“by Signe” ist ein faires Modelabel aus Dänemark, das ich erstmals auf der Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin kennengelernt hatte. Nicht nur die Kollektionen sind zum Verlieben, sondern auch deren Designerin und Gründerin Signe Rodbro ist bezaubernd. Signe interessierte sich schon als Kind für Mode und begann nach der Schule ein Designstudium in Dänemark und Spanien. Ihre fairen Stücke sehen von außen so gar nicht nach “öko” aus, sondern sind stylisch, übersaisonal, minimalistisch und clean. Typisch nordisch beschränken sich die Farben der Kollektionen auf Schwarz, Weiß und Beige. Besonders bemerkenswert ist, dass Signe die absolute Kontrolle über die Produktionskette hat, da die gesamte Kollektion — vom ersten Designstrich bis zum letzten Stich — in ihrem Studio in Frederikshavn gefertigt wird. Außerdem sind möglichst alle Materialien bio und GOTS-zertifiziert und Signe versucht, so wenig Verschnitt wie möglich zu produzieren.
What does “by Signe” stand for?
By Signe is a Danish sustainable fashion brand with a completely transparent design-process. The brand stands for creating honest and minimalist easywear from organic materials and an ethical production in our own creative space in Denmark. As a designer I am highly focused on comfort and wanting to keep the values of the natural woman within a modern culture. You can expect clean cuts from our Scandinavian aesthetics accompanied by a soft color palette highlighting the minimalism and subversive elegance behind the visuals of the brand.
How do you define “Ethical Fashion”?
Ethical fashion to me is a whole complete circle of covering everything taking care of both our environment but also the social aspects of garment manufacturing. I really do believe that the future of fashion is sustainable, and I decided to cover everything from the beginning with a wish of re-thinking the whole process. We cover all details sustainably from fibers to care labels and production methods, to improve our footprint on the planet and to keep the wearer of our garments free from any toxic materials or chemicals.
Tell us about your background.
My interest in fashion started early, as a child I remember copying the same model over and over again, drawing new clothing and patterns on her every time. After finishing high school I went to a small private tailoring school in Denmark. This was when I realised that fashion was my path to follow. However, this school was very old-fashioned and there was not much room for any imagination or creativity, so the year after I moved to Spain and studied fashion at a University there. Returning to Denmark years later after having lived abroad.
Frederikshavn is where we currently house our studio and it is actually also where I grew up. It is a harbor-city in the northern part of Denmark. I have lived a few years abroad, and when I returned things kind of randomly just turned into setting up the brand here. As we sell worldwide, our physical location is not essential at this point.
The aim of “by Signe” was to do sustainable clothes from the beginning?
Absolutely, I have a huge conscience, so when first creating the brand it was essential to me to create a product that I could vouch for 100 percent. I set up my own production to prove to every sceptic, that it is possible in todays industry, to combine design and handcraft ethically and sustainably to create a deeper dimension of honesty and soul behind the brand.
Are you producing everything in Denmark?
Yes. We have the complete design process gathered under one roof in Denmark, where all collections are produced and shipped directly from the studio. This provides us with an advantage of being able to control every single step in the product development and supply chain from having the raw material to a finished product in a sustainable, ethical and green approach.
Can you describe your creative process in sustainable fashion? Do you come across any obstacles that keep you from designing what you want?
I never compromise on any vision I might have, so I would have to say no. My style of designing is and my inspiration is very abstract and mostly driven by feelings & emotions. When designing I focus a lot on comfort which goes beautifully hand in hand with soft and healthy organic materials. When I visualize a piece of clothing I walk around with my eyes closed trying to imagine how it fits and feels on the body. My vision is to create honest and feminine easywear that every woman should be able to wear with comfort season after season. My muse is not beautiful, she is natural art, creative and independent. She wears what is natural and healthy and she cares about todays polluting fashion industry.
Do you think “Fair Fashion” is still a niche market in Denmark or does it become more mainstream?
I absolutely think it is a niche market still if you focus only on the sustainable aspect. You don’t meet it a lot, but I definitely think its winning through slowly. However, I wish to sell my designs, not just a piece of sustainable clothing. The sustainable aspect of what I do is not first priority in any sales situation. I want people to buy it because they like it. The sustainable background of the brand is something we wish to hold to support & add a deeper value to the garment at the same time as offering a conscious choice for buyers and consumers.
What is your favorite piece in your collection and why?
My favorite piece of the current summer collection is the ‘strap top’. Its possibly the most simple design I have ever done, but its clean and minimalist and it looks good on you.
One last and completely different question: You are based in Nordjylland, what shouldn’t we miss when visiting the area?
You cannot miss a sunset on the west-coast. Spending a rainy day in the modern museum ‘Kunsten’ in Aalborg would also be one of my best recommendations if you are ever around.
Thank you so much for your time!