Simply Suzette is an online network founded by Ani Wells in 2018, that connects the denim industry with consumers by providing accurate and easy-to-understand insights from behind-the-seams. After studying the denim industry's manufacturing processes and discovering the negative consequences of purchasing cheaper quality denim, Wells founded Simply Suzette.
Simply Suzette gives consumers industry secrets and offers the knowledge that is needed to promote more educated and rational buying decisions. Simply Suzette was produced for denim lovers like her who want to learn more about the fashion industry's sustainable manufacturing processes.
Our recent interaction with Ms. Ani Wells, Director and Founder of Simply Suzette, and Sustainable Denim & Communications Specialist, talks about her online platform Simply Suzette as well as reveals the challenges, innovations, and the denim industry's journey towards sustainability.
YnFx: How Simply Suzette was started?
Wells: I started Simply Suzette for denim lovers like myself to learn more about the production methods behind making jeans. I conducted pop-up shops around Canada with a selection of vetted denim brands to showcase that there were people out there doing things in a more responsible manner. But, Simply Suzette quickly evolved into a learning and resource platform through the #DiligentDenim blog. This is where I share all of the cool and innovative technology that helps make our jeans more gentle on the people making them and our planet.
During this journey, I quickly realized how disconnected consumers are from the supply chain with no insight into how much skill and effort went into creating alternative production methods. This is where my mission to bridge the gap between the denim industry and consumers was born. The goal is to help consumers understand the value that goes into making jeans, and in turn, influence them to support the brands using their businesses for good when they are in need of a new pair. Obviously, this is important for all garments, but because denim is so important to me, this is where I started.
YnFx: What role does Simply Suzette play in the denim industry's journey towards sustainability?
Wells: Simply Suzette sees itself as the bridge to consumers and a helpful guide for those looking for reliable, but simplified, information on the denim supply chain and the best practices involved in creating diligent denim.
YnFx: What goes into the process of sourcing sustainable denim for your platform? How does Simply Suzette ensure that the products are sustainable?
Wells: The brands I choose to partner with on my website are most often based on personal relationships in addition to having a vetting process that looks at the raw materials, level of transparency, efforts towards social impact initiatives, how waste is dealt with, as well as their plans to meet future targets. Having a personal relationship with the brands allows me to gain a deeper understanding of the business values and morals with confidence. No one is perfect, but I fully stand behind the brands that are on my list.
YnFx: What do you think are the biggest challenges when it comes to manufacturing sustainable denim?
Wells: It is always paradoxical to me that indigo seems to be the biggest challenge when creating a “sustainable” jean. But, there are many experimenting with indigo alternatives! I also believe that the main challenge we have to solve is producing less.
YnFx: What are the most significant sustainable innovations or advancements for producing sustainable denim, in your opinion, and why?
Wells: It is not technically an innovation, but regenerative agriculture I see as a huge opportunity to have the most significant impact for advancing “sustainable” denim. I think this will also help foster closer relationships across the entire supply chain and encourage traceability which is absolutely needed for “sustainable” denim.
YnFx: How important do you think is consumer awareness when it comes to sustainability in denim? And how can sustainability be expressed to the consumer in a way that prompts them to make green purchases?
Wells: I think consumer awareness is extremely vital in order to move the entire industry away from the systems we have in place right now. I believe it really is an ‘all hands on deck’ situation that is needed between consumers, brands, the supply chain, and governments. We all have to work together and realize that we are all a part of the system and have a part to play.
“Sustainable Storytelling” is another buzzword but is helpful in expressing ideas to consumers. Everyone remembers stories over facts, and that is why the storytelling aspect of marketing campaigns is so successful.
YnFx: What are the plans moving forward for Simply Suzette?
Wells: Simply Suzette has started offering consulting services which will be a service that will continue to expand, as well as continuing to develop resources for those who wish to learn more about sustainable denim.
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