Fifteen years ago, I moved from a small town in the east of the Netherlands to Amsterdam to study at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and immerse myself in the busy city life. It went well for me: an internship in Shanghai, a job with Claudia Sträter, I worked for more than 10 years for high-quality Dutch fashion brands.
I have had the opportunity to work a lot with factories in China, India, Turkey and Portugal. I worked at companies where margins became more and more important: the product was pushed to a second position.
That couldn’t have been the intention, could it? I go for quality! Also, producing outside of Europe made me feel more and more uncomfortable.
I had the opportunity to work for a small label that did most of its production in Portugal.
But also at this job, I felt more and more guilty about emissions, worker rights.. It did not feel sustainable enough.
Did I still like this job?
Party time four times a week, working out thrice ánd a full-time job. I lost myself in our beautiful capital.
Until I got pregnant with our son. Sick, weak and nauseous, that was my first pregnancy. Besides work I couldn’t do anything anymore, I experienced a real resistance from within myself. Frustrating? Yes! Necessary? Yes, that too. My primal instinct woke up! I was used to a ‘fast’ and hectic life, I now had to step on the brakes.
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise: I started thinking and had time for a good dose of self-reflection. What did I discover? Rest does so much for your body: I took meditation courses during my pregnancy and I participated in a retreat.
In the meantime I was sitting on the sofa, with my growing belly, looking for a nice black dress.
A piece of clothing that I could use during my whole pregnancy, to combine with everything and that would make me feel ánd look beautiful. When I asked my friends where to buy something like that, I always got the same answer: “I have no idea, but that’s what I’ve been looking for since my first pregnancy!”
The idea for Swan and the People began to bubble. I am going to design a dress that I can wear throughout my whole pregnancy and combine it with my own clothes. A dress that grows with the belly and the boobs!
Pregnancy | Sustainable | Natural materials | Fashion | Motherhood |