[8 MINUTE READ]
Happy Friday all and welcome back to our Friday Founder interview segment. This week, we have been feeling the excitement of the Euros 2020 and are hoping for the return of other large-scale events soon.
As our calendars start to get a little busier again, we want to be sure that the clothes we wear reflect our sustainable ethos. That’s why, we were thrilled to interview this week’s guest, Tue Deleuran, the CEO and Founder of Colorful Standard.
Colorful Standard is a fashion brand that uses 100% organic cotton and everlasting materials in its gorgeous garments. To learn more about the brain behind the brand and how the brand operates on a daily basis, just grab your cup of coffee and keep reading!
"As fashion is one of the main contributors to global warming, I wanted to create a brand that stood for something purposeful."
Good morning Tue! Thank you so much for joining me. Please could you start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel it has influenced you today?
As a child, I always loved to create things. Anything really! It was a thrill for me to build something from start to finish. I think this is what influenced me to become an entrepreneur and create my own company.
Wow, so you already had an entrepreneurial spirit back then! How did you get started in the fashion industry?
My love of creation is what pushed me into the fashion industry. Fashion, in particular, is a great way to see creations through from start to finish, make changes, and finally, create a ‘perfect product.’ I get a lot of joy from conceptualising garments and then, eventually seeing them before my eyes.
I can imagine it is very rewarding! So, when did you decide to start up Colorful Standard and why? Was the timing important?
I started my brand back in 2018, and I did so because it was apparent that the fashion industry needed a shake-up. As fashion is one of the main contributors to global warming, I wanted to create a brand that stood for something purposeful and did not contribute to our planet’s demise. With that in mind, I founded Colorful Standard, a brand that does not succumb to the fashion industry’s typical model of seasons and trends. Instead, we produce high-quality garments made for the long haul, that tick all the boxes in terms of sustainability.
It’s hard to say whether the timing was important in my case, but I think it helps that more and more people are becoming aware of the negative effects of fast fashion and are, in general, taking an interest in sustainability.
Does Colorful Standard consider issues relating to sensitive skin/allergies?
Yes, we use 100% organic cotton and Oeko Tex certified dyes. None of our products are made with harmful or irritating chemicals, making us a friendly choice for sensitive or allergic skin types.
That is fantastic for our readers to know! In what ways do you consider sensitive skin and allergies throughout the process of selecting fabrics and materials?
We chose only the best, high-quality materials, dyes, and processes, and we make sure that our manufacturing and production process is to a high and certified standard. This is all to ensure a comfortable and safe feel for all skin types.
I honestly believe that all fashion brands need to be operating this way. Do you think people are more conscious of the materials and fabrics in their clothes nowadays? If so, why?
Yes and no. I think that there is a surge in sustainability, but it is hard to say how many people are willing and able to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Nowadays, there are so many fast fashion brands competing for the lowest prices, and therefore, providing the lowest quality. I think some customers struggle to justify spending more money on responsibly-made products when so many cheaper alternatives exist. What some of these customers may not realise though, is that they will probably have to buy the same cheap product repeatedly due to its poor quality.
That is very true! I think everyone has made that mistake before. How does sustainability factor into your business?
Sustainability is not just part of our business, but the core of our brand. We are a brand that not only says sustainable but means it. We have identified every possible way that we can lower our carbon footprint, reduce waste, and give back to the climate. From our natural materials to our direct shipping, recycled packaging, production processes, and climate-positive initiatives, everything we do is as sustainable as possible.
That’s really inspiring! In terms of the business, what were your biggest challenges in starting up Colorful Standard?
The biggest challenge when starting a clothing brand, and even more so a sustainable clothing brand, is finding the perfect mix of quality and craftsmanship. It is easy to make a brand with low-quality products. At Colorful Standard, our products are high-quality and made to last, and it can be tricky to create these products at a fair price.
I can imagine that being tough! What strategies do you think have been key to the success of Colorful Standard?
Our success is all thanks to our incredible team, which has worked hard to find solutions to the challenges. Together, we've searched high and low for the best materials and production processes to find the perfect mix of quality, production, and price. We also have a great eye for colours and spend a lot of time perfecting the exact shade or tone. This is something I think our customers recognise and appreciate. Without our team, there wouldn’t be a product or business. We have a great group of ambitious thinkers that are super passionate and willing to fight for our concept.
"The opening of our first flagship store in Paris was a defining moment for Colorful Standard as a brand and a proud moment for me as a founder."
How wonderful! A well-matched team makes all the difference to a business I think. Personally, what is your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite part of the job is being able to come in every day and work with a team that is ready to take a chance and see where this journey takes us. We are in a stage of growth right now and it’s exciting to wonder where we will be, and what goals we will achieve in the next few years.
Absolutely! In particular, coming out of the pandemic must feel like a new age for businesses like yourselves! Which is your favourite piece that you’ve ever created?
It is hard for me to choose just one item, but I would have to say our Classic Organic Crew Sweatshirt. It is such a staple in my personal style, and I think everyone loves to have that one go-to piece. It is the perfect, casual piece to throw on with anything and take on your day.
I love that one too, and the range of colours you have available. What do you think makes Colorful Standard stand out?
We have an innovative team that truly believes in our purpose and goes above and beyond to ensure transparency and fairness in every part of the process. I think we also stand out as a sustainable brand with such bold and bright colors in so many different style combinations.
I agree. I cannot think of many fashion brands with this kind of offering. Could you describe your biggest “pinch-me” moment since starting up Colorful Standard?
The opening of our first flagship store in Paris was a defining moment for Colorful Standard as a brand and a proud moment for me as a founder.
I bet! What inspires you?
I am inspired by dedication; whether it is painting, surfing, or mountain climbing. Seeing dedication motivates me to dedicate myself to my passions, like finding the perfect color. This is something that I can spend forever on to ensure it is just right.
And could you describe what an average day looks like for you?
I won’t lie, an average day for me can be hectic. I am typically back and forth on the phone with our manufacturing center in Portugal trying to get the measurements for an upcoming style just right, while also getting input from my team here in Copenhagen. I have several meetings a day concerning branding, future product launches, future store openings, hiring for new positions, and so on. We are growing quite quickly, so to top it off, I am also in the middle of moving us to a new and bigger office. It can be fast-paced, but I love it!
It sounds like you thrive off that pace. Would you say you have a work/life balance?
I most definitely do, and I encourage the same for all my employees. I don’t believe in regulated working hours, and trust that everyone will get the job done. When the weather is right or I feel like I need a break, I will take time with my family or go out and surf. It isn’t uncommon for me to take a call while out on the water.
Oh, I love that! It’s so healthy! What words do you live by?
I believe in working hard for something you believe in and not overthinking it. When you have a passion, you should work hard on it and watch it flourish.
I couldn’t agree more! What’s next for Colorful Standard?
Customers can expect new product launches and the announcement of more Colorful Standard store locations. We have also recently implemented various initiatives towards becoming a climate-positive brand, such as planting a tree for each newsletter sign-up we receive, and order we ship out. We will continue to do more and look forward to sharing all of our projects soon!