For Thank God it’s Yoga Festival 2019 Iris and Tessa interviewed each other. Iris is a yoga teacher and will offer Hawaiian Vinyasa and a Dragon yoga class during the festival. Tessa designed a sustainable yoga and surf clothing line: HOESSEE.
The idea: HOESSEE
Iris: What an incredible beautiful and colorful prints and comfortable fitting leggings you’ve designed! How did you get the idea for HOESSEE?
Tessa: I studied fashion in art school and was already designing fabrics and prints. During that time sustainability became more and more important to me. My desire to contribute to a positive change in the fast-fashion world we see around us grew. After several shows and projects I wanted to bring a sustainable product on the market. Leggings fit perfectly in my active yoga and surf lifestyle and that’s how HOESSEE came into being.
Iris: What’s really appealing to me is that HOESSEE not only uses recycled material for their leggings and tops, but also takes it forward to packaging, tags and even tape. Are there still points to improve?
Tessa: We try to take as much as possible into account. How we wrap our products as well as the labels and the promotion cards that we print. It would be awesome if the fabric we’re using would be really recycled to 100%. Now it’s 78% recycled polyamide and 22% elastin.
Iris: It’s certainly not always easy to find honest and sustainable (yoga) clothes. Online I found it to be easier because you can read about the way companies work and what their values are. Sometimes it still needs to be send overseas. Then I wonder “what are we doing, really?!” That’s why I also love that HOESSEE is being produced in Europe. How did you find your way in sustainable production?
Tessa: When you have a strong stand for something and want to make the extra effort, you get quite far. It becomes more of a challenge when for instance a production company gives you alternative choices. I knew what I had in mind for HOESSEE and I kept searching until it worked out the way I wanted. It’s not difficult to take biologically grow resources to start with. Working with the right people and pay fair prices neither. What’s the hardest is that it still isn’t (yet) common knowledge, so you have to search for the right fabrics and production companies that live up to these values. It matters to me that I can explain to people where HOESSEE clothing is made, by who and with which materials.
Iris: Do you have a tip when it comes to sustainable shopping?
Tessa: As a consumer you also have to be willing to put in a little more effort. Maybe you won’t find it in the big shopping centers, but there are really a lot of amazing initiatives. And yes, the prices are different then at some chain stores. But it has to be if everyone in the chain gets a fair pay ánd the quality of the clothes is high so they will last long as well. Second-hand shopping is of course a good choice. Always feel for yourself if an item really makes you happy, if you need it and if you will wear it often, before you buy it.
Tessa: Do you take notice of how and where clothes are made when you buy something?
Iris: The last couple of years more and more. Recently, after I’d seen a moving video on Facebook (Extra’s:E123 – Before You Go Shopping, Watch This) I asked a sales lady in a store how sustainable and fairly produced their clothes were. She didn’t know. It gets people to think and reconsider, myself ánd the sales people. Afterwards I researched online to figure out what that company does on sustainability. Next to making sustainable choices fort he earth I feel responsible as a teacher as well. That’s why I chose to buy an eco yoga mat from Manduka and I have recycled yoga leggings as well. The material is of better quality then from most cheaper options. It’s hopeful some chain stores like H&M begin to make more sustainable choices as well.
Tessa: What do you find important when it comes to a yoga outfit: how it fits, sustainability, look?
Iris: A combination of the three. I teach a lot of Bikram yoga classes. So for me a thin fabric that breaths well is best. Preferably it feels like a second skin. My favorite legging has many different colors that flow into each other. Colors you like have an impact on your mood as well.
Yoga, surf and awareness
Iris: How do you feel sustainable clothing goes with yoga and surf?
Tessa: When you have so much fun being in nature by surfing or doing yoga at the beach, then you want to preserve this incredible ocean and it’s beautiful beaches. I think if we realize (again) how amazing this gift of our earth is and really feel the connection we have, we will start acting differently. Yoga brings more consciousness and connection. So that’s why yogi’s make often more conscious decisions when it comes to clothing and food.
Iris: For sure! Yoga is all about awareness. Awareness about the breath, your body and the thoughts you have during yoga poses. At the same time this expands your awareness on every area in life. How you treat your own body, which choices you make and what the effects are on yourself, everyone around you and the earth. In the ancient yoga texts the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali the eightfold path is described. Amongst many other things it says that yoga is taking responsibility for your actions, the influence your actions have on others and the world.
Tessa: What’s your favorite place to practice yoga?
Iris: In nature, in a forest or on the beach. And on Hawaii!
Tessa: Spirit of Aloha Yoga! What’s so special about Hawaii?
Iris: Hawaii, a volcanic group of islands in the middle of the pacific ocean. It’s impossible to put in words how amazing this place is and what it feels like to be there. The island life is small and slow and full of nature. There’s no escape and one depends on it. The energy of the volcano has a powerful effect on all life. The vibration is very high and intense. For me it resonates completely. I joined a beach clean up once. Within three hours we collected over 300kg of plastic with just 30 people. Still it didn’t feel as a big accomplishment. I felt drained until three days after. It was super confronting! Very educational and awareness raising. Highly reccomended.
Living your dreams
Iris: What would be your advice to people who have a dream to leave this earth cleaner and more beautiful, but don’t know where to start?
Tessa: Start! Work on plans and take steps. Be open to people that cross your path. And don’t give up when things fail. Sometimes the Universe needs to know you really mean it. So when not everything rolls into your lap, it’s not because you’re on the wrong track. And yes, making mistakes teaches you a lot, so take those as little presents as well.