Seven Senses, an eco-friendly start-up reinventing artisanal denim

An exclusive interview with Andriana Landegent, co-founder of Seven Senses

In the heart of the Première Vision Paris show, Maison d’Exceptions is an area exclusively for fashion designers and luxury brands. This unique showcase welcomes 27 ateliers with rare know-hows, and offers an international and diverse selection of exceptional techniques. For the February 2017 edition, Seven Senses joins Maison d’Exceptions for the first time.

Seven Senses is a start-up specialised in eco-friendly innovation based on new interpretations of traditional know-hows. Technically, how are your weaves and dyes unique?

Our fabrics are produced using our own manufacturing methods, drawn from a unique combination of hand-made know-hows. Traditional Khadi spinning and weaving are re-interpreted to create ecologically-dyed, high-quality denim. For example, our new natural indigo dyeing process, offering 21 colours ranging from a very light blue to a very dark navy blue, avoids the loss of colour during successive washings. No synthetic products are used. And we’ve also developed seven other natural dyes. Denim quality is additionally ensured by the yarns, which we twist on our own machines because there are none like them available on the market, and the use of handmade selvedges.

You’ve explained that one of the advantages of your denim manufacturing processes is that they can’t be copied?

Only those who have the same supply chain as we do can copy them. Because in addition to handmade spinning and weaving and natural dyeing, we give a specific finish to Khadi cotton that lends it a special shine and softness. A finishing no one else uses, because it takes a lot of time! If you look at our denim, it appears quite stiff, quite hard, but to the touch, it is actually very soft. This denim has such a completely unexpected effect that it surprises our clients. “What is it?” they ask us!

Which product is the pride of your atelier ? 

Thanks to certain enzymes provided by Mother Nature, we are working on a new natural fibre made from remnants which can resemble cotton in its properties. Working with this fibre fits right in with the company’s sustainable-development approach!

One particularity of Seven Senses is to have invested, since its inception in late 2014, in the creation of a supply chain supporting Indian craftsmen and their know-hows. How exactly do you work with clients given this context?

What we want is fabric manufacturing that is part of a sustainable development approach. We actually prefer to use the term “social chain” rather than “supply chain,” which calls to mind the industrial universe. Our fabrics can be made on a large scale, but it takes time. Our delivery time is three to four months. We offer customers the option to develop their own fabrics, and we make the exclusive work of a certain number of craftsmen available for orders. We can produce 100 metres of fabric per month.

What made you decide to embark on the Seven Senses adventure?

As someone who is Chinese, born in Jakarta and raised in Amsterdam where I have always lived, I had this international connection with Asia. After studying management and textile production, I always worked on the supply chain as a production consultant. I provided training all over the world. In 2006, when I was working as a retail-company consultant for Tata, in India, I discovered the ecological universe. Amit, the subcontractor of my sewing factory in India, had the idea to specialise in making a unique denim that didn’t exist anywhere for twelve years. Today, he and his Indian NGO are my partners, which allows us to give work to these artisans and preserve their craft. Amit has the hard job! Together, we infuse our work with a special energy, which other people call spirituality, hence our name: Seven Senses.

Interview by Stéphanie Bui, founder and editor @The Daily Couture.com/

PLEASE NOTE: Maison d’Exceptions is exclusively for the men’s and women’s luxury market – apparel, leather goods, footwear and jewellery.In order to guarantee optimal working conditions for the ateliers and visitors at the show, Première Vision reserves the right to limit access to the space.