A New Label That Could Be The One-Stop Shop For Sustainable Fashion
Published on Jan 20, 2020
Veronica Chou grew up in fashion, working with some of the biggest names in the business. As a teenager living in China, she was immersed in the world of manufacturing, seeing garments for the world’s most notable labels being made — Tommy Hilfiger, Karl Lagerfield, Pepe Jeans, Badgley Mischka. As an adult, she delved into that world running Iconix China Group and Novel Fashion Holdings — two fashion companies that manage distribution of global brands and oversee manufacturing.
For years, she admits she didn’t question the process. But six years ago, the young entrepreneur started to dig deeper, understanding the impact of all this manufacturing. “I realized how polluting it was,” she says in an interview from her London office.
That compelled her to launch Everybody & Everyone, a new sustainable fashion brand, which aims to bring in all aspects of a sustainability under one room: from pieces that can be worn a variety of ways to carbon-offsets to using primarily certified fabrics. Plus, they’re available in sizes from to 00 to 24 to reach as many consumers as possible. While the prices are not exactly high-street cheap, they’re not luxury either, fitting into the category of what could be defined as “affordable premium.” The goal is to keep these pieces for a long time.
As a mother of two kids, Chou says that parenthood helped her gravitate to more eco-friendly options in the market. Couple that with her knowledge of the fashion industry, she started looking at how to build a more sustainable brand several years back. Though it took longer than she anticipated, she’s learned more during that process, honing in on small details and bringing all the tentacles of sustainability under one roof.
Tencel appears a lot in the collection. But she’s also keen on new materials. As an investor in Modern Meadow, a biofabrication company that’s making leather in labs, Chou wants to not only fund the latest in textile innovation but eventually put it into practice. Having her own brand will make that easier.
Where Chou hopes to distinguish herself from the slew of other sustainable brands is in the versatility of the clothes. The puffer jacket, for instance, can be worn long or short. A turtleneck can be shortened in the neck or kept high, depending on the weather. Made with Nadaam’s cashmere, Chou is also open to collaborating on materials.
At checkout, there’s an option to offset the carbon footprint of one’s shopping purchase; 98 percent, Chou says, are choosing to do so.
She’s aware that many sustainable brands are beyond the reach of high-street consumers. That’s something she wants to take on with Everybody & Everyone. “Sustainability shouldn’t just be for the elite,” she says.
Their denim, a staple in most wardrobes, is made in the US using organic cotton and a cellulosic fiber blend, she says, and finished with a single wash to conserve water and energy. But Chou also wants people to wash their clothes less: so it’s been treated with an “eco-friendly solution to repel water-based staines.” The company even sells guppyfriend wash bags, which help capture fibers from synthetic clothing and keep it out of waste streams.
The end life of these products is under scrutiny as well. Chou, who has family in the recycling business in Hong Kong, is aware of the complexities of pulling apart textiles made with a blend of natural and synthetic fabrics. For that reason, she says, “We try to keep the mixing of the materials as separate as possible.”
Does the brand have all the answers? No, she admits openly. “I’m learning. We are finding what’s out there. Testing the latest innovations and seeing what’s feasible to use now. It takes time to find these solutions and I see any step towards the right direction as a positive move.”
Though she’s spent decades in the industry, she’s aware that her customers have not. “We do have to make it simpler for consumers on what to buy, what to avoid, what to look for. It’s far too confusing right now.”
With a focus on the US market, Chou is looking at manufacturing in the US to cut down on the carbon footprint of international shipments. But it’s a dance, trying to find mills close to manufacturing facilities and keeping it all within the same region that one will be selling in. Thus, some of their products are made overseas, for instance, in a mill in Italy known for their eco-friendly approaches; but denim, specifically, is made in the US.
But could Chou have ticked off all the boxes in crafting a planet-friendly label? Everyone and Everybody is certainly designed to be a one-stop shop for the classic essentials in a wardrobe. And Chou hopes that with time, it’ll be an integral part of the circular economy, putting back to use what it churns out.