Troo's Sustainable Lingerie and Clothing are Handmade With Love
Nic and Steph Fitzgerald, Founders of Troo
Benoni, South Africa
We are Nic and Steph Fitzgerald, sisters from Benoni, a little town in South Africa. We are now living in Switzerland, but have never lost touch with our South African roots. We are both passionate about doing our bit to support slow, responsible fashion and promote a more sustainable lifestyle. We believe in living a simple, responsible life in terms of the environment and our fellow humans. This inspired us to create Troo and partner with young, talented designers from South Africa who share our passion for slow fashion.
Troo is a small, intimate online platform we have created where we partner with like-minded brands who source sustainable fabric and empower local craftswomen to create our gorgeous babes. Troo is a way for us to make a small, positive impact by giving people the opportunity to fall in love with fair, sustainable fashion, as well as to discover beautiful new brands. We believe Troo is proof of what can happen when you work on something you ‘trooly’ believe in. Troo is a labour of love and passion that we have grown (slowly) from the ground up, and we are so very proud of it.
The idea for Troo came up due to a few factors. We had watched a documentary on the fashion industry and both decided that fast fashion was not something we wanted to support anymore. At the time we struggled to find affordable fair fashion options. Around the same time we were looking through a magazine at our grandmother's house and came across the beautiful designs of Megan at Nette Rose.
Megs’ two grandmothers, Nette and Rose were a big inspiration behind her brand, and like us, we have two very inspiring grandmothers. We chatted to Meg about selling her lovely babes in Switzerland and the rest, as they say, is history.
We launched in July 2016 with Nette Rose and have added “Found.Collection” and “Lunar”, two new beautiful brands, from South African artists to our little Troo family. Although it is very exciting to see our business grow, we are quite selective in who we partner with, as we would like to keep our shop a small, intimate space.
Troo is unique for the love and care that goes into everything we do. Not only do we treat our business with so much love and passion, but the makers whose products we sell have made every piece with love (and a few good laughs). We are also unique in that we work so closely with our makers, and have strong personal relationships with all of them. As important as it is to us to bring our customers beautiful, ethical clothing, it is just as important to us to have a positive impact on the people making the beautiful pieces we offer on Troo. It may be small changes, but when we hear that a seamstress can afford her own apartment, and her daughter has her own room for the first time in her life, it makes our hearts happy.
Each piece we pick to put on Troo is something we really love, otherwise we won't sell it, so this is a hard question!
Meg from Nette Rose amazes us every single time she shows us her new collections. We have just partnered with Nette Rose and are launching a Troo x Nette Rose capsule collection made from vintage 1930s lace that we found in Zurich. The lace is so special and we feel very lucky to have been able to give it new life. Being able to work with Megan on our own collection is extremely special to us. We have named the pieces after the beautiful, inspiring women in our lives, and so all the pieces in the collection have a special place in our hearts. We hope to launch our collection very soon
We are very selective about who we work with and before we enter into a new partnership we make sure that it is a small business that is transparent and open to us. We want to know that all the seamstresses’ and craftsmen are treated fairly in terms of wages and working environment. We go and visit the brands and spend time getting to know everyone. We ensure that the pieces are either made from natural fibers, leftover material or sourced locally in South Africa.
When you walk into the Nette Rose Studio you can feel that the girls love what they do and take pride in the pieces they make. The girls always have good tunes rolling in the studio, have flexible working hours in order to spend time with family, and know when a day off is needed. They have a "speak your mind policy" in their small studio (we have visited their beautiful studio and we would love to work there!) so everyone feels comfortable being able to voice their opinions and contribute to the business.
All the pieces are limited as they choose to rather sell out than have wasted fabric in landfills. Even the thread they use is sourced from a South Africa based company who have a zero landfill policy, utilize solar energy and have since planted over 1'000 olive trees to help offset their emissions.
Found.Collection founders, Lisa and Gitte use textiles that they personally meticulously source and then entrusted to a handful of local artisans who craft each garment with exceptional care. It is important to them that they support and uplift local entrepreneurs by giving them greater opportunities for growth. Lunar produces their beautiful garments in the middle of Johannesburg, at the 44 Stanley, where they also have their beautiful shop. They know the importance of fairtrade and providing the best working conditions for their employees. They recognize the significance of sustainable business practices and the value in empowering local crafters and artists. Wherever possible, they make use of natural fibres and pigment dyes. Fabrics that are from the earth, with little human interference.