What’s life without direction? A question founder of the newly launched and conscious clothing brand NORDEST, founded in Michigan asked herself. Ghalia Elsolh was raised in Quebec, a province of Canada. NORDEST is a combination of two French words: Nord(North) and Est (East)—the direction Ghalia usually starts her day, in prayer on a clean scented cozy rug. She tells us that spiritually, Nord-Est is the direction of her heart and chose the French language because of its connection to her childhood.
Ghalia’s inspiration to launch her own brand comes from the belief that if you can dream of a goal and work hard towards it, you can make it happen. In a modern world where fashion credentials have become a requirement to be successful, the reality is that it hasn’t always been like that for some. Ghalia doesn’t come from a fashion degree background nor has interned for big name designers, but that’s not stopping her. If there’s one thing in common among designers, it’s the creative drive—combined that along with a good business partner, a creative mindset, and smart moves, some brands have proven to be successful without accreditation. Ghalia’s inspiration is also in creating something from almost nothing. She expresses her gratitude to the online world and its ability to help find all the resources needed to launch her brand.
We can definitely say that we are more awakened than what we have been in the last 10 years in terms of conscious wear. Presently artisans are reviving and preserving natural aged techniques of clothe making. Technology advancements are producing new sustainable ways to make fibers like with the use of fruit peels—some experts foresee an increase of newly developed textiles from natural resources as the future. There has been a rise of small brands like NORDEST who not only aim to include a level of consciousness in their clothing, but also encourage a ‘slow fashion’ lifestyle. If you’re new to this term, it’s roughly slow producing garments over time—it might be even the answer to this whole ‘fashion seasons’ debate. Think the new cool: buy, remix, and reuse.
Following its own ethical standards alike many small conscious brands, NORDEST makes all its garments in Chicago, Illinois. Part of their care and culture is to be truthful and honest about their products. For them, their high attention to the core of its garments start from the fiber, to the thread, to the actual sewing. For instance, they chose to use nylon threads because it stretches very naturally with the fabric and it’s very soft on the skin. They also focus on the longevity of the clothing by choosing durable and high quality fabric.
One of the fabrics chosen by NORDEST for their two-piece in a variety of colors capsule collection launch is Bamboo. In its more natural form, it has an antibacterial characteristic. Bamboo has been held as a low maintenance option and saves more water in comparison to cotton, but the ethics in question come at how it’s harvested and at its production—highly toxic chemicals are introduced when spun putting its natural antibacterial ability in question. NORDEST tells us that they try as much as they can to always choose eco-friendly and chemical-free fabrics, which are made in Canada, because their essence is to encourage direction and an authentic lifestyle. This means to them being transparent and considerately good to their clients and the planet.
For NORDEST producing conscious clothing is the driving force to support a woman taking ownership of her values and sense of self from all sizes, religion, races, and styles in embracing her direction and inner guidance. Ghalia believes that through direction we find vision. She wants NORDEST to be more than a brand, but also a symbol reminding all women that we are here to lift each other up in our individual journey to reach our ultimate goal. What’s your direction? See capsule www.nordestwear.com
Written by Mariana Aguilera