Behind Theory Of Gaia

Hi all

I discovered Theory of Gaia late 2017 when I was looking at stores with strong ethics and whose values resonate with ours. So when I met Haamacha Donadi in person, founder of Theory of Gaia in September 2018 in New York, it was like I’ve known her forever. A very dynamic and lovely lady, who spoke with passion about her business and her commitment to give back in Zambia. It came naturally to have her featured in our blog and share with us all her story, values and mission.

HR: What inspired you to launch Theory of Gaia?

HD: Theory of Gaia was born after i had my eldest daughter, Gaia. My priorities shifted after becoming a mom, I still wanted to look fashion forward with unique style but at wallet friends price points. We exist for our Community of #GaiaGirls. Women who are ambitious , dress for themselves with our effortless style but also desire to enjoy life experiences.

HR: How do you see the future of ethical fashion?

HD: Ethical fashion is looking at how everyone can benefit from the goods we provide. Now more than ever, consumers demand to know where the product is being made, who is producing them and how it impacts not only the business but people who make the product.

Ethical fashion is about impacting communities that make their goods. When women for example make products, the financial gains not only affects them but the entire household. It’s been proven that when women are given the right to have a say in their finances, decisions being made such as sending their children to school not only impact the house holds buy society itself.

HR: What are the next big projects for Theory of Gaia?

HD: We don’t have any BIG Projects in the works. Our goals are always to improve the store experience for our community of women. We exist to inspire #gaiagirls to love how they look in our effortless style to empower them to accomplish real life goals. We support #14plus, a non for profit organization based in NYC. They build and educated children in rural Zambia, where I was born.

We Carry International brands plus a lot of Locals brands, such as Local LES resident Scott Gibson who makes his clothes at home. He has so much passion for what he does. He makes only a few of each style each month to make it authentically unique. Susan is another great brand. She repurposes shirts or Sweatshirts to give them a new life. An oversized college sweatshirt is transformed into a cropped super fashion forward item with Silk inserts.

We also carry many women owned brands such as Franca NYC or Ming, a Brooklyn based ceramist whose work blows my mind. She is so talented and her ceramics are truly unique. We also have Banoll, a Japanese born, Brooklyn based new mom. I respect how she’s started her family while still balancing it with work. As a mother myself, I understand the complexities that come with raising a family & also following your passion. It’s so rewarding but very hard to navigate.

If you want to know more about Theory of Gaia, you can follow its Instagram account, or even better pop up in her store at 174 Ludlow Street in New York, where you will find coveted ethical clothing and accessories, including two exclusive raffia pieces from our collection The Noces x Theory of Gaia (unveiled on our Instagram!)

With love,
Holy for The Noces

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A glance at our collection

Hi everyone,

Summer is not yet ending but here’s the good news: all our raffia and straw basket bags are on sale (until stock lasts!). If you can’t make up your mind – because it is hard to choose! – you can view our campaign, featuring our best sellers. We work in priority with local talents from Madagascar and are so proud to collaborate with the rising star Dahery Rafenomanana for this campaign.

We are grateful to have been featured in many publications – many thanks to Harper’s Bazaar / Cosmopolitan / Elle / Marie Claire / Euronews and others for the love.

Stay tuned for exciting events starting from September 2019!
With Love
TN

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Discover Kata Banko

Hi all,

Summer is almost here and Love is all around! Our founder Holy had the chance to chat with Colleen, founder of the like-minded brand Kanta Banko.

H: Can you please tell us more about Kanta Banko? (how did it start, what inspires you, what are the values behind the brand?)

C: Kata Banko Couture Bridal Accessories started in 2009. I didn’t have a plan to get into the accessory business, let alone bridal, it really just kind of happened. A friend of mine opened a bridal salon and brides were requesting custom accessories and veils, which was really not offered by current designers at the time, so she asked me if I could make a few pieces for clients and it just grew from there.

The next thing you know I had created a full collection, went to Bridal Market and it took off. At the time I was offering a full range of bridal belts and sashes, 3D floral veils and veils dripping with pearls and Swarovski, no one was offering pieces like this, so I was well received.

All of a sudden my designs were in bridal salons around the world, it seemed crazy to me! Then of course the reality of the industry kicked in the following year when my entire belt and sash collection was copied by an up and coming brand. That really pushed me to think outside of the box even more. Its daunting in our collective industries that copying is such a huge thing, but this really helped me decide how I wanted to grow my business. I like to keep it small and exclusive, I create each piece by hand, my hands, so everything has a very special heirloom quality to it. I am really inspired by music, how a sound feels and top that with nature and life, that’s all the inspiration I need. I do not follow trends, there is little passion in being trendy, and I’d rather be original any day. My goal with the brand was and is to try to be as mindful as possible. To create beautiful sustainable pieces that can be worn again and again. For that very reason I have made 2019 my last year that I will be offering Veils. That is a onetime deal, there is too much waste in the world as it is. I have been slowly converting my brand into lifestyle, bridal and beyond for years, it’s a tricky place to be, but the more I educate people on why it’s important, the more my brand flourishes.

H: Can you share with us your favorite piece and explain why it is so special for you?

