“Ideally everything should be produced ethically, fair-trade and environmentally friendly – worldwide standards!”, Katcha Bilek.
What is your job about?
I am a fashion designer with avid interest in ethics and ecology. I am interested in fashion design and installation and I create products out of old materials. I create useful products such as bags and belts all with lifetime guarantees, Improve ethics and ecology, Improve the work environment and I try to Improve fashion industry. I have no need to create anything new and use materials that are already in existence as waste products.
What issues do you address?
- Ethics and ecology
- Human rights
- Waste management
- Waste minimisation
What moved you to take action?
To manufacture items which are useful, to use waste which would normally be landfilled, to create products which are highly durable, to pay a fair wage and to create a brand which could carry a message.
What were the obstacle you had to overcome?
- Juggling motherhood with business
- Supply and demand
- Sourcing materials
- Knowledge of materials
- People not initially interested.
- People argued why products cost what they did if I received the materials for free.
What helped you to keep going during hard times?
Love of design, my zero-waste attitude and positive feedback. I did once think that I would pack it in as running a business is not easy when you’re a full-time mum but then I received lots more interest, which kept me going. People began to notice the ethical side without me having to market it. Ethics and ecology are becoming important to more people.
What first prompted you to become interested in environmental issues and when was that?
When I was 5 I was given a book called Dinosaurs and all that Rubbish. It really made me think about how we can’t just keep manufacturing and polluting. My mum also brought me up not to waste – it was instilled in me from a very young age!
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very happy) where would you rate how you feel about your life?
9.5. Loads to look forward to. Sense of purpose. Fulfillment