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The story behind the Bozena Jankowska label

July 23, 2017

What is my story?

Ever since I can remember, sustainability has been a passion of mine.  I studied environmental science but ended up with a 16 year career in sustainable and responsible investment. Integral to my job was to have a deep rooted understanding of environmental and social topics such as climate change, labour standards, water scarcity, environmental pollution among many other topics and how they impact companies and society.  I never had formal training in fashion, and despite deciding on a career finance, I always cared and had a passion for fashion and loved designing and creating clothes for myself.  I'm self taught in making clothes and I have always been intrigued by construction, drape, the behaviour of textiles, how they mould around the body and how an idea or inspiration can be taken and interpreted into something that tells a story and changes how a person looks and feels. 

What is the story behind the label?

Fashion for me is creating stories with clothes, enabling women to step into that story with me and then creating their own stories as they interpret my designs and decide how to wear and style them.  When I decided to enter sustainable finance, it was in the belief that money and sustainability can be a powerful combination and bring about positive environmental and social change.  In my 16 year career, I've witnessed this happen.  I believe the same is possible with fashion.  Fashion has a global platform, a global voice, huge influence over how we consume and if harnessed in the right way, can be a powerful driver of positive environmental and social change if channelled in the right way. This is my vision for the label - to use fashion as a platform to raise awareness and provide inspiration on critical environmental and social issues, creating a positive impact whilst also designing clothes that women can fall in love with for life.  I am using environmental and social issues as inspiration for my designs where each collection is inspired by a different environmental and social issue.  For every collection, I will be partnering with a different non-governmental organisation working towards addressing the issue that inspired my collection with a percentage of sales going to the work they are doing and importantly reporting back to my customers how that money was put to work. 

Who is the woman I am looking to design for? 

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She is driven, ambitious, a globesetter, leads a busy lifestyle and needs a wardrobe that carries her through her working day into the evening for perhaps a client function or cocktails with friends.  During the weekend she needs wardrobe staples that she can dress up or down to go for brunch with friends or for a weekend away with her partner. She loves fashion and is not afraid to try new things. She has a strong sense of her own style, doesn't follow fleeting trends and wants clothes that give her versatility and have that something different and playful about them enabling her personality to shine through.  She is mindful of the world around her and she cares about sustainability aiming to lead a lifestyle and have a wardrobe that reflect that.  She likes to invest in her wardrobe and buy clothes that give her that sense of luxury, longevity, beautiful fit and finish - clothes that she will want to keep for ever.   

What is the inspiration behind the first collection?

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It all started with a picture of a dead bee and the message "Sadly, 97% of Fabeookers won't repost this, but....7 different species of bees were put on the endangered list.  If the bees disappear, strawberries, avocadoes, coffee all disappear.  This is your problem and this is your wake up call."  Soon after I went into research overdrive watching the docufilm 'Vanishing of the Bees', one of the most compelling environmental documentaries I've see and soon after, the book 'A World Without Bees' by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum.  I was shocked by what we were doing to the bee and how through our actions, we are making their existence increasingly difficult.  The humble honey bee is so critical to our way of life as we know it.  One out of every three mouthfuls of food we take is thanks to the bee.  We rely on them for a health environment and economy.  The plight of the humble honey bee ultimately boils down to how we have been treating the environment and the consumer choices we make.  I wanted to highlight the beauty and importance of the bee with my first collection not only through a thoughtfully designed collection but through the messages that each piece will communicate to its owner. 

What does sustainability in fashion mean to me?

Making considered choices, choosing fashion that lasts and where possible has a low environmental and social footprint. 





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