Talking ethical fashion with designer Dovilė Šopyté
Shopyte is a luxurious fashion brand crafting elegant, classic clothing for women who value quality, femininity and sustainability. The Spanish-based company believe that less is more and therefore does not follow short-term trends and instead supports ethical fashion values by creating garments using only the finest quality natural fabrics.
Dovilė Šopyté, the brand’s designer and founder, focuses on producing garments that give women more confidence and presence in their own unique femininity, while her husband Gediminas Butkus is the CEO and takes care of the business side of things.
We sat down with Dovilė to find out a little more about the eco-frendly brand and what it’s like to run a business with your other half.
1. How did Shopyte form? Has it always been a family-run brand?
After becoming a mother I have started creating accessories at home while taking care of the first child. Then it continued to making hats, bodysuits, and clothes for kids and mothers. During this transformation process, my husband joined me – we established the womenswear brand and never looked back. It has been an interesting ride for both of us. Since the first day, the brand brought us to many different places in the world, including the US, major Europe countries and Asia.
2. What drew both of you into the fashion industry?
My mother is working in the production side of the fashion industry for over a couple of decades, but I wasn’t seeing myself in this industry until some years ago when I started painting on the canvas. Then it led me to the fashion industry and then my husband joined me because I don‘t have any clue how to run a business. So, he manages the business part and I can fully express myself in a creative process.
3. It’s clear that Shopyte does have very strong familial values, but did either of you ever feel cautious about working together or worry that it would affect your relationship?
Before starting the business together everything seemed easy and manageable because we had a really strong bond and used to spend a lot of time together. However, we have faced some difficulties with the time and as a result, we had to learn how to balance work and family relationship. Honestly, it is the hardest part while running a family business, because both of us have different ideas and solutions for the problems. Now it‘s easier to keep truly trusting each other when the time is intence.
4. How do you switch off from work when you come home?
We don‘t, no matter how it sounds. Work is usually in our minds because at the moment Shopyte is a huge part of our lives. That‘s what happens when you love what you do. On the other hand, both of us have personal hobbies and activities we love doing when we are able to switch off.
5. As a sustainable brand, where do you source fabrics?
Throughout years we entered into relation with our suppliers from Italy and the United Kingdom. The thing that kept our co-operation was the same point of view regarding ethics, work politics and, the most important, production of the fabric.
6. Tell us a bit about OneTreePlanted and how you got involved with the organization.
As we try to become more responsible and sustainable with each day, to change our views and habits and to think more about the problems that require a long-term solution, we joined a non-profit organization OneTreePlanted that focuses on global reforestation. It‘s an environmental charity organization with a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees.
7. You’ve been open about not following short-term trends, where do you get inspiration from each season to stay relevant without following trends?
We don‘t follow short-term trends, but still, they are a small part of inspiration and a creative process. Most important, I have a picture in my mind of a woman that we create for. Sometimes collection can be born in one night, sometimes it needs a lot of working hours to catch the muse. We always aim to create timeless pieces that fulfill changing modern women’s habits.
8. Do you take inspiration from particular fashion designers for your personal style that is different to who you are inspired by for the brand?
I usually wear my own created clothes.
9. Can you give us an insight into what to expect from your upcoming SS20 collection?
Colors and pleats. SS20 collection was inspired by the city jungle. The new garments are full of urbanistic sense: each design is created in a way that shows strictness and preciseness that is the key element found in the architecture. The variety of colors that are seen in the collection, portrays the variety of people, cultures, and activities that are seen every day. Nevertheless, the collection brings important ideas behind itself and we are willing to increase public awareness about environmental problems as deforestation.
10. What can we expect next from the brand?
We are planning to create more affordable home-wear line made from natural fabrics, that would suit every woman who works from home.