My ECO STORIES with Danielle Windsor
Updated: Feb 14
Welcome to My ECO STORIES our interview series, where we chat to different practitioners within the fashion and textile industry about their thought on sustainability and the future of fashion.
Danielle Jade Windsor is the designer and founder of YAITTE. Danielle has a wealth of experience, after working in the fashion industry for over fourteen years as a multi-product womenswear designer. After receiving a full scholarship to complete her Masters at Domus Academy in Milan, she then went on to work for the likes of Viktor & Rolf, Matthew Williamson and Zara. At present she is consulting for brands within London while developing YAITTE.
YAITTE is a London based line of responsible luxury essentials with an objective to create products rooted in the idea of travel and exploration.
Can you talk a bit about your practice?
I launched Yaitte three years ago as a passion project; I have always wanted my own line of luxury essentials. Timeless pieces which are consciously sourced, durable as well as stylish.
What does sustainability mean to you?
I think anybody that has worked in the fashion industry knows the true ins and outs of our industry, but it is whether they truly care and have empathy to decide to conduct themselves in a more conscious way. Having travelled extensively in Asia, I have seen the good and bad our industry brings. I have always been passionate about quality fabrications, execution and product. I think buying investment pieces is the best sustainable practice, over fast fashion.
How do you make your practice sustainable?
We deliberately create limited quantities of all our pieces, and request pre-order on a number of items online to reduce waste stock. To ensure that each piece we create is delivered to an individual who will cherish their item for years to come.
Upcoming collections will feature pieces crafted from deadstock fabric salvaged from another luxury brands business closure. Therefore saving useable fabric from landfill. This enables us to breathe new life into existing textiles. These particular fabric bases have since been tested to verify their composition and are certified ‘Made in Italy’.
Designing and producing considered, quality clothing from sustainable sources, which really stand the test of time, is one of the most environmentally-conscious and socially responsible positions we can adopt as a brand. We are at the beginning of our journey, and commit to learning as we evolve. We are sourcing, making and redefining our sustainable goals behind the products we design for YAITTE, helping to create a better future.
To avoid unnecessary use of plastic which ends up in our seas, we are committed to packaging made from certified sustainable sources. Our paper envelopes are 100% recyclable, printed using water based inks and FSC certified. Our bespoke tissue paper is 100% biodegradable, printed using water based inks and FSC certified. Each order comes with a handwritten 100% recycled paper postcard to individually thank each and every one of our customers.
What advice would you give to someone starting a responsible brand?
To be honest with your customer, each day we are ALL learning. Conscious and forward thinking fabric mills and manufacturers are adapting their practises daily to ensure a better future. You truly have to believe your impact will make a difference, as it isn’t always easy.
Which item of clothing in your wardrobe is the most important to you? (An item that is the most meaningful to you)
Our BUOY shirt. I always used to wear my boyfriends (now husband) shirts as I like to style up a boyfriend fit, but now each season we refresh our BUOY shirt. I just find it such a versatile piece for the city or on vacation.
Which small businesses are you loving at the moment, and would like to give a shout out to?
One I have discovered during lockdown is Timeless Pearly. I love to style up my look with jewelry and Timeless Pearly is fun with a twist of vintage inspiration. It’s also handmade which I think is just a lovely story.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, what issue has been highlighted in the industry to you?
In recent weeks, the poor conditions of factories in Leicester have been brought to light. The misconduct of huge fast fashion brands such as boohoo.com who use famous influencers as selling tools. What I would like to highlight, is that anyone buying a dress for under £6 must start to realise that people will be being mistreated at this type of price. It is just not realistic to manufacture a responsible garment at this price.
YAITTE has always taken social responsibility seriously. We care deeply about the lives of people in our communities, as well as those involved in the production of our garments.
Food banks support the most vulnerable in our communities, and have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. £10 of every sale of our limited edition organic cotton T-shirts will be donated direct to The Trussell Trust during 2020.
What is your hope for the future of fashion and textiles?
I hope myself and other creatives are able to pursue our passions in these uncertain times.
Written by Bethan and Danielle @theecostories