Slow fashion and my work in video by Dutch photographer Mark Koolen
my name is Martina and I'm the person behind Bartinki. I run my own slow fashion brand with all possible consciousness we are able to achieve.
Bartinki was at first the nickname for me and my husband, given to us by our friends (sort of Brangelina kind of nickname). Our move from UK to the Netherlands few years ago was my chance to start this new adventure - I did not speak language and wanted to work for myself. At first I did crafting - small items which I tried to sell online. Luckily we settled in area which has a great supply of vintage and deadstock materials. I discovered I love fabrics the most, and I super love combining.
So in next years I sewed at home, sort of error-success style. This was a necessary growth for me, through I realised I need to go bigger and better.
From 2014 I work with my own tailor on full time basis. This was one of those things meant to be - I met my tailor Vierka very randomly, and since then the brand went bigger and professional. Collection is now made between Holland and Slovakia by both of us.
HOW IT'S DONE:
Whole process of making collection starts by collecting materials - from vintage to deadstock and sample materials, trying to pick the best. I love old ribbons, tapestries, embroideries. And wool - never enough of wool! So to find this all I have to keep my eyes open and collect everything what comes in my way - becasue you never know when that find can come handy! There are 2 collections a year, but it's more-less ongoing process of creating and remaking of designs while moving forward. It has a lot to do with self-confidence of a creative person - the further I go, the better I feel. Collection is based on materials I have available, only then the sketching starts. Well, I wouldn't call it sketching exactly... It's more-less piling fabrics and other materials over each other and trying to figure out what matches with what and how it will look. Once I decide the final designs, we discuss the best options for cut and for materials usage with my tailor (her experiences in custom tailoring are saving us a lot of work and material). The production is then separated between our 2 studios.
Collection is then shoot by my one and only par excellence photographer Raoul Le Mans. Once again I was lucky to find a person, with whom is easy to work to get results which move forward both of us. Photoshoots are usually long days, tiring and exciting at the same time.
The inspiration always came from material, but recently I'm not afraid to go back to my roots. I love Central European folklore and traditions, the highly feminine and decorative aspects of it. Being inspired by it it's still a new thing to me, and there is a lot to discover. I keep collecting old embroideries and wonder how much effort, time and love is in it... More I do this work, more I appreciate these treasures. But that is not where it all ends. I'm child of 80's and teenager of 90's, so this influence my work as well. I'm a big fun of fashion from those eras.
Understanding the importance of financial support, the proportion of my earnings goes to kiva.org, the micro-lending organisation, which supports small businesses through non-interest loans. In my portfolio are mostly women working with second hand clothing. I'm also a big supporter of Fashion Revolution - the change necessary for current unsustainable fast fashion industry.