Some time ago we happened upon Heel Athens Lab, but it wasn’t until this summer that the team at So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins had the opportunity to get our hands on some of their clothes and better understand their philosophy.
Heel Athens Lab is an alternative to traditional models and forms of textile production. They defend teamwork, equality and ethical and fair working conditions. They produce all of their garments in Greece and their great motivator is respect for the environment.
The material they use is organic and 100% natural, like cotton or silk or even wool, which they dye naturally, respecting the fabric as well as nature.
Their collection “Recycling”, which was launched in December 2014, consists of unique, one of a kind designs and small production runs. The collection is “redefining the meaning of waste… and trying to communicate the recycling spirit to the public.”
The designs, for women, men and children, are an ode to optimism and comfort. We got our hands on their products at one of their shops in Greece but you can also find it online at their website. Check out the interview they gave us when we met this summer in Greece.
SO CATCHY!: What is Heel Athens Lab?
HEEL ATHENS LAB: More than a brand, Heel Athens Lab proposes an alternative production model based on teamwork, parity and fair work terms. We fit in a world of creation, resistance and freedom designing and producing in Greece. We are in constant search of ideas and ways of recycling all our materials and fabrics, contributing to sustainable development. The raw materials we select are friendly for both people and environment.
SC!: Could you define Heel in a few words…
HAL: Hellenic, Ethical, Eco-friendly fashion Lab
SC!: What is the team like at Heel Athens Lab?
HAL: HEEL believes in teamwork so the team is composed of creative people with environmental concerns offering their unique skills, such as fashion designing, pattern cutting, sewing, crafting, painting, knitting, quality managing, styling, graphic designing, printing, skills in web.
SC!: Can you tell us a bit about the history behind the Lab?
HAL: It was a family company that 15 years ago passed to the son, Pavlos Daskalakis, the art director and founder of a completely new direction for the brand. This journey through time is a difficult but a very interesting one. Our team is restless, searching always for new ideas in every field even beyond clothing, that’s why every day is for us a new challenge.
SC!: Who designs the clothes and how do you produce them?
HAL: There is a team of fashion designers that works in corporation with the pattern cutting team and of course the art director. It is worth noting that the whole production unit is located in Athens, Greece and collaborates with small local production units.
SC!: What materials or fabrics do you normally use?
HAL: Over the years our restlessness for constant improvement of quality has led to the need for higher quality raw materials, better both for the skin and the environment. We mainly work with organic cotton, linen and silk.
SC!: Describe the Heel customer?
HAL: A HEEL customer:
Has an optimistic point of view
Has environmental concern
Visits nature often
Don’t know what TV means
SC!: Your greatest success has been…
HAL: Our existence and maintenance in Greece!
We believe that the Greek law and the taxes make it almost impossible to continue a business in Greece. We think the fact that we still exist, is a big success!
SC!: Fashion is in need of…
HAL: Awareness. We all know that the fashion industry is among the top five that cause environmental pollution. Fashion awareness for us is not just another marketing term but a goal for a better future. Whatever we do we try to be a stepping stone to sustainability. We do believe in it.
SC!: What’s your dream in the near future?
HAL: Better quality of life for all the countries and a fair and healthy competition.
SC!: Countries where we can find Heel…
HAL: You can find HEEL in Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland and U.S.A. and of course through our e-shop (shipping worldwide).
SC!: How the new collection A/W 2015 will be?
HAL: Quite different from what you have seen from HEEL. We are excited!
SC!: Instagrams accounts or Fashion blogs magazine you follow…
HAL: We check the global trends but our inspiration is drawn from whatever is around us. Our main inspiration comes from nature, our goal is to translate it to humanity.
All images courtesy of Anabel Cuervas and Heel Athens Lab
Translation and layout by Michael Padilla