Portugal Based Designer
Francis Stories is dedicated to quality production, starting with the finest natural woollen fibres, which are ethically crafted into beautiful enduring styles, destined to be loved over the years.
Francis Stories was established in 2018, co-founded by Jose and designer Sonia Mota. Based on the concept of natural simplicity, each piece of the collection starts with the ethical sourcing of quality natural materials, which is then used to create long-lasting garments, designed to maintain ‘wearability and aesthetic relevance’ over time.
The focus on crafting sustainably and ethically produced garments is part of Francis Stories’ DNA and for Sonia and Jose it was “the only way forward that made sense and aligned with the core personal values we already had”. The founders take pride in “always having pushed a little bit more to find the best materials, the best factories to build our designs, and the best and most transparent suppliers along the different steps of the supply chain”. Working with like-minded partners that not only shared their drive for quality, but who also “have a great sense of responsibility and respect for the environment, animal welfare and human wellbeing and rights”.
Francis Stories considers transparency to be the biggest challenge, but also one of the key drivers in moving fashion further towards sustainable and ethical practices. “Unfortunately, most of the fashion industry, in its different supply chain steps is still used to working in the shadows, to not be visible, and to be able to get away with not providing information.”
At times, Francis Stories has found it “very difficult to find the right partners to work with along the different steps of the supply chain”. However, this focus on working with like-minded people has also helped Francis Stories maintain their direction in finding businesses that share their values; “suppliers that place a great focus on quality of their product without compromising on the best ethical and sustainable practices, and which are transparent about both their good practices, and their shortcomings”. Francis Stories recognises that “there will always be shortcomings and things to improve, and we rest assured that we are making a better decision when these partners (are transparent) and voluntarily share their shortcomings and how they are planning to improve on them”.
Francis Stories acknowledge that it can be difficult for people to make that shift in taking a slower approach to fashion and that’s because “we have all been mentally fed the idea that you need to be constantly buying new and more to be stylish and fashionable”. This “constant renewal of the wardrobe implies a constant monetary investment, where we all end up paying lower prices for each piece bought, and that creates a vicious cycle of less quality in what we buy”.
It might not be possible for changes to be made overnight, but people can start to “make a long-term conscious purchase of one piece now” and plan on a “slow replacement of the lesser quality clothing for higher quality ones”. Some other tips that Francis Stories suggests is to consider whether purchases will be loved and will be worn long term, choosing styles that can be paired well with the rest of the wardrobe and most importantly “always, always, always ask the brand any questions you might have!”
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