Welcome to Lårs Labels Journal.

Welcome to Lårs Labels Journal.

In conversation with Palm of Feronia, crystal charged natural skincare brand

Tell us about Palm of Feronia and who is behind the brand

Palm of Feronia is a small-batch natural skincare brand focused on the ancient principles of aromatherapy and crystal healing. I founded Palm of Feronia back in early 2019 after suffering with adult acne for over a decade and eventually finding my way to natural products. After so many years of trial and error, I wanted to create something that could combine my passion for clean, organic and earth-derived ingredients but also emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.


How do you ensure your brand is as eco-friendly/sustainable as possible?

Sustainability is the first question at every cross-roads I come to within the business, be that a new product, when considering our packaging or the suppliers we work with. I’m always asking myself if this is the most sustainable option and if not, why not? It’s through this constant questioning that I ensure I’m doing everything I can at each stage to have a minimal impact on our ecosystem.

There are, of course, a few no-brainers like our glass packaging, refill options and all natural, vegan ingredients, but I have had to make some tough calls on things (for example we can’t use paper or biodegradable labels because they get damaged too easily by oils). I’ve spent a lot of time ensuring our raw ingredient and crystal suppliers are operating ethically and sustainably - it’s something that's super important to me as a brand, especially as we gradually scale. This does increase the cost, but it’s a no-brainer to put quality and sustainability as top priorities.


What does sustainability mean to you?

I’m a big believer in lots of small steps in the right direction building up to a bigger impact. It’s always a work in progress - there’s always space to make more positive changes - but it’s this constant questioning and improving that I believe will create a greater change.


How do you incorporate crystals into your day to day life?

I came into crystal healing around eight or nine years ago and it's been such a big part of my life since. These ancient minerals are incredibly powerful, but I think the biggest strength for me is through changing thought patterns. Particularly in the world today, it’s so easy to get hooked into negative thought patterns (something I’ve struggled with in the past) but there is something so incredible about the ability of a crystal to cut that off. If i’m having a particularly stressful or worrisome day, picking up a piece of amethyst or blue lace agate is almost like giving myself permission to hand those worries over and set them aside.

I want Palm of Feronia to help bring crystal healing, aromatherapy and ancient ingredients to people and help educate them but in a really open, accessible way, without them feeling overwhelmed. It’s not just for super spiritual yogi’s, in fact a lot of our customers aren't. I see Palm of Feronia as a really good way to “level-up” your self-care ritual or routine. By infusing crystals into the products and tools you use as your self-care practice, you’re already bringing that crystal energy into the moment.

What does self-care mean to you?

Something I’ve learnt so much over the past few years is that self-care is such an individual thing. Whilst for me, that’s truly switching off, putting my phone away, running a hot aromatherapy bath and listening to a great podcast - that's the definition of a terrible evening spent for other people.

I think above all, self-care is a grounding practice, doing whatever you need to do to bring you back to yourself.

What's in store for Palm of Feronia this 2021?

2020 was a brilliant year as we launched the new look and feel of the brand, and I was able to leave my 9-5 job to fully commit to Palm of Feronia - something that wasn't even on the cards as we entered the year. Having said that, the unexpected growth in some ways felt a bit more “surviving” than thriving. In 2021 I want to focus on slow and sustainable growth, taking the time to refine what we already have and to engage more with our lovely customers.

Browse our Palm of Feronia edit 

 

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In conversation with Wires Sunglasses. Zero waste, 3D printed eyewear.

Just launched on Lårs Labels, Wires Sunglasses. Wires use innovative, zero waste production to create their contemporary, yet timeless, genderless glasses. We speak to the brand to discuss their inspiration, 3D printing and the $120 billion eyewear industry.

Browse our Wires edit.

 

Tell us about Wires Glasses and who is behind the brand

In 2016, when his sunglasses broke whilst travelling, designer Yair Neuman hand-made a new pair from a single piece of wire. Inspired by his experiment, Yair was joined by his friends - social entrepreneur Lily Cole and Kwame Ferreira to found Wires. Wires Glasses uses stainless steel wire for the frames and 3D printing for the lens rims, producing a minuscule amount of waste in comparison to conventional eyewear manufacturing. Wires champion quality, craftsman/craftswoman-ship and consider our frames akin to jewellery - to be loved and looked after. The first collection of Wires was handcrafted by a small team of artisans in Harare, Zimbabwe, using the African wire craft tradition. Wires then designed a patented invisible hinge to allow the glasses to fold, and they are now handmade by eyewear specialists in Northern Italy.

