The driving force behind Second Launch

SSEAMS Contributor, Amelia Peng, interviews Second Launch Founder, Nathalie Lazare.

Nathalie, tell our readers about your journey to start Second Launch?

Being a world traveler from a young age gave me a cultural education and an understanding of our differences as individuals. My travels opened my eyes to different lifestyles, customs and traditions, mainly expressed through fashion. I understood that style was a deep expression of who we are, what we feel or see ourselves. 

After graduating in Fashion Design and Marketing in 2001 from Montreal, Canada, I soon found my interest to focus on behind the scenes rather than Infront.

From day one I was thrown in the production and development process, factory visits and learning the ins and outs of the business. Starting on the shop floor at Harrods to making my way as Head of Development has given me the vast experience needed and increased my passion to start Second Launch. 

I wanted Second Launch to be built on my values and these help guide the actions taken as a company. We dream of a world without landfill, zero waste living and fair labour.

What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Sustainable fashion to me is about the impact we have on the planet, people and animals. It’s also trying to find a balance between environment and economy. 

But we must not forget, Sustainable fashion is not only about working towards a zero waste production process or eco-friendly fabrics and production but as importantly about fair labor, ethics, safe working conditions and fair wages for garment workers. 

Brands and individuals are as responsible, but we cannot rely on all brands to stand up for change. We as individuals have great power in the choices we make when buying. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves about the products we purchase.

If you could change one thing to make the fashion industry more sustainable what would it be? 

Knowledge is power and Transparency is key. 

It’s important for Brands to educate their consumers about their supply chain, materials, production process and factory workers. We, as consumers, should demand transparency to make better decisions on products we purchase. 

If brands are not willing to be transparent, we should be asking why? What are they hiding? These brands should be boycotted. Transparency is the first step towards change and being more sustainable.

It’s not enough for fast fashion brands to introduce an eco-friendly line and continue as they have. We need to understand and demand to know who made their clothes? And What’s in their clothes?  

What motivated you to start a sustainable textile company?

Being put between a rock and a hard place when the pandemic hit, it gave me the time needed to truly think of what I wanted to do with my career. Fashion has always been a passion. However, having been in this business for 20yrs, it has also given me first hand experiences of how devastating this industry can be to our planet.

I asked myself how could I combine my passion for this industry while trying to stand for change and help make a small difference? 

Now more than ever, the fashion industry needs to work harder to lessen their impact on waste. With some fast fashion brands having up to 20 collections a year, It’s already estimated that 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year. With the pandemic and brands facing more financial struggle, we are seeing more order cancellations and refusal to pay for goods already produced. Where will these eventually end up? 

This is where Second Launch came to be. Our aim is to minimize textile waste. Giving new, unsold products a second chance. 

It has been a hard journey to find the right partners. We wanted to start with a small handful of brands truly dedicated to this journey with us. Together we work to help change this industry to one that can put people and the planet first. 

Our goal is to extend the life cycle of sustainable unsold products, no matter the reason or season. We help shed more light and awareness on small sustainable businesses worldwide and help give their beautiful, high quality products a second chance, while promoting slow fashion and a circular economy.

Nathalie Lazare

Do you have a project/new collection you are working on you would like to share?  

While spending a few impressionable teenage years living in Yaoundé, Cameroun. I was made aware of the poverty level, the vast difficulties and struggles some people face on a daily basis. Especially women and children. 

As I grew older, this impact never left me. Infact, it became a topic that is very close to my heart and one that I do my best to work with in any little way possible. 

I knew from day one Second Launch would contribute in helping empower and uplift women in such situations anyway we could. While we have some partners that provide life-changing job opportunities for women, we are also in mid project with some foundations that are dedicated to rehabilitation, training, educating and giving a place to call home to others.  

Image credit: The Sept
Image credit: The Besonnen
Image credit: The Besonnen
Image credit: CCDK Copenhagen
Image credit: CCDK Copenhagen

Because one person can make a difference. By Purchasing from Second Launch, you are helping to extend the life-cycle of existing goods, which in turn helps to reduce carbon, waste and water footprints. But shopping for sustainable, ethical and affordable products can be difficult. So we have done the hard work for you!

SECOND LAUNCH

With Second Launch, you can rest assured your products have been produced with priority to ethical practices, eco-friendly and recyclable materials. View the platform HERE

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