Ana Luiza and her father, Ronaldo
Headquartered in Brazil, Little Closet has mastered the art of creating a timeless fashion brand in the form of children’s onesies, dresses, and accessories. These adorably stylish pieces can be handed down between generations and worn time and time again; showcasing the true spirit of sustainable apparel.
From the very first moment I began my interview with the founder, Ana, and her father Ronaldo, it was apparent that they have an absolute dedication to sustainability and ethical production. Ronaldo apologized for any background noise, explaining they were currently having solar panels installed.
Ana describes her personality as “very energetic and hardworking.” She cites her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother as her greatest inspirations. “They were very dynamic and active women in their professional activities.” One of Ana’s great joys as a child was creating dresses for her dolls, for which they often helped her select fabrics and encouraged her creativity.
Having prior knowledge of slow fashion, Ana was able to recognize the stability of authentic pieces created with a classic and nostalgic style in mind. “My mother and grandmother used to dress me in styles relatively similar to those we manufacture today, dresses that are truly timeless.”
Ana believes that, in theory, sustainability is, “the search for balance between the availability of natural resources and their exploitation by society…working to ensure that they can continue to exist and be responsibly used by future generations.” Specific to the industry, it is “the capability to produce without [or minimizing to the utmost extent] environmental degradation.” To improve the brand’s overall sustainability efforts, at present day, they are currently seeking a packaging supplier who can help them acquire fully recycled and recyclable paper-based packaging.
Little Closet encourages, monitors, and demands sustainability & ethics from their suppliers. As they purchase textiles to be used, they require the following: STANDARD 100 seal by OEKO-TEX®, approval from the BCI (Better Cotton Initiative), the “SOU DE ALGADÃO” (meaning “I’M COTTON MADE”) certification, and/or an endorsement by ABRAPA (Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers).
Ana believes sustainability goes far beyond environmental impact. An encompassing interpretation of sustainability also includes education and activism regarding economic inequality and social issues.
It should be no surprise that Little Closet is socially involved as well! Not only do they use leftover fabric scraps to create bows, ties, dolls, and pillows for their shop, they also turn leftover fabric scraps into quilts and blankets which they then donate to welfare institutions.
When the pandemic hit, many people in Ana’s community lost their jobs. One factory dismissed 600 employees and she realized many families would be left without financial support. Ana began employing women whose families were negatively impacted in order to provide a source of income to families in need.
When asked if they had any advice for someone looking to start a similar business, Ana and Ronaldo emphasized the importance of Enterprise Resource Planning. “It is necessary for production control, and to reduce textile waste.”
Ana also highlighted three things she would never do again – stray from the brand concept, worry about competition, or be influenced by others’ opinions.
With such a focus on ethics and sustainability, a clear vision of the future, and an understanding of the brand, it is obvious Little Closet is a truly timeless brand leaving an impression on the slow fashion industry.
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Before the age of 10, Bethanie was already developing as an artist with writing classes, illustration, dance, theatre and piano. Later, clients from fashion, real estate and corporate sectors rounded her creative, technical and social media writing skills. Naturally, her artistic interests transposed onto film and production. Today, Bethanie hosts and produces interviews with international lifestyle brands and contributes to SNEZNY travel magazine.