Created in 2014 by Elina Cerell, iluut is a sustainable fashion brand whose modern designs are made and produced in Europe. It is iluut’s core belief that the garments are sustainably sourced and traceable down their last material. Alongside this, the brand values the transparency from their producers they work with and carries this through to their beloved customers. The garments are then sold at an affordable price to help to promote these core values to the industry in hope that this will become a standard.
Elina Cerell (29, Helsinki) has always dreamed of doing something that could make a positive change. She had a dream about a sustainable fashion business that could do something beneficial with the share of the profits. After business studies and working three years as a project manager in one of the leading advertising agencies in Finland, she decided to start chasing her dream. Elina made a YouTube video where she explained that she was looking for likeminded, warm-hearted people.
Italian, internationally well- known print designer, Silvia Stella Osella, (30, Milan) who has designed for established brands such as Zara, Topshop and Adidas, saw the video and sent an e-mail to Elina. The young women started meeting on Skype and immediately noticed that they shared the same vision about ethically, environmentally sustainable produced garments designed for the modern woman.
Fashion designer, Vj Taganahan (25, London), also shared the same vision of a sustainable and value-led fashion industry. Her recent modern collection mixed conceptual ideas and experiments with rudimentary shapes in relation to women’s bodies. Since then, Vj has taken these principles forward in a commercial market whilst working for both luxury and premium brands such as Simone Rocha and Self- Portrait Studio.
Transparency & Traceability
In the spring of 2016, the trio registered the company iluut, where its name derives from the Finnish word ‘tuuli` which means ‘wind’. The word is inverted to symbolise iluut’s willingness to see a positive shift in the fashion industry, where creativity and beauty recognise our responsibility to the environment as well as its social impact on the social welfare of everyone involved in the process.
iluut’s mission is to be a fully transparent company that knows and understand the whole production chain.
“We’ve learned while visiting the different production mills in Europe, that none of the production steps are simple. In every part of the chain - from farming, spinning, weaving, printing and transporting - there is huge amount of know-how and people involved. We want to give importance to all these people we are working with and have met, most especially through our road trip across Europe. This was a real eye opener and we want to share these things that we have learned to everyone because we want to embrace the professional industry in all its aspects and we are proud to support and work within a European market,” Elina explains.
“As Europeans, we are happy to show that these are sourced and made in Europe. The industry here struggles because of the extreme price competition. It would be a shame if all that know-how and rich knowledge of the industry would disappear from Europe. That’s why we are passionate to support these craftsmen and producers with their years of experience, even possibly handed down by generations before!” Silvia tells.
“We are very proud that our shirt is 63% linen grown in Normandy, France. Our shirt dress is a Tencel-cotton blend - Tencel is invented in Austria,” Vj says and continues: “Last but not the least, our garments are lovingly sewn and finished in Finland.”
Contemporary clothes for European Women
iluut has been making a lot of research and noticed that there is a lack of contemporary design in the sustainable fashion market in Europe.
“We’re designing modern pieces for European women. Sustainability and style should not be compromised. Our team is working hard sourcing comfortable fabrics to create these beautiful garments that are flattering on women’s various body types. That’s an area we constantly grow and learn as we fit our clothes on different types of people,” Vj explains passionately.
It has been clear from day one that when the business starts running, iluut will use part of the profits to benefit charitable organisations. The first project is to build a POP (Pencils Of Promise) school in third world countries.
“We’re also super excited to announce that to minimise waste, the leftover fabrics collected after cutting the garments will be sent to Carpet for Life. They collaborate with a community of women in the Moroccan desert and turn these leftover fabrics into beautiful carpets using the local Berber technique, and sell them at a fair price”, Silvia smiles.