• Vildnis


Fashion brand VILDNIS takes over The Crossing on May 10th. During a successful career working for global brands, owner and founder Ulla Vitting Richards became disillusioned with the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry. To combat the unethical practices she witnessed, Ulla created VILDNIS, with the goal of inspiring change and making sustainability in fashion the norm without compromising on style. We caught up with her ahead of her pop-up residency.

What inspired you to start VILDNIS?
Prior to launching VILDNIS, I had worked in the fashion industry for 16 years, first as a womenswear buyer, before becoming Head of Product for one of Britain’s leading activewear brands. Over the years, I witnessed both the strengths of the fashion industry and the devastating practises it has cultivated around the world.

I knew that all fashion could be made in an ethical and more sustainable way, and it made me increasingly frustrated that very few fashion brands seemed to be willing to change their practises despite better materials etc being widely available. It was also clear that there was a gap in the market for a sustainable fashion brand that offered something different on style – and this is how VILDNIS started.

I was – and still am – very passionate about changing the norms in the fashion industry and wanted to show consumers that ALL fashion can be made in an ethical and more eco-friendly way.

As an independent, what is it about VILDNIS that sets you apart from other brands?
Style is our main selling point. We are setting ourselves apart from other sustainable fashion brands by offering contemporary items with a carefree, subtly sexy and edgy vibe.

While style is our focus, a sustainable foundation is a given. We operate with a triple bottom line, measuring our success on both environmental, social and economic areas, and sustainability is engrained into everything we do from products to packaging and deliveries to our customers. All products are ethically made in factories who treat their workers well and pay them fair wages, and all fabrics and processes are among the eco-friendliest around. To give you an example, our Baikal 70s flare jeans were designed with circularity in mind. They are made from a GOTS certified 100% organic cotton denim, dyed with Oekoex approved dyes and washed using nanobubble technology, saving 200 litres of water per garment. The worn look has been achieved using air and laser print, and the traditional leather logo patch replaced with a laser patch.

What are your current favourite VILDNIS pieces?
My favourite item at the moment is the black Najac Boilersuit made from 100% Tencel. To me, it’s the perfect slow fashion piece; timeless, versatile and something you (almost) literally want to live in.

I also LOVE the Iriomote dress in our bespoke wild tiger print. It’s one of those dresses that requires minimal effort and that you just know you look great in. And best part about it; it’s made from recycled fibres and digitally printed for minimal impact on the environment, plus we donate 10% from each sale to WWF’s Adopt a Tiger programme.

Oh, and I am super excited about a new military style jacket that’s landing end of this month. A fusion of our best-selling Yosemite Jacket and an artwork collaboration with tattooist Megamunden, it captures the rebellious spirit of VILDNIS perfectly with a huge ‘Guardian of the Planet’ embroidery on the back. I don’t have pictures yet, so you’ll have to come and see it for yourself at the pop-up!

What are the benefits of taking up a residency at the pop-up for a business like yours?
We normally sell our products online. The pop-up is a great opportunity for us to meet customers face to face and get their feedback on the collection.

It also gives us a chance to raise awareness about the brand. The past year has been particularly tough for many small independent brands, VILDNIS included, and the competition online is fierce. I am very excited about us having our own space to showcase the products and to be part of the West Brompton Crossing community.

What does the future hold for VILDNIS?
We have just launched a petition calling on the government to ban the most polluting fibres in fashion by 2025, so we’ll be busy ‘collecting’ signatures over the next few months.

Meanwhile, we are working on some new exciting product developments in the background and sourcing new innovative materials. I am a great advocate of making fashion circular, reusing materials over and over again, and this is something I want to do more of in the future.

Find out more at www.vildnis.co.uk


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