How did you ever start with Solitude?
Amber: Four years ago I picked up a piece of leather because I wanted to make a bag myself. When I have worn that for a while I got reactions from housemates and friends to see if I could make one for them. The funny thing is that you go looking for different leather traders and then you end up in different places where I still buy now. We are looking for overstock leather where we can make something beautiful. Then Taantje came along because it was no longer feasible for a person to make everything and it became a family business.
What is the best thing about having your own company?
Amber: The diversity maybe, only the goal of production is boring but if you can combine it then it’s nice.
Taan: What I really like is that you can implement sustainability in all areas within your company. We also really want to implement it more by, for example, looking at what kind of wrapping paper, glue and leather we use.
What distinguishes you from other brands?
Taan: We focus on Slow Fashion and not on Fast Fashion like the fashion industry. The fashion industry brings products on the market that last for a very short time so that the clothing is quickly written off. Sometimes after 3x washing clothes are ugly or let a handle of a bag loose just after purchase. With our products we aim for stylish products that last a long time instead of following a trend. Amber also has the advantage that she started it from her own hobby so she can estimate very well how long something will last. Our bags are made of leather that lasts super long and does not have any plastic particles so it will not break. Leather becomes even more beautiful even as you use it.
Where does this intrinsic motivation for sustainability come from?
Taan: From our mother, who has always been busy with not using much chemical agent. She wanted to teach us that we need to reuse things. For example, she used to take our bread bag home with us. We used to think that the second-hand store was also very nice to go to, we really grew up with that. It is good to see that it has become more mainstream and accepted.
Where will Solitude be in 10 years?
Amber: That we have established a lifestyle brand that gives a counter to the Fast Fashion trend that is going on. Also to ultimately inspire people to adapt their lifestyle. For example, we now offer yoga every Thursday.
Taan: Totally agree, really broadening the concept. That is why it really makes people enthusiastic to live in a slightly different way. Not only in your buying behavior but in life.
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