In honor of Earth Day — we spoke to our founder and creative director Ricardo Ballen who shared details behind the brands conscious-driven ethos, ethical design process and told us about a new sustainable drop arriving online soon!
What role does sustainability play in Ballen’s design process?
R.B. — Ballen is a brand that cares about the planet and listens carefully, while staying true to its origins and values. Our journey towards sustainability has been extensive, but worth every minute. Adapting ethical practices is something I’ve always pursued as part as Ballen’s core concept. The process of working with native and sustainable materials, now characteristic to all our designs has been 100% research. We are constantly innovating, researching and adapting new techniques, while offering modern and exquisite pieces designed from the heart of sustainability.
Can you highlight some of the brand’s sustainable values?
R.B. — Ballen operates under an ethical production process. Crafted with sustainability at its core, we directly employ natural fibers and repurposed Amazonic seeds in our designs — such as Tagua, Açai and Bombona. We support the preservation of the Amazon by working hand-in-hand with local communities who manually collect these wild flora and who play a key role in keeping areas free from deforestation, allowing the preservation of healthy forests. Our purpose is to provide natural flora a second life, highlight nature’s beautiful imperfections and celebrate our roots through each of our carefully crafted pieces.
What’s your take on slow fashion?
R.B. — Our commitment is primarily based on sustainable fashion and thoughtful manufacturing. Although we are constantly innovating, we are not tied to ongoing trends. We design in harmony to the inspiration we get in the moment — resulting in timeless products and slow-paced production. With overproduction being one of fashions biggest issues, we only produce limited stock for our Medellin based showroom and follow a pre-order model for our e-commerce — producing only the necessary quantities.
Is packaging aligned to the brand's ethos?
R.B. — As part of our conscious-driven ethos, where our sole growth of the brand allows for a positive impact, we employ eco-friendly packaging. As our commitment to 0% plastic, we use compostable bags made out of cellulose and pack our products in multipurpose linen fabric dust bags, which can be easily reused for other purposes. As part of the experience, we also include notes that can be easily planted to grow into a Guayacan tree, a beautiful flowering tree native to Colombia — encouraging our clients to be mindful and support our planet with small but meaningful actions.
Are there any exciting innovations or projects coming up for Ballen?
R.B. — As our community grows more environmentally conscious and our clients want to know where the products they buy come from, we have been continuously researching new innovative and sustainable materials. As a brand that cares about our planet and listens closely to our community, we have a really exciting Plant-Based Edit dropping online soon.
— STAY TUNED!