TUSNELDA BLOCH Copenhagen: It's cool to be kind!

This simple sentence characterizes TUSNELDA BLOCH Copenhagen to the fullest. Many of you might remember the statement tee “It’s cool to be kind” and this is exactly the philosophy that became the starting point of TUSNELDA BLOCH Copenhagen. After several years working as a designer for some of the major institutions in Danish fashion, suchs as IC Companys and SAND, Tusnelda was involved in an accident that dramatically change everything. The accident caused a broken back with excruciating surgery to mend the damage. This experience forced Tusnelda to see the world in a whole new way – a way that allowed her to launch her own brand, and in doing so, allowing her to do things her own way. For Tusnelda this meant taking a greater social- and environmental responsibility when sourcing materials and choosing her suppliers. The following Q & A will give you an impression on what it means doing things the Tusnelda way..Tusnelda Bloch CphIt was on a cold morning in March, that I went to Østerbro in Copenhagen to get an idea of what TUSNELDA BLOCH Copenhagen is all about, and not many minutes passed before I got it. I was welcomed in the entrance by the always smiling Sales Manager, Anne Sofie, who pointed me towards Ole - Tusnelda's husband and partner. The comfortable ambiance was emphasized by soothing music and shortly after, I am introduced to Tusnelda herself, with a cup of coffee in my hand. Seconds later I am overwhelmed by Ronja, the absolutely wonderful office dog, wagging her tail and barking with happiness. When everything quiets down, I already have another coffee in my hand, and Tusnelda and I turn into our conversation.Tusnelda“After many years of working in Danish fashion, you discover exactly what it is that inspires you and your design. My accident made me rethink my own ethics and I decided that in order to be true to myself and my design aesthetics, I had to launch my own brand, with my own codes of conduct.” “You often hear that incorporating CSR and sustainability into your company – and especially in the fashion industry – you compromise either the price or the design. Maybe this is true for some, but not for me. My inspiration comes from the fabric/textiles, not the other way around. This means that I find the fabrics before I design the pieces in the collection, and this allows me to use textiles in my designs that I know are manufactured in an environmentally friendly and humane manner." “CSR is not an active choice for me; it is a part of me and the TUSNELDA BLOCH Copenhagen DNA. I only want to work with kind people, and I only want to design clothes where I know that I can rest assure that we have done our outmost to ensure that all links in the value chain have been handled with care. And yes, this means that I cannot always choose the easy solutions. However, I take pride in the fact that I have a close relationship with our suppliers in China. I go to China often and I visit the factories that manufacture the fabrics. In China, you first become friends and then you become business partners. This means that we have a basis of mutual trust with our friends and suppliers, where I do not bargain the price, and we can trust that they don't use dangerous chemicals, child labour or 'forget' to pay their workers. In other words, we have a mutual understanding that the Code of Conduct is followed at all times. The Code of Conduct is a set of mutual rules and guidelines that cover everything from safety at work, chemicals, waste, child labor and the like.”Ronja the dogOne thing is very clear; TUSNELDA BLOCH Copenhagen is not like most other brands when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is not a choice, it is an integrated part of both design, production, thoughts and heart of the brand and the owners Tusnelda and Ole. It seems as if CSR is a necessity, the drive that pushes them forward: "The day I start not caring about these things, I might as well quit, because I will have lost the integrity - both of my brand and of myself. You would not want me to design anything, because I will be indifferent to the textiles and thus the design. I simply have to care!".tusneldastylesAbove: Two examples of TUSNELDA BLOCH Copenhagen's use of sustainable material. These styles are made from Reclaimed Cotton - the fabric is made from the leftovers that occur when producing cotton. However instead of just trashing the leftovers, you recycle it. Clever, huh?