"My mother always had a thing for beautiful quality fabrics, laces, embroidery, tapestry, crochet, looms, and anything made by hand in the old way. She taught me a lot about materials, fibers, fabrics, and the value of handicraft.
My father sold home-textiles and haberdashery. He was also a very conscious consumer and always reminded me of how important it is to buy local products, respect the planet, and appreciate all the great things it gives us.
In 2018, my siblings and I had to take over my father's business. The experience was very awakening to me and made me understand how important it is to buy from small businesses. Dealing with everything was overwhelming but rewarding. It felt right to sell a national quality product and to have that close contact with the costumers and suppliers.
Soon after that, I started toying with the idea of starting a project of my own. After fashion school, I wanted a chance to explore a different approach towards fashion, a more hand-crafted way of making clothes, and this was my opportunity. I started to experiment with the materials I had at home and eventually designed the "Things Remote" upcycled collection. While developing it, I was shocked to realize how much time is needed to make a garment from scratch and how costly the materials are. I knew that I wanted to work with sustainable fashion, but this just made a lot more clear how much we need to change our consumer's behavior, especially when buying from the second largest polluter in the world - the clothing industry.
I wanted to offer a more sustainable and slow-paced alternative to fast fashion, so I decided to start my label.
With Inês Fonseca, I want to make you feel an open and deep connection to the clothes you buy. A garment goes well beyond the final product. It is the result of months of planning and dedication, so I want to share its journey and my creative process with you. I want to talk to you about the fabric choices, the pattern making, the construction of the pieces, the atelier where everything happens, and the people involved. (check @inesfonseca_apparel on Instagram for updates)
My goal is also to bring you unique sustainable apparel that is exciting to wear, gives you positive energy, and makes you feel empowered.
Costumes and vintage pieces, art, fabrics, tailoring, and nature are some of my biggest inspirations. I also love to draw and play with patterns, colors, and textures. My favorite pieces of clothing are coats. You will find a little bit of all that here. Welcome to my world!"
The research, design, and sampling is carried throughout several months in the atelier until the final prototypes are approved.
When you place an order, the fabric is cut, embroidered, and the buttonholes made in the workshop. After that, the material is sent to a seamstress, Filomena, and assembled by her. Filomena has forty years of experience and works from her workroom at home.
To follow the creative process up close, check us out on instagram (@inesfonseca_apparel).
The efforts to reduce waste start at the workshop where our prototypes are made from old fabric scraps. Also, the leftover final fabric is repurposed to make buttons, buckles, and others.
Only small amounts of fabric are purchased and solely from Portuguese factories.
We manufacture our products only when previously ordered to prevent excessive stock.
At the moment, we are working with deadstock quality fabrics, mostly made out of natural fibers. However, as we grow, we aim to work exclusively with sustainable solutions and to do as much as we can to make our production process as eco-friendly as possible.