founder, époque évolution
“I knew there was a better way”
at époque, every day is Earth Day. true story: the entire reason époque exists is because our founders saw an opportunity to change the way things are done in the fashion industry — which, as you may (or may not) know, is one earth’s most resource-intensive industries. (not very chic.) this is why, four years later, we’re as committed as ever to sustainable materials and manufacturing, to fair wages and treatment for the people who make our clothes. it isn’t always easy, but it IS worth it: “i didn't want to look back and regret not trying,” says our founder Nancy. here, she shares the why and how and what behind our brand.
let’s start at the very beginning: why did you start époque évolution?
“i was passionate about changing our industry. we live in an era of more, cheaper and disposable. i knew there was a better way — one that’s responsible, slower and not destroying the world — and i have a belief that we CAN change the way things are. it's all about choices. better materials, better partners. about developing core pieces we can wear again and again, about supporting partners in both mills and factories. i didn't want to look back and regret not trying, so i took the path less traveled, left the corporate world and put all of my savings into the belief in building this brand. i hope that education and transparency helps the customer make choices aligned with the world that she wants to live in.”
how do you choose your mills and factories?
“we started out in Portugal with soulful partners who i knew from my time in the industry. over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to discover even more like-minded partners who believe in our mission and support what we are building.”
and your fabrics?
“the criteria for our fabrics: performance, quality, easy care and easy on the environment. it can be challenging to find ones that fit the bill, but our pickiness pays off: i wear our orion leggings 2 -3 times every week, which are cut in a fabric we call the change. it’s made from econyl, a super soft regenerated nylon fiber. THIS is the circular economy we need to support!”
the ÉPOQUE difference?
“we are the intersection of fashion and function. proof positive that you can be fashionable in a way that functions in your real life.”
biggest, most unexpected learning curve (so far)?
“the pandemic, the disruption in our supply chain. but our passion remains the same, and so we focus on making the right decisions, ones that are true to our mission and don’t compromise our values. right now, that means raising the prices on our clothes — a hard decision to make, but one coming from our commitment to fairly balance our support of the customer buying our goods and of the partners manufacturing our goods.”
what does sustainability and responsibility look like in your day to day?
“it’s always top of mind, especially when i’m buying anything. i ask: is this necessary? will i use it multiple times? is it core to my life? if it doesn’t fit those parameters, i don't need it and i’ll pass.
i love the slow food parallel, too. i try to grow a lot of my food (editor’s note: YOU SHOULD SEE HER GARDEN!), and purchase from growers connected to the food source. i buy almost 80% of my food from my local farmer market.”
speaking of, what IS a normal day like for you?
“i LOVE my early mornings, i’m usually up by 5:30 on the weekdays. i usually exercise and get out in nature to start things off. i’ll head into the office by 9, where i work with the most amazing group of people (who i am forever grateful for, EVERYDAY!!!!). i think i’m a bit of a workaholic — i’ll stay until around 6 - 6:30 most days.”