the beautiful scenery and people around us which also becomes a big part of our design inspiration.

Blara's products are mainly divided into two lines. The first line is our classic style line. This line is suitable for the mass market, with styles that basically stays the same each year but with new trendy color and fabric introduced. The second line is based on trend imagery. Blara is constantly developing new sustainable fabrics in house in order to keep up our designs with the newest trend in market
.



How important is colour to your brand? 

Color is one of the most important features to us since we only use natural plant color dye. Blara’s organic dyes came from the extraction of plant pigments directly. For example, our yellow color is dyed with turmeric, blue from sapphire roots, grey from Tibetan greens, pink from sedges...etc. These plants are all traditional Chinese herbal medicines, and they have certain protection against skin bacteria. For this reason, our plant dyed fabrics are absolutely safe and comfortable.

Readers would love to know more about the current collection you showed at Vancouver Fashion Week. Please share a bit about what you showcased on the runway both for children and adults.

This season at Vancouver Fashion Week, Blara’s collection Borderless breaks the inherent boundaries of age and gender labels through expressing self-personality and individual proposition. Blara believes that soft colors don’t only belong to children, safe and comfortable fabrics doesn’t have to be just for babies. There is no limit at Blara because good things are supposed to be shared with everyone.

This season's inspiration came from the emotions left from a getaway. When one speaks of getaway, it’s a feeling of layback, soothing, and full of joy. This collection is inspired by many elements of a getaway trip such as; the silhouette of a pink resort building, the color of clear blue sky, the texture of soft clouds, the sheer reflection of the evening sunset, and the plant and nature which creates the theme. These are the moments we want time to stop forever. Blara’s mission is to provide these warmth and happy emotions to everyone with our comfortable and eco fabrics. Our colors pink, blue, and grey, reflects to the getaway theme and combines perfectly with the collection, Borderless


Where can readers purchase your designs? 

Readers can purchase our products from our online store at  www.blaraorganichouse.ca,  as well as in our store location in Oakridge Centre at 431-650 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, B.C.

Is there anything you'd like to share about what's coming in the next year for your brand?

In the next season, Blara will become even more suitable for a bigger group of market. We aim to make the designs even more interesting with diverse styles for everyone.

Experience a special lifestyle with us, with your kids, with your family, with our environment.

Social Media Links - 

Website - www.blaraorganichouse.ca
Facebook - www.facebook.com/blaraorganichouse/
Instagram - @blaraorganichouse
Twitter - @blaraorganic

Comments