Designer: Ines Rust
Founder: Ines Rust, Gabriel Fellsches, Marian von Rappard
Year of foundation: 2015
Production site: Saigon, Vietnam (own factory)
What began in a fair and transparent manner is developing into something very big at DAWN. Since 2018, the denim label is not only PETA certified and a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, but launches its first GOTS-certified capsule collection of organic cotton and recycled plastic. And with a unprecedented social experiment (see below), the Cologne-based label continues to turn the fair-fashion wheel a bit further. Because here is not the revenue in the foreground, but the happiness of the employees. And that can be measured. Says the three makers of DAWN. Implement it with their “Social Art Project” into action and can thus be considered a great example for the entire industry.
The Story of DAWN
The grievances in the textile industry are no longer a secret. And still, not so much is being done as possible. Except for a few committed pioneers. Visionary people who want to show that there is another way. That design and quality are in no contradiction to social and environmental compatibility. Like the three friends Ines Rust, Gabriel Fellsches and Marian von Rappard. Gabriel is the managing director, Marian lives in Vietnam and is responsible for the production and all projects on site and Ines is the designer. Marian and Gabriel got to know each other during their apprenticeship in Cologne. Ines met with Marian in Vietnam. Influenced by the same ethical values, the three have founded their own fair fashion label, Fairness First and maximum Transparency 2015, and have since then been producing grandiose denim styles for women.
The DAWN philosophy? From fair wear to love affair.
With a completely transparent production process. From the beginning to the end. And where does DAWN produce its denim darlings? The start-up from Cologne has gone where others do not want to look. Instead of the “Made in Europe” trend (which is not necessarily better – more about that here), the three DAWN founders went straight into the middle of fast fashion hell. To Saigon in Vietnam. With their own factory and associated denim laboratory. And since then, they have shown that a) denim production also works fairly and b) that one can also produce sustainable in Asia. If you want. And that Dawn really wants shows at the latest the unique Social Project.
Social Art Project
That the founding idea was fairness for the textile industry is not just a phrasing at DAWN. This is a concept that consistently permeates the entire label. The factory in Saigon offers English courses at different levels, weekly fruit bars, massage treatments. And that is significantly more than most companies based in Germany do for their employees. And now DAWN has even topped itself again: with a playful social art project.
Happiness is measurable. The DAWN-makers are convinced of that.
Inspired by the exhibition experiment “The Happy Show” by the New York-based designer and artist Stefan Sagmeister and the associated question “What makes us happy or at least happier?” The DAWN founders want to measure the happiness level of the employees.
DAWN wants to know more about the people who make their label what it is. They want to know if their employees are happy or what makes their employees really happy. Because happiness is measurable – the makers are convinced of that. And not only by the smile of selected factory workers. The project is set up with four installations. Values can be communicated here and wishes expressed. The project is first created for a year. An idea provides the following trailer:
My favorite part
Hard to say because every pair of pants is a real favorite. Cropped, high waist, loose fit, with zipper details, cool washings, sophisticated seams as pants, shirt, blouse, jeans or Tencel dress or as shorts. And since the autumn / winter season 2017/18, DAWN is also available as a performance pant. But if I had to choose one favorite part? Then that would be the New Rainbow overalls (around 180 euros) – that sets entirely new denim standards.
Sustainability at DAWN
Fair from the beginning. And more than fair in the pay. Unfortunately, the minimum wage paid in Asian manufacturing countries (“minimum wage”) does not guarantee a living. Therefore, DAWN pays a salary that covers the cost of living. And that is much more than the “living wage” that applies to this region. Plus: DAWN covers the costs of private health insurance for all employees.
#honest #fair #denim
Since April 2018 DAWN has been PETA certified and is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. And from the fall / winter season 2018, there will be a GOTS-certified #lowimpact capsule collection from organic cotton and recycled polyester (Repreve) for the first time. With the long-term plan to continuously increase the share of sustainable materials. DAWN is constantly working on further optimizing its own vision. For example, DAWN would like to set up its own solar power plant in 2018 to enable almost completely CO2-free production.
The three founders want to give something back to the country where they are producing. That’s why they support an orphanage in the Vietnamese highlands. The children living there have only limited access to education and therefore poor job prospects. The Fair Fashion Label provides sewing machines and equipment to the sewing school owned by the orphanage and has developed a training program that gives young women and men a better opportunity to start their careers.
Good to know
Incidentally, the name DAWN does not come by chance. Because DAWN means beginning. And no matter how far the three Cologne are already – they still have a lot to plan. Go to the website of the Fair Fashion label here