TNFN meets Madara, What’s Your Legacy?

TNFN meets

{ Madara, founder of What’s Your Legacy }

TNFN meets is a new interview series I’m starting, because I sometimes find it a struggle to stay motivated working with sustainable fashion in an industry where the majority is not. But there are so many great things going on and the grass is always greener on the side where you water it, so I decided to reach out to some of the many inspiring women in the eco fashion industry and ask them to share their knowledge and experience.

Last week on a particularly sunny day, I headed to the other side of the city, to meet up with lovely Madara for a coffee and a chat about her brainchild What’s Your Legacy. Madara moved to London from Latvia five years ago to study at London College of Fashion. She started What’s Your Legacy while she was still a student, because one of her friends asked her why she was always complaining about the state of the fashion industry instead of doing something about it, so they did. Check out the interview below and head to What’s Your Legacy for beautifully curated eco fashion brands.


Q: What is your background and how did you become interested in sustainable fashion?

A: I studied media and communication at London College of Fashion – so basically everything around fashion. And afterwards I studies Fashion styling and photography also at LCF. It was a good excuse to come to London. When I was studying and had to research for one of my projects and realised how the production actually looked, and it was horrible. My project ended up being very text heavy even though I was studying photography and it was supposed to be more visual.


Q: Tell us a bit about What’s Your Legacy? – How did it start and where do you want it to be in five years?

A: My roommate Anna and I started talking about what we could do to improve the fashion industry and researching where I could shop was difficult, so we started What’s Your Legacy, which gave me an excuse to email brands and ask them questions, and once I started, I realised there were so many amazing brands out there doing amazing things. The visual aesthetic of the clothes themselves and how they are photographed is so important to me and that’s what we’re trying to do through What’s Your Legacy; presenting all the beautiful clothes in a beautiful way. We want to create a very extensive and curated sustainable brand directory, so it’s easy for people to find beautiful sustainable fashion that fits their aesthetics. Aesthetics and beautiful design should be the most important and then sustainability comes second. You shouldn’t buy something because it’s sustainable, but because it’s beautiful and you’re going to wear it for a long time and then of course, it should have been sustainably and ethically produced. The directory will also include information about where things are made and sold from because, buying from US based brands can be expensive. It should be easy to buy sustainably. We want to give the information and overview of the amazing sustainable brands, so you know that if you find a brand through us it will have been sustainably made.

TNFN meets

{ Madara is wearing Top: Thoreau The Label, Bag: Secondhand from Oxfam, Shoes: Bourgeois Boheme, Jeans: Levi’s, Earrings: Rahel Pfrommer }

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: I spent a lot of time on my laptop editing all our tutorials, because I edit everything myself. I also have a lot of meetings, and I try to say yes to everything that comes my way because it’s so interesting to meet new people and hear about what they do and say. And then I will have a shoot or interview someone. And then I go running, which is really important. Running is what keeps me sane. Every day is different, which is what I love. I also travel to meet new brands.


Q: How do you stay up to date with new sustainable initiatives?

A: I use social media and especially Instagram. If I need to research something, for example blockchain technology, I will watch a lot of videos because that’s how I consume information the best. Or I’ll read if there’s a great book or something. But things almost always start on social media and then I go to the wonderful internet and research. Combining fashion and technology is so interesting and I love researching that. I’m also really interested in how online shopping can be made better; it would be so great if you can make sure the clothes will fit you before you buy it.


Q: What’s your best tip for someone new to eco fashion – what’s the first thing they can do?

A: With sustainability, you have to honor your situation. Don’t feel bad if you can’t afford brands that are more expensive or can’t always afford to buy sustainable alternatives. If you’re used to buying high street, choose their more sustainable options instead – for example the garments where they’ve used organic cotton etc. Use Instagram to search for inspiration and where to find sustainable brands and make the transition slowly, do the best you can. Don’t limit yourself and make it impossible, just make better choices from what you have.

If you get a new job for example, and you need a new work wardrobe, you might not be able to buy everything from sustainable brands, but then make sure you buy things you will wear for a long time and not just for the weekend.


Q: What are your top tips to building a more sustainable wardrobe?

A: On What’s Your Legacy we have amazing brands that it would be awesome to support. With everything you buy it’s not just important that it’s produced ethically, also look for sustainable fabrics, look for rental services or brands where you can return the clothes when you no longer use them.


Q: What’s your three favourite sustainable brands?


  1. Thoreau The Label is a London based brand that uses deadstock fabrics.
  2. Maison Cleo. It’s handmade in France by a mother/daughter team. They make the clothes and then sell everything before they produce new garments.
  3. Rafa Shoes from L.A. They are fully vegan, and the shoes are colourful and beautiful.


Q: What do you hope your legacy will be?

A: When I look at people that inspire me I tend to only find men, I hope to be a female entrepreneur that does things the right way. I believe you can built a business to have a positive impact and inspire others to do things the right way. Women tend to be in creative occupations, but I hope to see more women in tech and fashion.


If you want to see more of Madara and the beautiful brands she’s found; go to What’s Your Legacy and check out our directory.




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Hella Lynggaard

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