Meet Sustainable Fashion Advocate, Marianne Caroline

Interviewed By Muchaneta Kapfunde | @FashNerdEditor

As the Interlaced event draws near, we find ourselves looking forward to completely immersing ourselves in all things Fashion Technology.  With inspirational speakers on board, we are confident that it is going to be a day of education and being inspired by  all aspects of technology especially when it comes to fashion, sustainability, wearables, crowdfunding and 3d printing.

With such an enviable line up, we decided to take a moment  to talk to Interlaced keynote speaker and sustainable fashion researcher Marianne Caroline Hughes.  We wanted to learn more about her brand, her vision and her thoughts on all things Fashion Technology.

Marianne Caroline
Marianne Caroline Hughes

Tell us a little bit about your brand?

The Button is a digital clothes label. It will give us access to richer and more transparent information about what we are wearing. Importantly, this will place information about the impact of our clothing on ‘people’ and ‘planet’ in front of our eyes. When I say ‘people’, I refer to the conditions of garment workers including child labour free environments. Impact on ‘planet’ refers to the amount of water used and CO2 emitted during manufacture.

What do you wish you knew before you started your business?.

“Simplify…..everything. From your product offering, to your personal goals. Focus is everything”.

Are there any plans of collaborating with other brands?

Definitely. We will be working with more fashion brands to grow and develop the labeling system. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do, which is an issue that requires collaboration not just between brands, but between others involved with the clothing supply chain. For example NGOs are typically involved in helping resolve poor labour practices in garment factories, so some collaboration with such organisations will also be needed. But sustainability and climate change as a whole calls for action from every single one of us. The Button hopes to empower every individual to feel a part of climate action.

What wearable, fashion or lifestyle, is on your must have wish list and why?

Honest By’s Downloadable Fashion collection. You can buy a download of one of their quirky accessories and then print it out. I can’t wait to borrow a 3D printer from someone and try it! Also Honest By is an inspirational innovator in transparent fashion.

Honest By is World's First High Fashion Brand to Introduce 3D Printed Downloadable Collection
Honest By is World’s First High Fashion Brand to Introduce 3D Printed Downloadable Collection

What brand would you most like collaborate with?

Kering (Parent Co. of Alexander MCQueen, Gucci etc). The company is making bold moves in measuring the impact of their business and products on the planet. They have the power to create large-scale awareness of the environmental and social impacts of our clothing through The Button.

What one word would you say defines you?


How do you find inspiration?

Through travelling and meeting passionate people. I spent one year living in Hong Kong, and was lucky enough to surround myself with lots of different cultures and people. I think the people we choose to surround ourselves with are our biggest inspiration, through the daily and constant messages we share. I love learning new languages and meeting people pursuing a passion, whatever that may be and wherever in the world.

3D printed shoes | Cubify
3D printed shoes | Cubify


What was the best piece of advice you ever got? The worst?

Best: You can do anything, but not everything. (This was just after I tried and failed to do everything!)

Worst: You can’t be nice in business.

What’s your favourite quote?

A few quotes pop into my mind at different times. Some guiding quotes include: “Regret what you do, not what you don’t”,

“The only thing worse than not having an opportunity is not taking advantage of one”

and “YOLO”

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Clutter. Firstly in the physical sense of a consumerist culture encouraging us to buy things we don’t really need to clutter our living environments. Secondly, cluttering of the mind, as we live in a time with so many options to consider (which is also good) and too many facebook friends.

What do you think is the biggest innovation of your lifetime thus far?

Innovation is incremental, but the mainstreaming of 3D printing is a recent big innovation. I think it will influence the lives of every one of us in unpredictable ways.

Marianne will be speaking at Interlaced event on Thursday 3rd September 2015 at 3.10pm, be sure to pencil it in your schedule. For further information on Marianne and her blogs and speaking appearances visit Follow Marianne- Instagram: @Marianne.Caroline Twitter: @M_Carolineh

View the INTERLACED Programme