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  • barbarafoldi

Sustainable and Pretty - also during pregnancy

Photo: Natural Sentiments

Jeans: b.boom

I am almost at the end of the second pregnancy, what I experienced when it comes to the topic of clothing these times. I always loved clothes – dressing and wearing clothes is a way of self expression – and I always prioritize secondhand clothing – also my wardrobe is 95% present thrifted. During my first pregnancy I managed to do with not buying any maternity clothes – and I guess this was the year when I almost didn’t buy anything for myself – but instead I was buying for my newborn baby!

My son was born at the end of May so the winter I made through with an oversized winter jacket and after when good weather came and my bump started to grow I wore a lot of dresses and skirts what were perfect for my bump situation.

Instead this time I had to face the fact that pregnancy clothes have a realy role in our consumer society. As I stepped into the third trimester in December I realized that I cannot zip my winter jacket together and I can put on even 2 tights I will be still cold in skirts.

I found b.boom shop in Budapest, what I am really happy about it! They are uniquely sell a Danish brand (mamalicious). This brand have made many ethical and conscious choices already – they are on the journey to be a more sustainable brand!

After failing buying secondhand pregnancy clothes for myself I went for their shop and the owner (Dóra) supported my with professionalism. She is not only committed towards a more sustainable fashion model but also a real entrepreneur and she is was a pioneer in Hungary when it came to dressing up Mamas.

Please read this interview with love!

1. Please introduce yourself and your business shortly!

I am the dreamer and creator of b.boom fashion shops. It all started 13 years ago. That time I recognized there is a demand (in myself) to have quality and consciously made maternity clothes. We have two shops in Budapest at the moment and a webshop what delivers all over Hungary and in this way are available for all.

2. Since how long have you been working as an entrepreneur and why did you start?

Since 2008 I am in the maternity clothes business. It had many reasons why I had changed but one of the biggest motivation was the flexibility. It was a never an issue for me to fit in an organizational structure or adapt to it but it was seductive to share my own time and tasks I do. Before I was working in the diplomat world what was really colorful and challenging as well. Still I felt it was too rigid for me as a young Mom and with way too much commitment. I hoped that a business what I build up can be more fitting for family life. I made a risky choice when I gave up my fix job with fix income for something I have never done before. Now after 13 years, looking back I know I made a good decision and it was worth being courageous. Also today I believe this way of working fits much better for me. The flexibility (in space and time) what a self-managed business can give simply fits better to my mother role. I have two sons who grow up together with my business. We work as a family in this way.

3. How much have changed this sector? How much you changed?

So much! Only if we think of fashion indsutry – is a really fast changing sector. One collection has just arrived and the other is around the corner. Not as fast as the collections, but the production is also changing fast – there are new technologies, materials. The same way changes the sales and marketing strategies. Today we see as well – especially in the Western countries – that also our attitude towards fast fashion is changing a lot. I was just lately in Austria where we shared ideas with other prefoessionals, entreprnuers that the big – multibrand stores and flagship stores are about to close down.

Consumers are looking for smaller shops, where are personal connections and makes the place more friendly. As a reaction for this demend in Vienna many big clothes store are shutting down in the main shopiing street (Mariahilfe strasse) and the same stores reopens in a smaller shop with quality design.

Today you do not find 5-10 brands in one store – but you can find 1 smaller shop with limited editions. I could say we did this already 13 years ago as we have smaller shops but reality is different.

We never had the opportunity to be ’small’. I consciously choose to with maternity clothes – because I think it is not fast-fashion. Firstly, because we talk about a smaller amount and secondly it is a respond for a demand: dressing up pregnant women.

In Hungary we have a very low rate of birth number – not even 100K/year. And from this little number, conscious Mamas are even smaller, who realize that it worth buying quality instead of buying bigger size during their pregnancy. Many of them realizes only later they followed a wrong way of thinking what is not sustainable for long term.

Firstly, a bigger size clothes will never look the same on someone niether during pregnancy nor after it – but the lofecycle of the item will be the same as a maternity clothes. Buti f she buys fitting and well chosen maternity clothes what fulfills its role – she spent her money well and solved the clothing issues as well.

It is very intersting to see how people think absolutely differently. We live in a world where fast fashion say to buy clothes for few months, max. for a season. There is no control. Once we like it we buy it – as fast as we buy – it also falls out of it. It will be a secondhand clothes or in a worst case simply garbage. This is what we call fast-fashion. Many clothes for short time – in poor quality.

Here come what I hardly understand: The first argument against maternity clothes – why shall I buy something for such a short time? According to me, because you need it! A pregnant body is changing and many of the already owned clothes won’t fit so other clothes will be needed.

While – not being pregnant – we buy new clothes all the time with no thinking behind – even if we have already enough and we do not really need it. This is what I call unneccesary purchase – basically wasting money and time – this is overconsuming. When it comes to maternity clothes it is a necessary spending and investment. When we talk about maternity clothing and spending money on it – it is always well thought through and needed purchase.

4. How is to work with Mamas everyday? How did their wishes changed over the years?

I love pregnant women and I think I know them well.We do not do sales in the traditional way. Many of them come into the store, spend many time there, they try on many things, we talk, maybe they leave and come back again. Even the ones who are ’careful’ come back and realizes that it s good stay pretty and be comfortable at the same time during pregnancy.

I also proove this! I went back more occasions – even I know what I wanted – but it felt good their professionality and that they supported mw to think through wht I really needed. Honestly, I dont remember when I thought so many times about a cloth to buy or not… but I am really happy with my winter coat. It will serve me for many years in many different situation – not only pregnancy. It was a great expereince going into a small store, where they cared about me, took into consideration my doubts and values and supported me to amke the right choice. This consumer experience was absolutely new for me – and I bet is new for many people.

5. What does sustainability means to you?

Sustainability for me is about the necessary consumerism, what is conscious and smart. What I mean that we have to take back from the wasteful living. How to do it? Well, I believe to reduce the personal consumption what still satisfy the needs but does not mean overconsumption. Because from overconsumption comes the demand. Simply – Purchase what you use up!

6. How sustainability appears in your daily life?

I have more successful and less successful periods when it comes to practice. In my experience, it takes many attention from my side and many energy and when it’s a busy period I struggle to keep control and hard to pay also attention for this. Obviously we do our best to reduce waste, to shop less, we take care of the water usage and we do not waste energy unnecessarily.

I find difficult to change routines. My goal for this year we keep only the necessary amount of food at home. When I was a child, the pantry was always full because we lived far from the shop and we were many at the family – so we kept extra at home. My parents brought this attitude as well from their parents. Now I wish to break this circle – because I believe this is not sustainable either to keep so much food at home. It can happen I forget and expires and we have to through food out. I would love to change my clothing habits as well. I buy way too many clothes and I wash them way too often.

When we wash the clothes to many times and not in the proper way – it is also a wasteful usage of the fabric. Soon a blog post is coming about how I do in a more sustainable way.

7. When will you be satisfied?

I do not believe there is satisfaction – long-term – just as balance is not a constant state. When my kids were smaller I was seeking for balance between work and family and myself. after I let it go and it seems since this moment there is a kind of ’order’. As workload and family and I change all the time – it also changes how I feel during these days.

8. I wish…

I can make the work I have to. I have no world changing plans or objectives. I would love to see my kids growing up and how they live their life, I wish to laugh a lot and discover the world.

I wish all this come true. Also that many Mama discover during her pregnancy how consciousness and sustainability is important in clothing! The keep an eye on functionality, to feel themselves good in their body also during and after pregnancy!

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