Sustainability is not a trend. It’s the only way forward.
A motto, a declaration of intent, a reminder, a statement: this is Talia Collective, the platform dedicated to sustainable shopping and lifestyle through clear information and values to bring consumers closer to sustainable fashion, with an eye always open to inclusiveness and collaboration with independent brands to bring a positive and essential change.
To tell us more about the world of Talia Collective, the changes in the field, and the hopes for more conscious shopping, is the Founder & CEO Rebecca Prunali, in an interview that is also a reminder that all of us, in our small, can make a difference. And that we do it every day, always.
How and when was your passion for fashion and especially for sustainable fashion born?
My mom was a model, and, as a child, sometimes she took me with her on sets. I remember that I was fascinated by the colors of the clothes. I guess my passion for fashion was born back then! To become aware of a sustainable approach, instead, took me longer. Like many millennials, I was an avid consumer of fast fashion. My approach changed in 2018, after a master’s degree in Fashion Communication with a focus on sustainability in London. When you see the numbers and understand the impact of this industry, you can no longer look the other way.
How have you changed/are you changing your lifestyle to be aligned with the principles of sustainability?
I buy less and better. I read the labels and not only. I study brand sites before shopping, to be sure of the transparency and traceability of the supply chain. If I can’t find the information I’m looking for, I send an email and ask! I try to reduce the use of single-use plastic, although sometimes it is not easy, especially in the kitchen. I support as much as possible small local producers, buying seasonal and local products. I am careful of water consumption, and I prefer a walk rather than going by car; as I live in Milan, that’s very easy.
“I buy less and better. I read the labels and not only. I study brand sites before shopping, to be sure of the transparency and traceability of the supply chain. If I can’t find the information I’m looking for, I send an email and ask!”
Talia Collective is a platform that wants to inspire consumers to be more eco-friendly, both through shopping and information: when did you realize that there was a need to share this type of content?
As much as we often talk about sustainability, there is still little real information and a lot of greenwashing. I am sure that educating the consumer is essential if we want to have a real impact. Sustainability must be perceived as something attractive, as well as necessary.
You said that you would like sustainability to be perceived as “aspirational” and “cool:” how is Talia Collective pushing in this direction?
Our approach to the green world is fun and aspirational, from the graphics on our site to the high-end selection of the products we sell. We are also creating a real vertical community around the topic. Through Talia Magazine, we tell the stories of the excellences that are driving the change forward. We are sure that these examples can be inspiring.
What has the best moment been so far with Talia Collective, and what was the most difficult one instead? How did you overcome it?
What a question. Launching a start–up means facing different challenges every day, but at the same time, it gives you constant satisfaction. From the wonderful brands that contact us to collaborate, to important authors that want to write for us, up to receiving enthusiastic feedback from our community.
“I am sure that educating the consumer is essential if we want to have a real impact. Sustainability must be perceived as something attractive, as well as necessary.”
What is the brand selection process?
We love to discover new brands, sometimes we contact them, sometimes the request comes from them. The first step is the brand and product analysis, plus the positioning of the brand. The brands with which we decide to collaborate must be sustainable and aligned with our style from a product and design point of view. Once this is assured, we ask them to fill out a sustainability criteria form, which is then analyzed by our sustainability consultant.
Inclusivity and sustainability: how are they related to each other?
I think it is important to remember that when we talk about sustainability, we are not only talking about climate change and the environment but also about the human aspect: what are the working conditions of workers? Are they paid enough? The concept of inclusivity also includes this perspective. Luckily, fashion is increasingly breaking down those parameters that have distinguished it in the past when it comes to race, gender, and body shape.
As a creative #girlboss, what was the most useful advice that you’ve received throughout your journey?
“Not all answers can be found on Excel. Guts and intuition are fundamental.”
When you need to go shopping, what do you pay attention to?
I am careful with the materials of the pieces I buy, from a sustainable and fitting point of view. I prefer natural and upcycled materials, especially silk, linen, and wool.
What advice would you give to consumers who want to get closer to sustainable fashion?
One of the biggest problems, especially in fast fashion, is that the garments are used for a very short time before being thrown away. Invest in pieces that you know you will use for a long time. Open your closet and try to understand what are the pieces that you are never tired of wearing, and try to define what “timeless” means for you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask! Contact the customer service of the brands to get information on sustainability. Not only will you clarify your ideas, but you will also send a clear message of market interest.
What are your go-to sustainable brands?
Thanks to my job, I discover every day new wonderful brands. A recent discovery that has quickly become a must for me is Troo: a super feminine and very comfortable lingerie brand made with offcut lace. If we consider upcycled silk and timeless lines, it’s Vernisse. The Minu for activewear: their suits are beautiful and made with recycled fishing nets!
How would you define your style?
For my everyday life, I would say basic – which it’s fun, as I am the founder of a fashion marketplace! I love blazers, sneakers, and linen shirts. For an evening or special occasions, instead, I love going in the exact opposite direction up to the extravagant.
What does it mean to you to feel comfortable with yourself?
To know what you want and who you are, limits included, accept them, and be grateful for them.
“Open your closet and try to understand what are the pieces that you are never tired of wearing, and try to define what ‘timeless‘ means for you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask!“
The last thing you discovered about yourself.
That I love artichokes!
The book on your nightstand right now.
”Let My People Go Surfing,” by Yvon Chouinard.
Your everyday must-have.
Serum and moisturizer.
What about your next projects?
Talia Collective is a fast–growing project. We launched it in 2020, and right now we are very focused on our community and the further development of the platform. We have a lot of news in store!