We love to share the story of impact entrepreneurs specially if the project is female founded like Liv and Grace, a project founded by Belen, Christiane and Giovanna that was born with the aim to educate the consumer so that they can consciously make decisions about what to purchase without feeling like they're giving up style and creative expression.
We met Giovanna Spica, and asked her few questions about their amazing project:
- WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SPECIALIZE IN VEGAN PREMIUM FASHION?
We decide to come together and create this premium fashion marketplace because we all, Christiane, Belen, and I, have a firm belief in wanting to make the world a better place. We all came into this for a different reason, Christiane is what I was call an environmentalist. She doesn't have a degree or anything but her main focus is promoting a lifestyle that benefits the well-being of the planet. Belen is very much an animal activist. Her passion is making sure animals' voices are heard and their struggles felt, she's a total empath. And for me it was more about the humanity and spiritual evolution this all represents. I firmly believe that we can make this a better world and that it all starts with how we consume, whether that be what we put in our mouths, what we put on our bodies, generally what we pay for. We are all consumer activists in that sense. It made sense for us to provide the world with something we think it is in desperate need of. It's no secret that fast fashion has overtaken the world. There are tons of documentaries about overproduction, mindless consumption, overconsumption, the mounds and mounds of clothes that are taking up space in landfills. Well-meaning Westerners bombard countries like Ghana or my own country of the Dominican Republic with clothing waste. It's a serious problem and one we have to act on now. Slow fashion is the future. We need garments that protect the Earth, are durable, are not dependent upon animal agriculture, and make people feel good.
Not to mention, Belen is a model, as was Christiane, and I was a stylist and who went to fashion school therefore. It only made sense. We all love fashion, and luckily enough, I believe we're all optimists, dreamers, doers.
Liv and Grace founders: Giovanna, Christiane and Belen
- WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES YOU FACE?
I'd say the two main challenges we face are consumer expectation and education. They pretty much overlap and go hand-in-hand. It seems as if the vast majority of shoppers are more interested in quality over quality. Fast fashion has gotten people accustomed to buying new clothes, shoes, and accessories every season and a lot of time even for mundane events. Got invited to a dinner, graduation, party, or wedding? Need a new pair of shoes, or a new dress, or a new shirt, or something new. This concept is very strange and entirely unsustainable. A lot of us, including myself, prefer shopping that is quick, cheap, trendy, and ships for free. Luckily, people are waking up to the disastrous affects this type of shopping is having on the environment and the human psyche. it's not only taking a toll on our planet but on our mental health. It's also, quite obviously affecting the small business model. Small business won't be able to catch up unless something changes. The climate crisis is only one of many wake up calls we needed in order to wake us all up to our detrimental behavior.
Also, a lot of it boils down to a lack of information. Most of my friends had no idea that faux leather could be made from fruit, vegetables, or seaweed. The industry has brainwashed us into thinking that furs and leathers are luxurious and high end, whereas, thats far from the truth. We've been fed lies from the fashion and advertising industry for years and years and now we have to undo all of that programming. Incredible innovations are being created and this is only the beginning. Chopping animals up for bags or shoes will be a thing of the past. Years from now we'll look back on it and consider it barbaric. The world needs to know that beautiful cruelty free fashion alternatives exists.
WHY IS CANUSSA AT LIV&GRACE
We chose to have Canussa on our platform for many reasons including; it's local, your factory and warehouse are in Europe, it's women owned, and we believe in your products. We had known much about your bags and accessories before embarking on this journey and we trusted the brand. Now I can speak for myself when I say that my trust grew exponentially after having met Maria face-to-face. A big part of why we exists and why we choose to take on the brands we do is because we want to see companies that are working with new textile tech to grow and be successful. We invest in companies that we believe are leading the way towards a greener future. When I spoke to Maria she was adamant about consistently improving her product in order to best suite ethical and sustainable requirements. We both agreed that plastic wasn't the best alternative but, that we could see positive change happening quickly. If we invest in companies like yours that see the finish line and work tirelessly in finding the correct materials to offer the public, we'll definitely change the world.