Terhi in the Helle top and Hanko bottom, both in Ash.
Chic Ladies will be back shortly, but in the meantime I want to highlight a conscious resort wear label, Rumeur, which hails from Finland. It is solely run by Terhi Uimonen from her car, which is currently located somewhere in Norway.
I really love this interview for I think Rumeur echoes a modern and transparent business approach combined with a good, sustainable product – I love their selection of swimwear. Her lessons on wardrobe philosophy and building up a life of one’s dreams from scratch are also worthy of a read. As told by Terhi:
What is the story behind Rumeur?
It really started when I was just a kid; I spent my childhood with all things creative, mostly by a sewing machine and film camera. As the digital world started to emerge, I moved onto Photoshop, web design and coding. In my late teenage years and early 20’s it was all put on hold, while I was busy traveling and doing what I was ”supposed to do”, such as pursuing a career in luxury fashion and completing my masters degree.
When I was about to graduate, I already knew a corporate career was not for me, and the idea of a digital clothing brand had started to grow on me after having seen the concept on social media. Since the idea really was the perfect combination of all my dear hobbies, it happened very naturally – when the corporate door closed, another one opened.
Before starting, I first needed to gain the perfect identity for myself and the brand, so after completed my marketing degree at the age of 25, I sold everything I owned and explored a life under the sun. After several years of living in different cultures and lifestyles, I finally found the way of living that fits me the best, and felt ready to move on with the brand. I moved back up the Nordics, rolled up my sleeves and started putting together all the fields of interest and experiences I had gained during my first 20+ years.
The gorgeous Halo one-piece in Ash.
Sustainability is one of Rumeur’s core values. How is it incorporated?
Sustainability is the core value of the brand. Without the sustainability angle, the brand would not exist. There’s no question about it.
When I started the label, the first step was to build a structure where only recycled or biodegradable materials were used throughout the entire supply chain from materials to shipping. The next step will be to keep on decreasing the footprint. This means sourcing even more local and sustainable materials, such as making sure the cellulose based materials come from forests that are conserved and restored. We are not there yet, but it is high on our agenda as we grow.
To me, real sustainability is not about quick workarounds or innovations that might be extremely environmental in the moment, but will compromise on the quality or design making the products appealing only to a niche market or for a short time. My goal with Rumeur is to contribute in supporting practices that are long lasting and scalable enough to shape the whole extremely controversial and commercial clothing industry, and serve the customer who is not ready to compromise on materials nor design.
You have recently launched resort wear. Could you tell me about your personal style and how it influences your designs?
Oh, for sure! First of all, my personal style is very minimal and comfortable. I know exactly what I like and keep using it for years to come, until it wears out and I buy the same the same piece again. I own very few things I don’t use, I don’t care if I wear the same clothes everyday, and never buy for one occasion only.
Having worked in luxury fashion, studied branding and being currently involved in manufacturing, I don’t believe in luxury brands, fast fashion or in fashion in general. What I believe in is timeless design, natural quality materials, fair and skilled production and pieces that make you feel confident and comfortable. It’s all quite simple and goes hand in hand with sustainability – fashionable details and crazy ideas always fade, and if you are not comfortable with what you are wearing, you’ll end up not using it. This is also why I love vintage; the clothing used to be more wearable and of better quality before the ”fast” and ”fashion” became too important.
Last but not least, I am a summer person to the fullest. I believe summer styles allow more freedom to show your personality, as you don’t need to protect yourself from the cold. If I could choose one piece to wear for the rest of my life, it would be a flowy summer dress. So yes, as a sustainable, vintage inspired resort wear brand, Rumeur is really my personal wardrobe philosophy combined!
Striking in the sage coloured Hanne bottom and Helle top.
How do you balance van life and running a start up fashion label?
Honestly, I feel it is the balance in itself. I’ve never been a city person and have always struggled with the fact that there are so many beautiful places I feel home at, while at the same time I don’t feel enough home anywhere to properly settle down. Living in my car suits me perfectly as I feel there are no restrictions and I have the freedom to grab on opportunity when life serves me one, whether a personal one or work related.
Also, I really love nature and like to make the most out of the seasons, moving from snowy mountain tops to warm seaside summers. In a car I basically live outside, which is also the perfect balance for a busy start up mind, as you wind down instantly without needing to plan any specific ways to relax. I never planned to move into my car, but once it happened, it felt very natural since day one.
What are your plans for the weekend?
No plans! I like to keep my days intuitive and schedules open, whether it’s a weekend or weekday. I’ll probably finally reorganise my car, have a drink with a friend, do some work and lay in the sun. I also finally bought a painting kit, so hoping to find a nice spot by the sea to give it a go!