I met Stéphane over lunch in a local bistro in downtown Seattle. We have connected in the end of last year during a happy hour highlighting his ethically manufactured clothing and launching a bag made from kite material!
Blue jeans, white T-shirt and laptop bag - a typical guy's outfit. The unique thing about Stéphane is that his shirt and bag that he had on were designed and created by BYDFAULT, a socially conscious premium apparel line, launched by him in 2012.
Stéphane Boss is originally from Paris. In 2006, his work brought him and his young family to Seattle. At that time he did not know how long they will stay, but the charm of the Puget Sound and local vibe of entrepreneurship has created a new home for his family.
Couple years before BYDFAULT became a company, its roots started in 2010 when Stéphane and two of his sons went on a trip to the city of Quetzaltenango in Guatemala, where among their work fixing furniture, they also got a chance to connect with local people. For Stéphane this trip ignited an obsession for helping people and making a difference on a broader scale internationally. He also understood the importance of giving back and upon his return he and few other volunteers organized a fundraiser that continued to support projects in Quetzaltenango. Seeing the results of his work inspired him to go on and in early 2012 dedicate himself to the company full-time.
Not having any background in fashion (except for the fact that Stéphane is from one of the greatest capitals of fashion), it became a vehicle of the difference that Stéphane is making in the world. For him, wearing a piece of clothing is not only showing personality and sharing a message about oneself, but also it is a way to give back. This aspiration let BYDFAULT to come alive in August of 2012. The company started with designing and manufacturing T-shirts, with carefully chosen artistic designs and high-quality and comfortable fabric. The proceeds from the first two designs went to build a classroom in Quetzaltenango that Stéphane personally participated in.
All T-shirts have a unique design with a special story attached to it and are inspired by a cause that the company is supporting. There are currently seven national and international organizations that receive $5 from every garment purchased. With his work, Stéphane does not only want to give back but also hopes to build closer relationship and collaboration between his company and nonprofits. In addition to giving back, the organization is also manufacturing some of its garments in the U.S. Other Items are ethically and responsibly manufactured in Egypt, Guatemala, Vietnam or India.
Less than a year ago, Stéphane combined his passion for flying kites with fashion and started working on a bag made from recycled kite materials that were donated to him by manufacturing organizations and local enthusiasts. Very cool looking and in the same time unique and comfortable bag was created with the smallest details in mind and it took Stéphane several prototypes to finally come up with the one that would meet everyone’s needs – from size of a laptop and load to weather conditions. Within the next couple of months, Stéphane will be giving people an opportunity to pre-order and choose their own colors with certain details for their own bags. The bags are handmade in Seattle.
Although BYDFAULT’s commitment to ethically and guilt free fashion, the biggest priority for them is to have a high-quality product that people want to wear and enjoy and know that each item was manufactured with people and environment in mind. It is a priority for Stéphane to have his items be comfortable and made with high attention to detail and that is what the company is known for. Every item is brought to life with a customer in mind. Having lived in Seattle for quite a number of years, Stéphane hopes to see in Seattle people working together, helping each other.
BYDFAULT represents community, giving and future. It is a brand that does not only promote slow fashion that is of outstanding quality but allows people to stay fashionable and do good in the same time. While larger manufacturing companies are hesitating to answer questions of “where did my garment come from?” designers such as Stéphane are changing our buying culture one customer and manufacturer at a time. “By doing fashion in a socially conscious way – you look great plus you do good.”
*Photos provided by bydfault.com