C: This is a tough one, I have so many favorites! If I had to choose I would say it is my 10:37 vines. A few years ago, I created a different way to work with Crystals and Semi-Precious stones. Everywhere you see Quartz Crystal crowns, combs, jewelry, I have a whole range in my collections as well. I pioneered a new version of crushed sands for my collections, it’s softer, and lighter and the colors are insanely beautiful. At this time of creation my world was upside down, so in essence this form of creativity saved me.

H: What are your next big plans? (Collection, collaboration, how do you see the brand in the next 5-10 years)

C: There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes, that’s for sure. But to be completely honest, I really don’t plan so much, it keeps things interesting and unique. As far as future collections go, they will be smaller and more sustainable, that’s my goal. As designers we are expected to create at the very least two collections per year, buyers and fans want to see new and more and what’s next, that is a lot of waste, I will not be participating in that. We’ve got to slow down on producing fast fashion, it has been a crisis for years. I really don’t have a 5 or 10 year plan for my brand, I’m just an artist and this is one of many mediums I use to express myself. I have never mass produced my work, when I create a piece, it is an original, every piece, whether duplicated or not, has its own signature, its own distinct version. Honestly I have considered doing just one of a kind pieces. I also design for other brands which is something I may dabble in a bit more. Oh and then there is my pottery obsession on top of my food obsession (I’m secretly a food artist). I believe it’s okay to not have big future plans, life changes too much. I mean if your brand is going to be mass produced and you are looking to be the next big design house, then there is a need for solid growth plans, but I just want to create.

In terms of collaboration, there is so much happening there. I’m currently designing for a self-care cannabis brand, which is amazing. I’m a huge advocate for holistic medicine and nutrition. The self-care, well for me it’s really a big deal, I have neglected that in my own life for so long, so I am diving in head first!

I look forward to collaborating with brands that have an ethical and sustainable mindset, like The Noces, definitely on a different level, not so much bridal, more lifestyle. Fashion is a great way of expression but at what cost? We waste so much, we have too much and it’s a very disposable industry not to mention extremely unethical and not sustainable looking forward to working with brands who see the value in quality over quantity and who want to make the world a better place. You can’t eat money.

You can follow Kata Banko Couture Veiling and Accessories on social media:
https://www.instagram.com/katabankocouture/
www.facebook.com/katabankobrides

Stay tuned for our special collaboration with Kata Banko to celebrate love in all its forms!
X TN

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Thank You 2018

Hi all,

We are almost at the end of 2018 and oh boy, it has been an intense year! First and foremost, we’d like to deeply thank all our customers, retailers, partners, family and friends who supported us and made us believe more than ever in this human adventure. We may have been silent on the blog for a while but we can testify that it was pretty noisy behind the scenes! Because everyone is getting excited over the Top 9 and the best pictures on social media, we would like to share our Top 9 Moments that made 2018 incredibly memorable:

  1. 2018 was definitely marked by our first steps in the offline world – from Los Angeles to Stockholm, we’ve been out there so you could try our accessories, touch them and feel the love we put in the design and in the weaving! Definitely a rewarding experience and we can’t wait to extend our reach in 2019.
  2. We hold our first pop up ever last summer at the Hoxton Hotel in London, in partnership with our online retailer I Love Designer. It was great to meet our London-based friends and supporters and exchange on ideas and collaborations.
  3. Because Noces mean Wedding / Marriage in French, it was natural that we foster collaborations with brands who share the same interest in Love. It was such an exciting moment to work with the conscious wedding dress brand Celia Grace and the PR Company Perry Rose Media. We can’t encourage you enough to support these brands led by women for women!
  4. There is a beginning to everything – our entry to Germany! Yes our German speaker fans can now find us on the biggest conscious and eco-friendly marketplace Avocadostore. Extra kudos to our little cousin Zoely who really helped making us a move in the German market with her language skills!
  5. Still staying in Germany: our awesome feature in the Fogs Magazine! Yes we are still over the moon just thinking about, with their lovely review of our Jade raffia handbag that carries our brand identity in a single accessory.
  6. And concluding on the German news: we partnered with Peppermynta Magazine and the activist Melanie-Jasmin Jeske, pictured by the photographer Florian Grill, to celebrate women and body positivity through an exclusive summer edit outfit inspiration.
  7. The magazine Native Nashville made us a great surprise: a special feature of our Alexa raffia handbag, shot by the photographer Brett Warren, in collaboration with Shop Goodwin. We are so grateful for such an opportunity!
  8. We partnered with Studio Preservation and the photographer Nicole Lorenson to capture the essence of our brand: a blend of a minimalist, timeless yet modern style. Our accessories were styled with the New York based knitwear brand Kordal and the shoes brand By Far.
  9. And last but not least: our exclusive collaboration with the brand Studio 189 led by fashion activist Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah to co-create handwoven raffia clutches and accessories to be available for Spring Summer 2019. Our bespoke accessories already made it to the New York Fashion Week, the Ghana Fashion Week, the Nigeria Fashion Week, Miami Art Basel and so on.

Of course there was much more – 2018 was a year of awesome encounters, meeting new friends from all around the world who share our vision for a fashion with purpose. Thanks to you, we will be able to continue supporting social programs in Madagascar – but wait for the next post to hear more about our social engagement!

We wish you a healthy and joyful 2019, and let’s all cheer for an awesome year to come!

With love,

TN

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