About EGO with Sandra ChowańskaKey to the composition of the material and its origin
Material composition and origin is the key to success – about the EGO brand with Sandra Chowańska [interview]
The EGO Store credo resounds in one sentence: “More important than the fashionable pattern on a fabric is its origin, the way it is produced and the conditions under which it was transformed into the final product”. To understand more about the brand’s philosophy, we talked to the brand, which we wrote about in the pages of Fashion Biznes, as a brand for the modern man.
The slogan that after the first meeting with EGO Store appears in the mind is – “We are from Poland”. And it is this polish that defines EGO as a contemporary brand, because in three words, a gateway to the world of transparency opens up. Premium garments sewn in Poland are gaining the loyalty of their male customers every day. Thanks to an interview with Sandra Chowańska of EGO Store, you will understand more about how Ego cares – not only about style.
I can’t help but ask at the very beginning about balance and ecology in the process of creating your products. Before you put the foundation of the brand on the business plan, was the requirement of sustainable fashion already an anchor not to be lifted?
SC: Polish brands mostly build their brands on the ideology of slow fashion and sustainable clothing production. This is due to several factors, but the main reason is the flooding of the clothing market with cheap clothes whose expiration date ends with the season. Due to the fact that a large part of Polish brands do not have a range of customers comparable to chain stores and the clothes stay with us for seasons to come, we have to deal with it in our own way, offering something more than a response to each new trend on the market. The process of creating the first collection in EGO took us more than half a year, so we could not predict what will be fashionable, that is why, we try to get away from chasing trends and offer something better. So to answer your question, sustainable production process has been a priority for us from the beginning and we will follow this throughout our development path.
Ego – universalism or individualism? Your products are the base but also the main character of the style. Two fashion attributes combined as needed. Is this the key to the brand’s success?
SC: We are probably closer to universality than creating a product for an individual. We want our clothes to fit the son, father and grandfather, for whom the origin of the final product is important, and such men, fortunately, we have in Poland more and more.
The composition of the material, the process of creation and tailoring, these are the factors that affect the longevity of the product? It is better to invest once to serve for years? That is your motto?
SC: The composition of the material and its origin is the key to success. The choice is not as obvious as it might seem, because we have a strong eco trend now, and many brands suggest to us that only cotton is okay, the rest of the materials are responsible for destroying the environment. However, it is worth considering how most cotton T-shirts and sweatshirts behave – often the material pilings up after just a few uses because that is how cotton fibre behaves. In our shirts, we added polyester to “set” such cotton in check and stabilize it a bit. Thanks to this combination, we guarantee that the clothes look the same as the day you bought them, even after months of wear. Of course, while sticking to the washing instructions 🙂
“The composition of the material and its origin is the key to success. The choice is not as obvious as it might seem, because we have a strong eco trend now, and many brands suggest to us that only cotton is okay, the rest of the materials are responsible for destroying the environment”.
As a few in the industry, you employ people of different ages as models in your campaigns. You show that Ego Shop is for everyone, regardless of metric or place in life. Was that already the initial assumption: We do not disqualify anyone? Everyone is our customer?
SC: We would love to make our brand accessible to everyone, but we are aware that not everyone has the possibility to spend a lot of money on clothes at one time. On the other hand, as much as possible we offer classic clothes, which are a capsule closet and play well with different styles, which often depend on the metric.
A word about Tencel. Where did you get the idea to use this particular material??
SC: Honestly, Tencel t-shirts and longsleeves have been our bestsellers from the beginning. I have to shyly admit that everyone who had a chance to touch the clothes is surprised how pleasant and fleshy the material is. And for practical reasons – Tencel is the perfect knit – it is eco-friendly, has excellent durability, regulates temperature very well and at the same time is trouble-free to clean. The latter is the next factor that determines whether we want to use the fabric in our collection. I am well aware that men mostly use one “trusted” washing program and do not pay much attention to temperature indications. That’s why we decided not to complicate everyday life and our clothes can be washed in the proven 40 degrees without worrying about shrinkage or color wash.
What is Ego Shop for you? Child, heart, duty?
SC: I think that all my professional colleagues who have their own clothing brands will agree with me that it takes a huge heart and nerves of steel to do this. EGO started out as a business project, but over time it has become more and more important to me how men react to what we do for them. Very often I hear that they finally found something classic in great quality, because until now they were looking for clothes in women’s brands, which “by the way” sewed some models for men. We enjoy exhibiting at clothing fairs, where we have the unique opportunity to talk and exchange views on menswear. We learn new lessons from each conversation and this allows us to respond directly to our customers’ needs.