Last year I was lucky enough to meet Tina Logar Bauchmüller who is an amazing Slovenian fashion designer who created the fashion label and brand Mila.Vert. Tina Logar Bauchmüller named the sustainable Slovenian fashion brand after her first daughter Mila. Her ready-to-wear pieces are absolutely stunning and can be worn from season to season as they are made from the best sustainable materials.
How would you describe your fashion brand Mila.Vert to those readers who haven’t heard of it before?
Mila.Vert is a brand with sustainability at its heart. We make contemporary classics for those in search of a kinder lifestyle. Our garments follow a minimalist aesthetics and are made in Slovenia from organic materials of the finest quality that will last you for years to come.
Did you always dream of becoming a fashion designer?
Fashion design has always been my passion. Since childhood, I consulted my grandmother, who mastered the art of tailoring, and local seamstresses to help me carry out my design ideas.
I wanted to create my own brand, to have the freedom to be creative and to be connected to fashion. For long as well, I got inspired by sustainability ideas, because my environment has been encouraging, but mainly, as I see it as a way into a better future for all of us. So for me founding a sustainable fashion brand was the only logical step.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
I have an affinity for simple and classic designs that don’t go out of fashion. At the same time, I put a lot of thought in the details that make the garments special and give them a modern feel, be it a flattering cut of a neckline, special fabric color or the way delicate fabrics feel on your skin. I most often find inspiration in the materials. As it is sometimes still challenging to find that perfect ecological material for what you create in your mind, I often start the creating process with finding the right materials first. As soon as I collect the materials I am excited about, I think – what can I create out of them?
What does Mila.Vert represent or perhaps who does it represent? Who is the person who wears your clothes?
Every single piece of Mila.Vert clothing represents me, so I want every single piece to be kind to you. At the same time, it should be also kind to nature and the people who made it. That’s why we say that Mila.Vert makes clothes for those in search of a kinder lifestyle – people who care about timeless designs of great quality, organic fabrics, and about ethical local production. We know that no one is perfect, but this is what everyone can start with – being kinder.
How much time does it take you to prepare a collection?
We make two full collections of clothes every year – a spring-summer one and an autumn-winter one. In addition, we continuously develop new products that go with our current collections, for example in new fabric colours or with new neckline styles. We also have a permanent accessories collection of everyday bags and belts made from recycled polyester.
There is nothing better than clothes that breathe, do not itch and do not make you sweat. What kind of materials do you use to make your clothes?
We fully agree with that. For that exact reason, we mainly use certified organic materials such as organic cotton. For example, our last autumn-winter collection was entirely made from organic cotton – even the knitwear! We are continuously amazed by how versatile and useful cotton is. There are also sustainable Tencel, linen, hemp, and bamboo fabrics. Our accessories are made from recycled polyester made from waste polyester. We are always on the look for new sustainable materials and fabrics – there’s so much potential, creativity, and passion in a sustainable fashion.
You are one of the Slovenian fashion designers that produce sustainable pieces. In your opinion, how are fashion designers like you changing the fashion scene in Slovenia and abroad with sustainable fashion?
I think the main difference is offering clothes that will last you for many years to come. This is the opposite of fast fashion – we make desirable clothing from materials of the highest quality. Since everything is made in Slovenia, the end price is, of course, higher than in high street stores, but the quality is better and you can wear clothes for longer too, which evens out in the end. In the first place, this means changing the mindset of a consumer – having less, but better and for longer. Consumers are more and more aware of this. We have some wonderful clients in Slovenia and even more in Europe and around the world. Sustainable fashion is hopefully going to be the norm soon.
How do you view the so-called fast fashion and what was the turning point for you to start a brand based on sustainability?
As I have mentioned in the question above, for long, I got inspired by sustainability ideas, as I see it as a way into a better future for all of us. And also because I am a perfectionist for things that are of high importance to me, founding a sustainable fashion brand was the only logical step.
Fast fashion has many negative effects on the environment and people in general. But what I would like to emphasize is that if sustainable and ethical brands do not educate their consumers to shop less for clothing – we have not made a positive effect, instead, we have also contributed to the problem. The main message we should all carry out is – buy less and of higher quality.
Do you think Slovenians care more or less about sustainable fashion than people abroad?
I believe more and more Slovenians care about sustainable fashion. Despite new sustainable brands coming out often, fairly produced clothing made from organic fabrics is still more expensive than conventional garments. Thus, the share of Slovenians who can afford to buy sustainable fashion is lower than in some, for example, Western European countries with higher purchasing power.
As I have already said, we have some wonderful Slovenian clients too that are aware of the problems that fast fashion represents. They follow and support our work continuously and then from time to time invest in their favorite Mila.Vert pieces that they know will last them for a long time. Being more conscious of who and what kind of brands we support is something we can all learn from them.
What are you going to incorporate in your next collection? What can we expect?
We are now working on our Spring–Summer ‘21 collection. The collection will incorporate our best-selling shirt dresses in new colours, knitted summer dresses and tops, long dresses made of flowy and silky Tencel, and quite some more casual pieces that, in addition to their elegant appearance, are comfortable to wear in free time or for working from home as well.
Is your style different from what you present to us in your collections? Do you wear your own pieces or is your everyday style totally different?
I believe that I wear my own designs for 90% of the time. I design clothing pieces in such a way that every piece of clothing I make I would wear myself.
What are your go-to key pieces in your collection and in your own wardrobe?
It depends on the season: in winter, I love to wear our knitted pieces – pullovers and dresses made of eco-friendly organic cotton yarn. When it gets warmer, I can hardly wait to wear a lightweight dress made of tencel. And for a piece that can be worn throughout the whole year, I would pick one of our timeless shirt dresses that can be easily dressed up or down – depending on the situation.
What are some of the summer trends or essentials we have to have in our wardrobe?
We are excited about our summer knitted dresses that keep proving knitwear is not just for winter. The dresses are light and airy, providing a luxuriously comfortable feel all year round. In general, we do not follow certain trends, but rather think about the comfortable classics that would make us feel good even in the hottest days. As for that, you can never go wrong with some linen or tencel dresses.