What and/or who inspires your collections?

For the new 2020 collection, “See the World you Create”, Wires are using a bio-material derived from castor beans for both the 3D printed rims, and all sunglasses lenses which include a wide variety of colours: pink, blue, green, orange, brown and grey. The inclusive designs have been developed to suit any face for any occasion and break the conventions of sustainable eyewear, being ultra comfortable, lightweight and durable.

Can you tell us more about the manufacturing and 3D printing process?

Wires 3D prints the rims instead. 3D printing is “additive manufacturing”. This describes a process that only consumes the precise material it needs to form product. Gradually, layer by layer, the rims are built up from a powder. The powder that’s not used is then gathered up and re-used in the next print run, meaning that there is zero waste in the production. Wires glasses are handmade by a family-run eyewear specialist in Northern Italy.

If you could change anything about the eyewear industry what would it be? How do you see this industry evolving over the coming years?

The majority of fashion fabrics now contain synthetic plastic fibres, which both maintains the demand for petroleum (oil) production and also contributes to plastic pollution in the oceans (it is estimated that if consumption patterns do not change there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050). Eyewear is at the forefront of plastic use: glasses are typically made using a wasteful process of cutting frames out of sheets of acetate which typically produces 65-70% acetate (plastic) waste. “The eyewear industry is a $120 billion market in which plastic is the main source of raw material and sustainability is almost non-existent” say Circular Design Europe. For the 2020 collection, Wires Glasses production is zero waste in the production. Wires have sourced a bio-nylon derivative from the castor bean for both the 3D printed rims, and all of the sunglasses lenses and their temple tips contain 43% natural rubber. The manufacturer of the Bio-Nylon lenses source their ecological resin from castor plants in areas like India and Brazil, ensuring that the crops do not compete with food. The production process requires less energy than the production of a classic lens, thus further helping reduce CO2 emissions. This breakthrough offers an exciting opportunity for the eyewear industry to embrace sustainability and Wires hope to be at the forefront of a wider movement in this direction.

Are you able to share what's in store for Wires for the coming years?

Wires are trying to develop the modularity of the frames where one foundational wire fits different lenses. This modular approach means that you can change your look without needing to buy a whole new pair of glasses.

Glasses to last a lifetime.

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In conversation with E.L.V. Denim. Environmentally sustainable denim made in East London.

This week we are excited to have launched E.L.V Denim, a brand who take unwanted jeans destined for landfill and turn them into new pieces. Adhering to an ethos of zero waste, the fabric used has zero impact on the environment. Working with local ateliers in East London, Founder Anna Foster ensures that each jean has the lowest carbon footprint possible whilst supporting local businesses and communities. Being entirely transparent with their supply chain allows the consumer to find a consciously sourced jean which is as unique as the person who wears them.

Browse our E.L.V. Denim edit.

 

We are excited to be partnering with E.L.V. Denim, an East London brand fronted by Stylist Anna Foster who use post-consumer jeans and turn them into new pieces using transparent, sustainable practices. Read more from Anna about her inspiration and their local community sourcing process.  

Tell us about E.L.V Denim and who is behind the brand

Hi! I am Anna Foster and I founded E.L.V Denim in 2018. The brand was born from a ethos of using post-consumer and turning it into modern sophisticated pieces. Working with local ateliers in East London, each jean is designed and manufactured in East London ensuring that every product has the lowest carbon footprint possible while supporting local business and communities. At E.L.V Denim environmental and social sustainability are at the heart of the business, and we believe that being initially transparent with our supply chain allows a consumer to find a consciously sourced jean which is as unique as the person who wears them.

What and/or who inspires your designs?

Using waste simply makes you think more creatively about what can be made from it. I design from a starting point of waste. We live in a very aesthetic world so a successful brand has to marry very carefully design and sustainability. I look at what is in front of me and although this might seem limiting it is a really liberating process to take something that was discarded by someone and turn it into someone else’s treasure. Using my experience as a fashion stylist over the last 20 years has allowed me to understand what style suits ‘every body’ and truly believe that my three styles can do exactly that.

Can you tell us more about your sourcing process?

We source the unwanted jeans from around the UK. The jeans and jackets are discarded pieces so as a matter of course (and hygiene) they need washing. We work with an East London laundrette run by Korosh Morad. Korosh took us through his process of washing the post-waste denim and only 7 litres of water are used per jean. Unlike a brand-new pair which would use 7000 litres, which is the same amount of water that one person drinks in 13 years!

