INTERVIEWS

Meet Rea & Jonathan Tjoa Algreen, Founders of 1 People

Tell us about your brand. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the future? 

1 People is a sustainable luxury fashion brand with a DNA rooted in Danish design and minimalism. Rea’s personal struggle to find clothing that was sustainable, stylish and high quality inspired us to create sustainable, minimalist capsule collections that were contemporary, timeless and easily mixed and matched with anything. We knew that this was a problem encountered by many women and thus we wanted to create a solution. 

We use only the best sustainable and ethically produced materials of the highest quality to create our products.

What’s the most challenging part and how do you tackle that?

Throughout our journey, the most challenging and costly process was production. It has been tricky to find suppliers and manufacturers who are aligned with our values and prioritise the people and planet. If we do find them, often their quality is not up to our standards. It’s the combination of the two that we’re after!

In overcoming this challenge, we decided to work with small manufacturers who deliver the best in sustainability in Indonesia and India, and who also put their employees’ wellbeing and safety first.

What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received in building a sustainable business?

Always radiate transparency, authenticity, responsibility and empowerment in your business approach. Also, remember what you are doing is larger than yourselves. Communicate thoroughly with your audience so that they can get on board with your cause and support your blossoming brand.

In your personal life, what do you do to be more eco-responsible?
At home, we make sure all of our waste goes to the proper bin so that it can be recycled or refurbished appropriately. For our daily necessities, whenever possible we will choose products that are organic and/or biodegradable. When it comes to fashion, we always choose sustainable, high-quality clothing that can be worn for a long time.

Which sustainable brands do you admire and why?

We love Allbirds as their combination of style, comfort and sustainability fits our dynamic lifestyle very much. On top of that, we also love their values, which are very aligned with ours.

In a world of fast fashion and overconsumption, what message would you like to put across about sustainability and its importance?

We believe that the fashion industry needs radical change in order to create clothing that is more sustainable across the entire supply chain. Collectively, as designers, producers, marketers and consumers, we need to make slow fashion the norm.

When we do that, we will create a healthier industry that will produce less waste and harmful chemicals, which in turn will help to heal our planet.

How do you personally overcome the sometimes overwhelming feeling of striving for sustainable practices in an unsustainable system?

It certainly can be challenging knowing that the system does not support our efforts. However, we keep reminding ourselves that we should not be discouraged but instead become the voice and pioneer of change for the betterment of our planet. This daily reminder to ourselves and also knowing that we are not alone helps to keep us going.

What do you do to disconnect from it all?

We love going on staycations with both of our daughters. We love to rent a villa at the beach, forest, or mountains—somewhere quiet and away from the crowd for a little hygge moment.

What are some of your favourite sustainable, eco-friendly spots in the city where you live? (hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, markets, experiences etc.)

NOMA in Copenhagen is our family’s go-to restaurant for the weekend. Not only do they serve amazing organic food, but their approach to sustainability is very aligned with what we do. Besides, there is always a great atmosphere there.

Any advice to share for someone looking to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle? 

You don’t have to change overnight. Start small—turn off your lights when not in use, separate your trash properly, change your produce to organic and choose slow fashion every time you shop. From there, you will slowly build a more sustainable lifestyle.

Source: 1 People Instagram

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