Each of us at Because could (and most likely will) talk about sustainability until we’re blue in the face... Because, when something is worth mentioning, it’s worth mentioning again and again, until it osmoses into the mass consciousness and, eventually, becomes habit.

The fashion industry has made meaningful strides towards total sustainability this year – in terms of advancements in fabrics, initiatives that fight for greater transparency in the supply chain, and a more ethical attitude towards the human and environmental impact of what we put onto our bodies and into our wardrobes.

Pioneering label PHVLO, headed up by Johanna Ho, is a name to have on your radar over the coming months, leading the way in technological improvements and the function-led design that is swiftly becoming the future of our industry. We spoke to Johanna to learn more about what’s to come...

What inspired your decision to launch PHVLO?
The fashion industry is simply going way too fast; I don’t want to chase the system anymore. PHVLO is about seasonless creations that we want to take time in doing everything for, from research to design to producing the final product, down to every detail of finishing and packaging. It’s about creating a balance in quality and a sense of personal touch. When I had my first daughter, I just decided that I don’t want her or her kids to continue to live in such a contaminated world.

What does ‘sustainability’ mean to you? How do you define it through the PHVLO lens?
To me, sustainability is about how well something can sustain, in that there is no end life to it. It is about circularity; this idea that something can have a continuous life cycle and just keep on going. Our perspective on the world is a global one. We move between cultures and mindsets, and bring together those who share our values and vision for a better world. Actions speak louder than words... Changes only happen when someone challenges the status quo, so we integrate educational programmes, conscious partnerships and sustainable practices into our business, because this is how we want things to be done.

You’ve made some giant leaps and bounds in fabrication, and in driving forwards with the future of sustainable materials.
It took me almost two years to launch PHVLO. Most of this time was spent with research, and most of that was in fabrics – both the functional aspects and the sustainable ethos. As there are many “cowboys” out there who claim themselves to be producing eco materials (but, really, deep down have no idea what it means), we do work with labs and send the fabrics off to them to double-check the toxicity and components that the sources claim.

To me, sustainability is not just about eco; the functional aspect of both fabric and design goes hand in hand. Most importantly, the product needs to be aesthetically beautiful and functional as well. Examples of advancements in fabrication include crabyon, which is originally obtained from crab’s crusts. This is a new type, milestone acrylic material that is not only highly anti-pilling but is also soft to the touch; made from blended high-grade USA cotton, it has a soft and luxurious hand feel and boasts anti-bacterial, anti-bromic (deodorising), moisture retaining, anti-pilling, lasting flexibility and stay-in-shape properties.

Another example is the Minotech™ fabric, which encompasses our respect for history and tradition, as well as our consideration for the environment. Inspired by Minos – traditional Japanese water-repellent garments made of rice straw – Minotech™ is a technology that results in rainproof garments where the raindrops slide along the surface instead of penetrating it. Inspired by nature, Ecorepel® by Schoeller technology results in a fabric finish that imitates the qualities of a duck’s plumage; it’s a water and mud-repelling coating that ensures textiles stay dry and clean, prolonging the lifespan of a garment, and reducing waste. It is biodegradable and free from fluorocarbons.

How does this translate to the PHVLO aesthetic?
We create functional design for our customers and the lives that they live; multi-functional in nature, our creations are designed to last throughout the day, reducing waste and removing the need to change outfits. Sophistication and simple beauty is at the heart of our designs. Every piece is comfortable, versatile, and practical for every hour of the day.

What do you hope for the future of fashion?
Sustainability is now a big word in fashion and our society; in some ways, it’s just like a trend, which can be quite dangerous. There will be many fake stories of people who claim that they are doing sustainable fashion. Sustainability in fashion is still at an infancy stage, especially in Asia, which is why we are doing what PHVLO believes in. That is, building a community through education ­– not just amongst students, but in every facet of life. Sustainability is not just a movement, but a lifestyle.

As a business and a cultural entity, we want to bring forward positive change from within to influence our community. We partner and collaborate with like-minded individuals who have a shared vision to better this world, to help it to become a happier and healthier place for everyone.

Click here to shop PHVLO.

Also on Because Magazine:

+ YATAY’s Umberto de Marco explains how he's kicking ethical footwear up a gear.

Stella McCartney presents a new industry standard with the Loop Sneaker.

+ Discover how Carcel do 'Copenhagen Cool' Differently.