Eco-Fashionable Friday: Elsa and Me

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by Yoli Ouiya on May 3, 2013

Last weekend, I received an email from a woman named Maja Svensson asking if I would wear one of her dresses during my presentation at Green Festival NY. After perusing her website, I agreed to meet with her and chat. What a great decision. Maja is a finance executive turned fashion designer. She had a dream, a vision, and executed. The Elsa and Me dresses are lovely, custom tailored dresses made of organic cotton and manufacturer by a small group of tailors in the New York garment district. Their a perfect addition to any woman’s wardrobe as it is multifunctional; taking you from day to night and everything in between. It fits an array and looks different on various body types.

There are two versions available, the original 3/4 sleeve ELSA and the recently launched sleeveless ELSA, both of which are available in eight colors: Dusty Black, Vanilla White, Midnight Blue, Power Red, Sunny Wheat, Sweet Potato, Butter Cream and Hibiscus.

Here is a lovely interview with Maja and be sure to check out Elsa and Me.

elsaandme1
Green Goddesses: Karama Horne of SavvyBrown.com | Natural Skincare Expert + Green Makeup Artist C Eden Di Bianco

How did Elsa and Me come to be? (tell me about you’re transition from finance to designer etc)
I have always wanted to run my own company. When I came to New York in 2008 for an internship in the Consulate General of Sweden, I immediately felt inspired by the city’s entrepreneurial vibe. I started to look for what a company of my own could be all about.

At the time, I was working in a corporate office environment and I saw a lack of diversified and feminine looks for the office. I decided I wanted to start making clothing that offered a conservative, yet stylish and feminine alternative.

Since I am not a fashion designer by training, I started experimenting with designs in 2009 with the help of a friend. I also got in contact with a pattern maker who helped me realize my first designs.

After receiving positive feedback on my first pieces, I decided I wanted to try making clothing for the professional woman.

elsaandme3

The name Elsa has some powerful energy.
The inspiration for ELSA AND ME is my grandma Elsa, who has always had a very elegant and classic style. Her generation’s overall better care of resources like garments, heavily influence ELSA AND ME as well.

Who is the Elsa Dress for?
The ELSA dress is primarily for the woman professional looking for a dress to wear at work that can be easily transitioned for play. With the ELSA dress we want to give the alternative to dress conservative, yet stylish AND feminine at work.

elsaandme2Designer Maja Svensson and I at Green Festival NY
I love this color she choose for me…Hibiscus, which happens to be a favorite flower o’ mine.

What do you hope to see happen over the next few years in sustainable fashion?
My hopes for sustainable fashion in the future is for sustainable to no longer be a word but rather an industry standard, meaning criterias are set for how materials are being produced, which materials are allowed to be used in production and how clothing is being manufactured.

I also hope the hype of fashion could be settled for being more focused on the combination of quality and style rather than focusing on the shifting trends and changes each season, which i think is part of today’s clothing industry craze that pushes the boundaries of the industry practices and morals.

I hope smaller brands and independent designers will be able to take a bigger stake of the clothing market in the future, serving consumers more aware of the cost of fashion and that allows for pre-orders and longer delivery times, which reduces the risk for the small clothing business and in turn better reflects a sustainable approach to fashion.

If you could do anything in the world, and you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
What I do now actually. That’s the perk of being your own, you’ve chosen what you want to do over what’s convenient/comfortable with the trade-off being the risk of failure.

This post was written by...

– who has written 337 posts on Yoli's Green Living.

Yoli Ouiya is a Green & Healthy Living Expert, Green Chef, Publisher and Editor in Chief of YolisGreenLiving.com. She is noted as the “Queen of Green” by Black Enterprise Magazine, and currently operates a boutique eco-lifestyle outfit Yoli’s Green Living Group. Black Enterprise included Yoli in its “Top 20 National Bloggers” of 2012, was named ‘Best in Green Living” by AllParenting.com, and listed as “Top 17 Black Woman Bloggers to Watch in 2013″ bu ForHarriet.com. With a certification in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell, she offers workshops, lectures, and organizes a variety of eco-chic green themed events in New York. She is currently on the board of directors for The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, a health and nutrition specialist for Harlem Children’s Zone, and co-authoring a book slated for completion Spring 2014.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Deborah Davis June 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I am so happy to discover your post about the Elsa dress.
I have always been in love with simple, sleeveless dresses.
They are my ‘grab and go’ look for work and most social occasions.
And I usually wear black.
However, it was hard to find an ecofriendly version.
So when I saw this post about the Elsa dress, I was thrilled.
Finally, a well-tailored, organic cotton dress I can live in.
And they come in a array of colors!

Reply

Yoli Ouiya June 21, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Thank you Deborah. I feel the same way. It is business casual or formal business and can go from night to day. I can’t wait to get my dress!

Reply

ashlee piper July 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Such a beautiful site and gorgeous dress! So happy to have found ya. Hello!

Reply

Yoli Ouiya July 18, 2013 at 9:10 am

Thank you Ashlee!! Happy to have been found and good day to you too :-)

Reply

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