One of the biggest trends in 2021 will be the shift to eco-friendly fashion. Renowned brands like Lululemon, Patagonia, and Adidas are incorporating or fully devoting to recycled materials for some of their product lines. I decided to do some research and discovered a start-up company that is committed to go full on sustainable in the medical garment industry. Here is an interview I did with Jack, the co-founder of Epiona
1.Tell us a little about the brand. Who are you guys and what do you do?
- Simply put, we are eco-conscious scrub brand. Our company name Epiona is derived from Epione, Greek goddess of soothing of pain and healing. We want to heal the world and also provide the best scrubs for those who heal others!
2.What makes you guys special?
- There are three main points that makes us different: transparency, direct to consumer, and the aspiration to clean up our world.When customers visit our website, they will be given all the information as to what costs how much so they know what they are getting. We believe that the customers have the right to know how much their clothes cost to make.
Since we ship directly to our customers, there is no added cost of a wholesaler or facilitating agency compared to traditional retail. Numerous companies buy their scrubs from a wholesaler and have it labeled with their brand tags, which is why it costs more but lacks quality. In comparison, we make our own scrubs with partnering mills in Korea so we can provide better quality at a fraction of the conventional pricing model.
Lastly, we just want to clean up our waste. We only have one planet and by repurposing plastic bottles from oceans and landfills, we give a new life to what would have simply poisoned the earth. Once these plastics are made, it takes over 500 years for them to fully decompose. Since our generation have already produced so much plastic, making more just seemed unreasonable.
3.what’s the biggest challenge?
- That’s a tough one because everything is challenging! However, if I were to choose two biggest challenges we had to face, it would be the cost of production and sourcing ecofriendly packaging. If you see a product made from “recycled fabric” you assume that the product is made completely from recycled materials right? But most of the time, if you look closely at the composition tag, it will have less than 40% of actual recycled fabric. Why is that? It’s because on average, recycled fabrics cost 50% to 100% more than virgin fabrics. We didn’t want to trick consumers or use the term “recycled” in a marketing way so we went full on recycled fabric. This all sounds good but puts immense pressure on production cost. However, I would have to say sourcing compostable or biodegradable packaging was the hardest because the minimum quantities to make these were in the tens of thousands. Since we had limited capital from our savings, we were only able to get the inner packaging to be biodegradable.
4.what’s your short term and long term goal?
- The number one priority in terms of short term goal is to have fully biodegradable packaging. For long term goals, I would say more color variations and extended product category.
5.Is there any message you want to get across your audience?
- I just want to get one thing across. Be mindful about where your waste goes. Most of us forget about trash once we put it in a garbage can. But where does it go after the can? They literally get thrown to mountains of garbage or dumped into the oceans. These things never get publicized because no one wants to see them. Let’s minimize waste and try to reuse things as much as possible for our future generation.
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