Sheer genius: a new departure for luxury apparel

This week we got chatting to a new tour-de-force in the world of ethical fashion. Paula Haunit left a job in finance last Spring (2016) to start up her new consumer website, Sheer Apparel (www.sheer-apparel.com), which she launched in November 2016.

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What is Sheer Apparel?

Sheer Apparel provides a modern take on sustainable fashion. “We’re a comprehensive sustainable fashion retailer where dynamic women with busy jobs and active lifestyles can go and know they’ll find something that’s well produced and going to make them look and feel good,” says Haunit. “We’re a multi brand retailer, working with a range of ethical brands from across the UK and Europe and providing them with a retail platform.  Our criteria are fairly straightforward but also strict. Everything must be ethically manufactured and made from environmentally friendly fabrics. It also needs to look great and be of lasting quality, otherwise people just won’t want to wear it!”

What does Sheer Apparel offer the luxury consumer?

“I’ve done the legwork that I’m trying to help my customer avoid,” says Haunit. “Before it launched I went through about 200 brands, researching them all and actually discarded most of them. I travelled around trade shows, met brands individually in Europe and even tried most garments on myself because it’s important to fully believe in everything you sell.”

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What’s the trend here?

People seem to increasingly value the story behind the things they own and wear, something this brand encourages with their tagline ‘Style with a Story’. “We want people to enjoy the stories behind each item, which is why we take great care in telling them on our website,” says Haunit. “Each garment is handpicked for its beauty and ethics – and you just don’t get that at Net A Porter.”

Sheer Apparel Luxury Highlights:

“One brand I’m particularly taken with is Maska from Sweden, who produce luxurious knitwear in the winter and fun but sophisticated style in spring and summer,” says Haunit. “The founders are obsessed with sourcing only the very best fabrics, mostly from Italy. That really shows in the level of quality, which is very hard to get with mass-produced garments even from high-end labels.” The lingerie is also something special. Sheer Apparel works with two brands, one in London and one in Berlin, who buy luxurious pre-consumer surplus fabric that, although never used, would otherwise be discarded by larger brands. The designers come up with beautifully feminine designs with little twists and so – by definition – their production runs are really limited and thus truly exclusive.

www.sheer-apparel.com