Positive Luxury is pleased to introduce #brandtotrust ViRUS — a sustainable clothing brand that is as spirited and unique as the boys for whom it is designed.
ViRUS aims to readdress the environmental impact of the fashion industry by producing clothes in a sustainable way, using organic materials and fostering fair relationships with its business partners.
We speak to co-founder and CEO Janis Leontidis to find out more about the inspiration behind the brand and what next for ViRUS.
Where did the idea for ViRUS come from?
The idea was born in Chile 18 years ago when I met Doug Tompkins, the founder of Esprit and Northface. He was at that time starting his deep ecology project in Patagonia. After my visit I was inspired to found a sustainable brand without compromise. Just over 2 years ago I started to bring this idea to reality – I wanted to develop a story that would underpin the collection and make it more than just a sustainable clothing brand.
I was thinking about the role of men in society and found that today’s boys can seem pretty lost. There is a lack of role models for boys today — be it at kindergarten, school etc, — so the ‘boys only‘ story was born. Then, by a fortunate coincidence, I saw a documentary about the photographer Oliviero Toscani, who is best known for his groundbreaking advertising campaign with Benetton. I was so impressed that I gave him a call the next day…the rest is history.
What makes ViRUS different from other childrenswear brands?
We are ‘boys only‘ and want to celebrate independence, curiosity and the wonder of being a boy. ViRUS offers sustainable clothing that is stylish and timeless — no hippie or cute designs that are so often associated with sustainable fashion.
ViRUS supports Tompkins Conservation – why did you choose this organisation?
Everybody is talking about global warming, and rightfully so, but we are destroying natural habitats worldwide in such way that there will soon be no room for evolution anymore. My opinion is that we need to enter into a truly sustainable era for humans on this planet. Therefore we have chosen the Tomkins Conservation, which works to secure big, wild landscapes where native plants and animals thrive and nearby human communities flourish.
Which is your favourite design from the current collection?
Well every design, because we really take care of the production process (in terms of social responsibility and environmentally-friendly production) and also in terms of product quality. We make clothes to last.
Is there a particular business achievement that you are most proud of?
It‘s just too soon for me to be kind of proud of something (except being awarded the Butterfly Mark, of course!) but I would say I really love what we do because we want to change the way, among other brands, how the clothing is produced today. The clothing industry is the second most polluting after the oil industry worldwide. We can definitely do better than this.
What is your positive action for the year ahead?
Right now we are running a Kickstarter campaign for the most natural hoodie in the world, coloured by fruits and plants. This year we will also introduce an innovative winter parka created using wool and water resistant cotton without any chemical substances.