Made & More: a Belgian brand with a beautiful biography

While walking through the streets of the beautiful city of Antwerp last week I stumbled upon a new pop-up store by the ethical and sustainable label ‘Made & More’. I even had the pleasure of meeting the inspiring and vibrant founder Stéphanie Fellen, who’s a talented entrepreneur and slow living enthusiast. “I started this label three years ago because it was really hard to find beautiful, sustainable and affordable clothing”, Stéphanie says. “I also noticed that consumers had forgotten that each piece of clothing has a story and an intensive production process. I wanted to give the workers a prominent place within the company and that’s why every different style in our collection is named after of one of our workers.”

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A detail of the stunning pop-up shop in Antwerp.

Made & More has a manifesto with five key values that are essential to their brand’s identity. Stéphanie explains: “Good quality and a perfect fit are very important because our pieces aren’t linked to a certain season and are meant to be worn throughout the different seasons for several years.’

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Hard to choose between all the elegant and comfy pieces.

Made & More only uses fabrics of the best quality e.g. organic cotton, Merino wool and recycled fabrics. You’ll notice that the clothing feels very soft and cosy. The entire collection is made in Europe because the company realised many good manufacturers with a lot of know-how are established here. Producing in Europe also means that the transportation is brought to a minimum, which is good for our planet. On every piece you’ll find detailed description of where and how the clothing is made by scanning a QR code. By doing that the brand wants to show the customer their transparent production chain and reveal a part of this beautiful process.

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On the walls you’ll find more details on the production process.

Respect is part of Made & More’s DNA and is incorporated in their logo: ‘Fashion with respect’. This motto is applied to all the different stages and taken very seriously. The different aspects are always taken in account when decisions are made: respect for the workers, the planet, the customers,… Of course Made & More is more than a beautiful brand identity, they want to keep surprising and satisfying their customers with stunning clothing. Every piece is elegant, timeless and comfortable: a dream for any eco chic lover!

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The brand’s mission is also beautifully displayed.

I was really impressed by this brand and their designs. Do you feel like being amazed too? Then quickly head on over to their pop-up store in Antwerp or have a look on their website.

Address Made & More pop-up store Antwerp:
Wiegstraat 12
Open until the 8th of April.

The pop-up store will be moving to Maastricht, Paris and Brussels afterwards.
Check out the website for more info on dates.

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Made & More collaborates with talented bag and jewelry designers. Bag by MOIMOI.
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Cosy knits by Made & More.
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Basic T made consciously.

Words and photos by Sive Cauwenberghs

In The Spotlight: fashion designer Cédric Jacquemyn

Cédric Jacquemyn is an Antwerp based designer who has always been inspired by the Icelandic mindset on sustainability and integrated the ferocious landscapes into the first designs of his label. Besides his fascination for nature, Cédric is intrigued by original tribal communities and communicates the harsh reality of their extinction through his current collections.

Icelandic landscapes are an inspiration for a lot of your designs. When did your fascination for Iceland arise?

“I first visited Iceland with my partner in 2008. We travelled around the country and brought our tent. The power and the greatness of nature made me realise how small we humans are. It was quite overwhelming, in a good way. At first the volcanoes and decay of nature were my focus points, a rather negative point of view. Later on my inspiration shifted towards the potential that volcanoes have to revive nature because of their ability to fertilise soil. The disappearance of certain tribal communities around the world is visible in my designs too because the decay of nature is closely linked to the number of tribes diminishing.”

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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander
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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander

Nature and the environment are very important to you. How do you integrate this into your designs?

“The use of natural materials and a minimization of synthetics are key to my designs. The buttons are made from wood or horn and the fabrics I use are mostly leather or silk. It’s important to me that everything is biodegradable. Items shouldn’t last longer than a lifetime. In nature everything evolves too and the clothes we make nowadays won’t be relevant in a 100 years. That’s why nature should be able to take its course with our garments. Nothing is forever and that’s ok.”

What is your view on the future of fashion?

“I believe that environmentally conscious clothing is the only correct way to make garments in this exponentially growing world. We need to overcome the dominating rule of fast fashion and focus on true craftsmanship. You’ll notice my collection isn’t in the same price range as the clothing you’ll find on the high street. My pieces are made to last longer than one season and involve a lot of manual craftsmanship. The price people are used to paying for clothes from large chains nowadays is too low for the clothing to be manufactured in an ethical and responsible way. My goal is to surpass trends and encourage people to invest in a beautifully handcrafted, eco-friendly and biodegradable coat they will wear and cherish for years to come.”

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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander
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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander

What are your plans for the label in the near future?

“The label started as a menswear label but we noticed that women wore the pieces too. Because the focus shifted towards tailoring and suits, women stopped wearing my pieces. That’s why I decided to make a blazer and pants for women a few seasons back. Gradually I would like to design a full women’s line by adding a few garments every year. Growing slowly is the best option because financially the label had a hard time during the recession. As a young creative I want to keep going forward but sometimes you need to do things step by step and just keep doing what your good at. I work with a lot of driven interns and hope to extend my fixed team with professionals who have the same ideas and feel as strongly about the value of craftsmanship and the environment as I do. It’s crucial to realise that nature is so much bigger, more powerful than us. It deserves our respect.”

View Cédric’s full collection here cj-ss17_007

S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander

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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander

In The Spotlight: Caroline Harris

Caroline Harris finished her BA (Hons) Fashion at Southampton Solent University with a stunning final project: a luxurious upcycled collection. Caroline was happy to share her story with Pastel Wanders:

“I wanted to make a luxurious and wearable collection that would appeal to a wider audience. I did not want the main focus to be the fact it was recycled because I wanted this to be something that could be ‘normal’ rather than a focus point.”

Quality needs time

“The reason behind my upcycling was purely based upon using up old/ vintage garments, disused cloths and fabric lengths; I even managed to get my hands on old rolls of Ted Baker linings. Most importantly I wanted the collection to maintain its premium and luxurious feel. Although I was using ‘old’ remnants, I never wanted this to affect the quality of my collection. I spent many hours carefully unpicking original garments making sure I could utilise every last inch of the fabrics I had sourced.”

Future of fashion

“It was important to me to use remnant cloth or ‘old’ garments as I felt that it was something that could easily be done if you put thought behind it – so why not. My final project opened my eyes to what the fashion industry could be and where fashion could go if the right people were eager to pursue new possibilities. I see the future of fashion evolve in a way where sustainability, renewal and vintage can flourish.”

Caroline Harris