Sustainability Should be at the Forefront of any Fashion Brand - Malaika Haaning
- What's the story behind Malaika New York?
Malaika New York was founded on Earth Day in April 2016. MALAIKA's garments are designed and handmade in New York with a deliberate, two-fold purpose: purpose for the wearer and a proposition for the environment. The brand aims to eliminate environmental detriments by utilizing minimal or zero waste patterns while maximizing wearability by producing a high-quality, contemporary line that remains stylish both now and in the future. For each item sold, a tree is planted for The Canopy Project. MALAIKA furthers sustainability efforts by integrating upcycled materials such as plastics and regenerated fabrics.
- Why is sustainability important to your brand?
Sustainability is crucial for us because the clothing industry is the world's second most polluting industry, and there needs to be action taken before it's too late. Sustainability is the backbone of our company, meaning that all design decisions we make depend on it. Ninety-five percent of all our designs are based on zero waste techniques, which means we cannot create a design without considering sustainability. All our pieces incorporate sustainability features, including fabrics, patterns, and materials like upcycled bike tubes and plastic bags. This is just the beginning; we have much more in store. I believe that sustainability should be at the forefront of every fashion brand because we live in a world that no longer gives us the option to ignore it.
- What does having a progressive mindset mean to you?
We are constantly thinking about the future and what it may hold. Our focus is on the future in terms of aesthetics and how we can limit our footprint on the planet. We are forward-thinking individuals and don't believe that the way the fashion business has been run for the past decades is sustainable. There is simply too much waste!
- What's the inspiration behind designs like the Zero Vest?
The inspiration was: why waste fabric if you don't have to? The Zero Vest originated from a zero waste construction class at Parsons The New School Of Design. The assignment was to create a garment with limited to no cutting, and we weren't allowed to sew. The result was the Zero Vest, laying the foundation for our sustainable mission and company. This is how Malaika New York was founded.
- What can we expect from Malaika New York over the next few seasons?
We have only scratched the surface of innovative zero waste designs and upcycled materials. We have many more exciting collections in the pipeline. We will continue to expand our reach in the USA and Europe to engage more customers in our sustainable mission to save the world.