Respect, empathy and justice for those other than ourselves. Does this sound familiar? These are the shared goals of two movements- human rights and animal rights. Come to think of it, these two are the pieces of the same puzzle. Like books that, upon reading, grow into trees there are activist that, upon realizing their true calling, grow into true defenders. Vilma is an archaic, Teutonic name that stands for: defender, protector, guardian. Vilma is also a creative force behind Vilma Boutique, a Greek vegan handbag brand that believes that there is a firm place for compassion in fashion. Due to increased demand from animal protection groups and many nature-aware fashionistas, the industry is taking a major step back from fur, leather and endangered skins. It is about time, don’t you agree?
As someone who believes in sustainability, I chose Vilma Boutique as my favorite cruelty-free brand of the month. This amazing designer not only focuses on using eco-friendly fabrics, but on creating handbags that look and feel luxurious as well. Vilma, an endlessly lovable designer, seeks inspiration from art and nature. She established Vilma Boutique just last year, and has already gained much success in the market. Standing behind her personal beliefs, she wanted to share the philosophy of her vegan lifestyle with the world. While purchasing one of the amazing handbags they offer, you opt for high quality item for an affordable price. You also purchase a handbag made with love. If you’re wondering what’s love got to do with it, read bellow what Vilma Vaskeviciute had to say for Amra’s Haute Life!
Spoiler alert: Vilma is a true guardian of nature… and I love it!
Who is the creative force behind Vilma Boutique?
I guess, I am (laughter!) I am proud of the originality of my products. The entire design process first unwinds inside my head, and then goes into production. I never try to copy other brands or ideas. Art and nature are two components that get me excited about creating new and inspirational handbag designs.
Are your products handmade manufactured or…?
It is our mission to provide long-lasting and quality products. Therefore, all our handbags are made using professional sewing machines.
What are your thoughts about compassion in fashion?
When I first started my business, I met many people who don’t go commercial and strongly care about the story behind the product. I believe that each product has its buyer, because each of us has a different style and promotes different values. Vegan community is a growing community, getting larger and larger each year… worldwide! That proves that people think and care more about animals and environment. We don’t just sell handbags, we share our ideology as well.
When you communicate with your customers, do you notice the change you are making in the society? Respectively, do you advocate sustainable fashion in your community? If so, in what way?
We run an international business and we want to reach every woman who shares the same values and mission as Vilma Boutique. I am also a member of another international organisation called Trusted Clothes, based in Canada, that advocates equal rights of employers, safe environment and children education in poverty-affected countries. That is my way to give back to the international community. It is very important to write and talk about these burning issues. The louder we speak about it, the better results we can get. And, I know that fashion can be ethical, sustainable and fair.
Do you collaborate with fashion bloggers that share the same values as your brand?
I am proud to say that, through our business, we have the opportunity to collaborate with influencers who share the same values as we do, and spread a positive energy across the globe.
Are you limited to designing vegan accessories only or do you plan to expand your product offer?
I plan to expand the range of our products. I want to create a vegan women’s clothing line, as well.
What are the special features about your brand you would love to emphasize?
We believe in sustainability, quality and great customer service. That is our priority and we always try our best to make our customers feel special. Also, what is less-known about our brand is that most of the materials we use for our handbags are made out of recycled plastic.
What are the biggest challenges in growing an eco-friendly brand?
Like in any other business- the beginning itself. It is always challenging to prove your values, earn trust of the customers and staying true to your vision. However, when you do what you do with a lot of passion, success is inevitable.
In five years, Vilma boutique will…?
In five years… Hmm… I wish for my brand to become one of the most popular and most known vegan brands in the market. Also, I plan to open a physical store in Greece. So far, we are an online boutique offering online shopping experience to our customers.
What inspires you to stay productive and creative?
Passion about what I do and what I create. I motivate myself by believing that one day I will be very successful (Note from the author: Vilma, you already are!)
Photo Credit: Vilma Boutique