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Hannah Green is an inspiration to all young people everywhere. In March 2019, Hannah was featured in the March edition of Vogue Australia. Two months after completing her BA in Fashion Design, Hannah was showing a collection at New York Fashion Week in September 2019. Hannah’s brand, HAAN HAAN is an Australian based ethical fashion brand working towards sustainability from within the fashion industry. Recognizing the inherent problems of Fast Fashion and the environmental degradation the fashion industry can cause, it is essential to have companies and designers like Hannah Green and HAAN HAAN, whose garments redefine what sustainable fashion can look like. Fast Fashion uses cheap materials, high levels of industrialization, and is the second most polluting industry on earth behind oil. Instead, by slowing the process down, HAAN HAAN is able to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, chemical-free garments sourced from sustainably certified manufactures. Working as a bridal stylist and simultaneously creating her own brand fresh out of university, Hannah showcases that even at a young age, there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. We interviewed Hannah with a series of questions to discuss her experiences breaking into the industry and her journey towards creating a sustainable brand.
1.) Being a young entrepreneur like yourself who has been able to gain so many successes in your journey, what inspires you to create the brand? Is there any struggle in building a sustainable fashion brand? What has been your brand's proudest achievement?
Hannah: I completed a bachelor of design majoring in fashion and came out of that inspired to try and make a difference in an industry I was so passionate about. I was offered the opportunity to showcase my work on an international platform and took this as a push to start my own brand. HAAN HAAN was created with the intention to have a minimal impact on the environment but also be totally creative and unique. I only use sustainable fabrics and natural printing processes. When I first began this journey I really struggled to find a verified and trustworthy fabric supplier, which is when I found Vivify. From here I was able to source perfect fabrics for my collection and I launched HAAN HAAN in 2020.
2.) How big is your team? How do you maintain circularity with your team throughout the designing process?
Hannah: I actually do most things myself, from design to fabric sourcing, printing and initial pattern making. So I guess you could say I know about everything that happens in my business. I have recently begun working with Australian manufacturers which is also great as I can pop in for regular check-ups.
3.) Where did you find us (Vivify Textiles)? Why did you choose our fabrics (Vivify Textiles) as one of the main sources for your creation?
Hannah: Finding the right fabrics was one of the hardest things when I was starting HAAN HAAN. It took me weeks of research to find a company that ticked all my boxes and that’s when I found Vivify. I was so happy to find a company that took pride in being sustainable throughout their entire collection of fabrics, rather than some suppliers only having a little side tab. Right from the start communicating with the entire team was easy and all my orders came so quickly and I was always updated at every step of the way which you don’t often get.
4.) How do you cope with stress in your journey of building Haan Haan and reach out to the audiences?
Hannah: I think I launched HAAN HAAN at perhaps the worst time, during COVID. So to say things were a little stressful would be an understatement. At the end of the day, I am passionate about what I am creating and you just have to have a little faith that someone else will see that too.
5.) As a young entrepreneur, how do you manage and maintain a work-life balance? And how can you handle everything being a young designer/founder?
Hannah: I am all about creating lists. They absolutely have to be on paper because there is nothing better than crossing things off. I am currently working 9-5 as a bridal stylist and then come home to run HAAN HAAN. Striking the perfect balance between a work-life balance is tough, but I love all aspects of the creative process so it honestly doesn’t always feel like hard work. You just have to surround yourself with the right support systems, particularly the ones that will always bring you food.
6.) Do you think your generation can be powerful enough to influence others to buy more sustainable products? If so, how are they going to influence the buyers?
Hannah: I think we need to educate people more on the benefits of shopping sustainably and locally. I don’t think enough people really understand the ramifications of fast fashion and non-sustainable practices. The power of social media is definitely making a dent in the general public’s perspectives but I’m not sure if it’s happening fast enough. It’s really easy to get caught up in insanely affordable pricing and big sale signs flashing in your face. Moving forward I hope to show and highlight more of my design and manufacturing process on my socials so consumers can better understand the art of printmaking, garment construction and at the end of the day where their money is going.
7.) Why do you think other brands are hesitant to make the switch to sustainable ethical fashion? What have you learned that could make that process easier for them?
Hannah: I think the price point is a very obvious reason for not making the switch, as both a brand and as a consumer. There’s no question that having your clothing made with organic materials by people getting paid a fair wage and by a brand that holistically embraces a better fashion industry will have a bigger tag. As both a designer and consumer, I’ve learnt that it’s more about investment pieces. Having those special garments that are the best quality, totally unique and sustainable. You can build a more individual and long-lasting wardrobe.
8.) What legacy do you want to leave in the sustainable industry? What is your plan to make your brand more approachable and popular?
Hannah: I am making HAAN HAAN completely transparent. From design development to fabric sourcing to manufacturing. I think more and more people are invested in a brand's story and that's when you can help educate them too.
To learn more about Hannah, Haan Haan, and their journey forward:
LinkedIn: Hannah GreenWebsite: https://www.haanhaan.com/