In this recurring theme, we will focus on our retailers. This is where you get to meet our Pure Goods in person and find out more about their story. That’s one of the reasons why we love our shops. They tell our story and provide the consumers with good service, good products and have a nice story to tell. One of our favourites is Het Faire Oosten, last week we’ve visited them for an interview with founder Magali Heuberger.
How it all started
In 2014 Magali started with the idea to make the sustainable lifestyle more approachable; easier and more attractive to experience, to taste and to feel. Whenever she was out shopping, Magali experienced a lack of information, transparency and overall an appealing offer of sustainable goods. In her opinion, most shops and organisations did not reach their full potential yet when it came to making the sustainable lifestyle more popular. Her drive and passion to know the full story about a product and its production process, the will to share it and her rebellious personality made her want to do better. Magali decided to turn this frustration into something positive: Het Faire Oosten. Magali is still able to use the inexhaustible drive she has to know everything about all products for her own store.
‘For as long as I remember I’ve always had this love for the markets showing craftsmanship. Whenever I am travelling, I love to talk endlessly with local makers. It is my fuel to be able to learn and share more of what is truly worth putting on this planet.’
Fair Fashion Awareness
For most people starting a fair fashion brand or shop, raising awareness amongst the consumers is key. They feel that change is necessary and are constantly looking for channels to make people aware. Magali feels that for a lot of ‘unaware’ people their only condition is the question ‘is there no child labour involved’, while there is so much more to think about. To make people more aware of the conditions people working in the fashion industry have to deal with, Magali believes that you shouldn’t sugar coat it while showing the fair alternative as well. Documentaries such as The True Cost are necessary to show the consumer the dark side of fashion. While it is up to the brands and shops to show that the sustainable and attractive alternative is actually there.
‘The Rana Plaza tragedy, a disaster on such a huge scale. It’s not just something that’s a hot topic for a while and then disappears. People are still working in such terrible conditions.’
Since she started Het Faire Oosten Magali has become more critical than ever, even when buying products for private use. As the owner of Het Faire Oosten, she actually gets to talk directly with the manufacturers, which allows her to know the complete story about a product, ask questions and be part of the production process. Furthermore, she now well knows where to find the sustainable alternatives as well. ‘I never worry about not being able to find the sustainable alternative for the product I long for, I just keep searching until I find it. Plus it helps that Het Faire Oosten is on the radar of organizations worldwide, looking for specific stores.’
More than a fashion store
At Het Faire Oosten you can buy all kinds of products; 18 brands of fair fashion, accessories, interior design, food, books and even presents for newborns and your kids. Roughly every 2 weeks the interior is even redecorated in order to be able to tell new stories. With the competition from web shops, this seems one of the ways to make sure people will visit your physical shop. When looking at the percentages, about half of the visitors who enter Het Faire Oosten, say ‘I’m actually here for…’ and in the end are very happy with something completely different, or they bought the thing they came for plus something else. This is one of Het Faire Oosten’s biggest strengths. Although Magali doesn’t really like the term one-stop-shop, she does recognize that Het Faire Oosten is a lot like it.
‘I really like the fact that people are able to find not only the perfect baby shower gift but also that very beautiful sweater for themselves ánd something for their kids ánd the fruit bowl they once saw in Tunisia, but couldn’t bring home.’
One of the goals of Het Faire Oosten is to show that a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to find. Magali loves to see how happy her customers are when they find something they didn’t expect. ‘They are not just happy because of the beautiful sweater, or just because of that thoughtful baby shower gift; it works cumulatively as the customers’ awareness about the fact a completely sustainable lifestyle ís possible, grows. That’s so cool to influence and to witness.’
Het Faire Oosten Experience
Of course, Magali does not run the store all by herself. When you go shopping at Het Faire Oosten you will be welcomed by a team of enthusiastic, empathic and well trained ‘personal shopping assistants’, one of the aspects of being a shopowner Magali is most proud of. ‘As a shopping assistant, you get really close to someone you might have never met before and if the energy is right, people love to share their ideas and questions – it’s absolutely about more then just selling and buying’. For Magali this is very satisfying, knowing that people come to Het Faire Oosten willing to be open for innovative products and to reflect on their lifestyle – and then just see what happens…
Find Het Faire Oosten or a store near you through our store locator.