Sustainable Textile Production In Equestrian World: Interview With Jordan Mccabe
Equestrianism is all about inspiration and there are many inspirational characters in the equestrian world... Riders, grooms, trainers, and entrepreneurs! Today, we are hosting a very inspirational figure of the equestrian world: Jordan Mccabe. Jordan is the founding director & brand designer of Aztec Diamond Equestrian which was launched in 2014 and has quickly become one of the leading equestrian brands on the market. Jordan McCabe began riding at 8 years old and fell in love with it instantly, she started showjumping when she was 13 and competed right the way through her teens, being completely obsessed with the sport.
These days, Jordan and the team of Aztec Diamond are quite busy with the launch of their new collection, "The New Era" that brings a new perspective to equestrian world. The new collection includes sustainable equestrian products, which are made from recycled plastic, that comes in a package which is 100% recycled and recyclable as well.
So we have taken this chance to get together with Jordan, and talk about "Sustainable Textile Production In Equestrian World".
1) Aztec Diamond is a well known equestrian brand all around the world. How would you describe the essence of your brand?
Aztec Diamond is known for our distinctive contemporary vision within the market place – we create timeless products that combine high quality performance solutions with innovative design. Our vision is to create technical sportswear specifically developed for equestrians, with a minimal finish .
2) How do you shape your new collections and what are the main products each ADE collection contains?
Collactions are shaped for a variety of different inspirations, whether that be a problem that needs a solution, a product we can improve due to new technologies, or just simply a new idea. Our core products at AD are leggings, base layers, technical t-shirts and breeches. We are hoping to expand our reach for competition wear and focus more on this area in the near future!
3) And the "New Era"... What does this new collection present to the equestrian world?
A new era of Aztec Diamond! As many people will or won't know, Aztec Diamond is one of the newer brands on the market place launched in just 2014 by myself. I was just 18 when the brand launched and I had no experience at all in business or fashion design. Over the past 7 years I have learned an astronomical amount and feel like this is the right time for the brand to go to the next level. The new era collection is everything I have learnt over the past 7 years, the products are matured with improved features, fabrics and design.
4) We all know that sustainable textile production is more laborious compared to traditional methods. What were the reasons that made you consider sustainable production?
It's defiantly a tougher route to go down, the whole development process takes much longer as the fabrics and materials aren't as widely tested as the usual sportswear fabrics. At the moment it's difficult to source these fabrics with the qualities we require for sportswear as they aren't heavily popular or developed at the moment. I am very passionate about the pressing issues of global warming and how the fashion industry is affecting it, I know everything can't be done at once, however we want to do the most that we can to ensure the brand is as sustainable as possible. If everyone made even the smallest of changes, it would make the biggest difference.
5) Were there any difficulties your team has faced while getting into eco-friendly production?
Many! It's a much smaller selection of fabrics and materials that can be used - they also cost substantially more. Working on the product so price point wasn't increased too much for the customer was the hardest task. Removing the plastic packaging was a hard job too, finding a material that protected the garment as much as plastic was a real task. We tried a couple options first that didn't actually work, everything had to be re bagged in the warehouse when we found a solution!
6) Producing horse riding leggings from recycled plastic bottles... How would you describe the benefits and emotional satisfaction of such a production?
I am very proud of this huge step we've taken as a brand with this product. For me, the emotional satisfaction is huge. I'm extremely passionate about not creating a fast fashion culture at Aztec Diamond and as a brand owner, I think it is absolutely my duty to make the products as sustainable as possible. It does make us feel like we're doing our bit and genuinely hope many will follow!
7) "New Era" has been announced very recently. How were the first reactions you have taken for the collection, especially for the new eco friendly leggings?
The reaction has been incredible, our new icon leggings have had the most amazing feedback, I wanted to take the previous much loved products to the next level. We left the pattern, cut and alot features the same on most – just improved them. Better fabrics, better formula silicone, more features. Our new breeches on the other hand are a totally brand new, reinvented product which we're so excited to launch, they've been in development for over 3 years now!
8) Do you consider including additional eco-friendly products to your upcoming collections?
Yes for certain, I'm very passionate about being as conscious towards the environment as I can, making sure my products are durable, and have a purpose. We eventually want to make every product from sustainable recycled fabrics. At the moment it's a bit tricky to source these fabrics with the qualities we require for sportswear as they aren't heavily popular or developed. We are working hard behind the scenes to find fabrics and trims that tick all our boxes, we have already made huge changes to our packaging and have removed all single use plastic. All shipping and product bags are made from an amazing biodegradable material.
9) Do you have any suggestions for equestrian apparel brands that consider sustainable production but don't know where to start from?
Do your research, and don't just do it because it's a trend – do it because you really care about the impact of your brand. I would suggest learning about the subject and find the areas you are most passionate about helping towards. We can't do everything at once, but every little step is the right direction.