After 40 years in the fast-paced world of fashion, Mirla Beane’s Co-Founders Lauren and Melanie realised that ‘sustainable style’ mainly focused on basics. They wanted to create sustainable clothes that were design-led, sophisticated but fun – contemporary pieces that wouldn’t sacrifice ethics or style. And with that, Mirla Beane was born.
What we love about Mirla Beane is how their beautiful clothes are designed by in-house up-and-coming British talent – and never made more than a truck-ride away. The fabrics they use are natural, organic or recycled – even down to the buttons and packaging. Nothing gets wasted and nothing goes to landfill.
As a small team of three (just Lauren, Melanie and their designer), Mirla Beane is the definition of an independent business pioneering the way for others. That’s exactly why we’re so excited to sell them in our new brands Bazaar. Keep reading to find out what inspires the team, how their products get made and how they pay their team fairly.
We’d love to know what the Mirla Beane creative process is like…
We start by looking at outside inspiration: the catwalk shows, fabric fairs, trend and colour forecasters like WGSN. Then we each pull together any images that inspire us – it could be a colour, a design, a shape or a print – and share these as a team. We then brief the designer on a number of options and come back together to agree on garments that we want to move forward to production.
What do you think makes Mirla Beane products special?
We’re sustainable yet design-led and 100% transparent in all processes, no greenwashing allowed. Our products are sophisticated and fun – and we only do very small production runs, which makes each piece quite unique. We’ve kept our team small and streamlined so we can pay our makers a genuinely fair living wage and keep our prices fair too. We think this all makes our products special!
Can you describe the journey of a Mirla Beane product, from sketch to shop floor?
Our Harper dress was based on a print by our in-house designer. We looked at lots of colour variations and sizes on screen to select a couple of options for our sustainable fabric mill to make mock-ups. At the same time, our designer sent her sketch (with a tech pack) to a small manufacturer we work with in London. He has a pattern cutter who made a paper pattern – and the factory made up the first sample. Next, we made a first sample in a size 10 and tried it on a model to make sure it fitted well. Finally, we sourced sustainable mother of pearl buttons and care labels made from recycled polyester. Once all the above steps were done, and we made the tweaks we wanted, we ordered bulk fabric and went into production.
What are your hopes for the future of Mirla Beane?
We’d love to grow bigger and be able to employ lots more people at the beginning of their careers. We want to grow with the business by offering more products and thus being able to give more people the opportunity to buy more fashionable, affordable sustainable fashion.
If you’d like to dress more sustainably without compromising your style, you can shop Mirla Beane on Monsoon Bazaar now.