After Korosh drops off the Denim (in his electric car) back to the studio, it is processed and paired ready for the Atelier. Every jean, and jacket is paired by hand to ensure that the perfect new jean or jacket is created. When I met with Han and Anne at Blackhorse Lane Atelier, I knew instantly that it was the right place to make our jeans. All the jeans are cut by hand and made using traditional denim methods. Blackhorse Lane Atelier keep sustainability at the heart of the business and their social values are essential to how the company is run. All of their employees are given the opportunity to be shareholders in the company, working standards are assured, they are paid a fair living wage and are not subjected to zero contract hours. Blackhorse Lane Atelier is located in Walthamstow, East London and is a hub of creativity. 

To further our zero waste policy we have collaborated with local East London leather company, Tura London. All our branded leather patches and backing of our belts are remnants or ‘off cuts’ found in their factory. The colour of the patches depends on what is available, once that colour is gone, we move onto another. Kind of cute really as it also helps our clients ‘date’ their jeans!

We source our branded buttons from YYK as they have developed an ECO FINISH. We work with local print makers and handprint our labels on 100% recycled board produced in East London. They also use vegetable ink which has a low carbon footprint. We are working with them on some new and exciting installations and being round the corner is rather helpful! Any scraps that are left are given to the renowned artist Ian Berry who creates ‘paintings’ using denim. We also work with local schools and universities providing fabric for textile classes as and when they need it.

 

If you could change anything about the denim industry what would it be? How do you see this industry evolving over the coming years?

Full transparency would be super helpful in a world of a lot of technical terms where sometimes the truth can be hidden! However, in this journey I have met some really great people such as Tony Tonnaer from Kings of Indigo and Jordan Nordarse from Boyish who also agree that collaboration can and must be key within any industry.

Are you able to share what's in store for E.L.V. Denim for the coming years?

We are always striving for more, trying new ways to work even more sustainably. Every day is a challenge, but … I love it!

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In conversation with sustainable and ethical knitwear brand Francis Stories.

This Autumn we proudly launched Francis Stories, a beautiful knitwear brand that focus on longevity, quality and production in a sustainable and ethical manner considering their approach towards people, animals and the planet. We spoke to Jose, one of the founders, to hear more about their vision, values and the future of fashion.

Explore our sustainable and ethical knitwear collection made by Francis Stories.

 

Tell us more about Francis Stories and who is behind the brand?

Francis Stories, in its core, intends to create high-quality 100% natural garments in a deeply ethical and considered way towards people, animal-life and nature. At Francis Stories, we believe that we have to be an active part of the change in the fashion industry, by educating the customers on the basis of a more considerate fashion consumption and at the same time, by providing them with fashion options that allow them to fulfill their fashion desires while maintaining a high-level of respect for nature, animal life and people. This philosophy is the mindset of the two founders of the brand - Sonia and Jose -, a duo that has been, through the past decade, increasingly growing concerned on the ethical and sustainable problems of the fashion industry and with the lack of viable and transparent options on the market and from the established brands, and wanted to give their contribution to the increasing movement of sustainable fashion that the new generations, born with a deeper concern for the planet and people, have been developing.

What are your core sustainability values?

We believe the best path towards sustainability is through a thoughtful and considered consumption - one where consumers consciously and in an informed way choose garments that are good quality, that will last and will not easily grow tired of which they can wear frequently without degrading rapidly. That's why we create high-quality pieces, whether it is construction-wise, or in the aesthetics. On top of that and because every garment degrades over time and eventually reaches the end of its lifecycle, we believe in using only natural materials, because this way we know nature will be able to reprocess into its resources. Finally, we foster the respect and ethical treatment of people, animals and nature throughout our entire supply chain, by working with highly qualified and educated partners who are able to align with our vision, by working with factories close to us (in Portugal), which we can visit and ensure fair treatment of people and the provision of high standards of working and employment conditions, and by selecting suppliers that are certified by independent entities on the sustainable management of resources and ethical treatment of animals.

You only use natural materials, can you tell us more about why this is, and the wool you use?

From the beginning, we were set on creating a brand and pieces that would leave a minimal and as ephemeral as possible footprint on the planet. Whilst we work into creating pieces that have as long a useful life as possible, we are absolutely aware that nothing lasts forever, and that garments, particularly knitwear, produce waste both during their usage, i.e., through the micro fibres that break free from the piece during wearing and washing, and after they are eventually disposed of at the end of their lifecycle. The solution, for us, is obvious - the use of natural materials, which nature knows how to absorb, how to break down and transform into new things. While recycling is undoubtedly important - particularly for plastic fibres, such as acrylics, poliesters, and the likes -, it will, unfortunately never cover 100% of the end-of-lifecycle garments and it will definitely not tackle the fibres that are released during wearing or washing of the garments, which end up polluting water streams, oceans and lands. That's why we believe so much in only using natural materials.

If you could change anything about the fashion/apparel industry, what would this be and why?

If there was one thing, I'd say it would be education of the consumer - I think that education moves mountains, it is the social sparkle that ignites the flame of change, in whatever situation and social problem we are talking about. Sustainability in fashion is no different - educating consumers is a job for all of us members of the sustainable fashion movement - brands, e-commerce platforms, brick and mortar stores, magazines and other media, blogs and sustainable influencers because with an educated consumer comes a sharp and acute mind One that asks the relevant questions and questions the doings of the brands, and demands transparency and accountability which is all things that the traditional fashion companies are afraid of, because they do know that once they do, they'll stand naked with all their flaws and the marks of their vices out there for the whole world to see. Once again, education will spark the change, and we are all responsible for it.

Can you tell us more about what's in store for Francis Stories over the coming years?

Francis Stories path for the next years is one of consolidation of our collections, of creation of a true core of pieces and designs which we ambition to perfect over and over again, until we virtually reach a set of garments that we are perfectly happy with, and with which our customers are also perfectly happy. These will be pieces that will be perfected to the point that they will be functionally very long-lasting, and aesthetically relevant for (we desire) several decades. We want them to be classics on their own terms, but with our own aesthetic touch. We don't aim to cater to everyone, nor have a wide range of designs that reach a wide audience. We want to focus, find our niche, test and perfect our designs in the immediately next upcoming years, so that we can reach that end game. In the meantime, for as long as we are at this testing and perfecting phase, we will continue to produce smaller quantities than what most brands do, to avoid ending up with deadstock and creating unnecessary waste. Sustainability also comes from the correct management of resources, and we do make our best to follow that as well.

Explore our sustainable and ethical knitwear collection made by Francis Stories.

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A Welcome Message From Our Founders

We are part of the journey to a more sustainable future; Lårs Labels is a retail destination and experience for learning, education and creative inspiration. The industry is constantly evolving, and there are always new ways of doing things from exciting new materials, to manufacturing processes. We will be telling the brands’ stories, what's new, and how everyone can make small changes to their lives. Here, in the journal, is where we’ll be documenting what inspires us, industry changes, and what we can all do for a more sustainable future.

It's not about one person doing everything right, it's about a lot of people making smaller changes and Lårs Labels will be part of this journey.

Firstly, we’d like to introduce ourselves. I’m Sophie Larsen and have worked for over ten years as a Retail Buyer for some of the largest E-commerce sites globally. I set out to create a platform dedicated purely to conscious, considered products across fashion, beauty and lifestyle to allow customers to easily make positively impacting purchase decisions in one online location.

Co-Founded with Chris Jarrett, Chris is an award-winning Creative Director with over fifteen years experience in the creative and design industry, specialising in the fields of design, fashion, technology, film and visual arts.

We have always been passionate and inspired about sustainable ways of living and how to incorporate this into our personal and professional lives.  

Passionate about authenticity and transparency, we wanted to challenge the incredible amount of greenwashing, and lack of transparency across the industry.

We both wanted sustainable and ethically minded fashion and lifestyle products which also sat within our own personal style and design aesthetic. The more we researched, the more beautiful brands and products we found, but not a one stop shop which offered this. This led us to develop Lårs Labels, a name which originates from Sophie's Scandinavian heritage and minimalist approach to design and living.

Each brand and product on Lårs Labels is curated and shares our value of taking a long term approach to design, manufacturing and the consumption of products, whilst also focussing on what is morally right. Lårs Labels champion brands which are fully transparent in all of their processes who create goods which avoid harm to people, animals, and the planet, but also meet their love for beautiful, design led products, marrying both ethics and aesthetics.

We hope that you enjoy the site as much as we have creating it, working with inspirational, forward thinking brands. We look forward to growing, building and welcoming you to our community.

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