What inspired you to create a sustainable brand?
Funny enough, our inspiration is sustainability itself :-).
Murmali, like any other sustainable brand, is built from the inside out. Sustainability came before nothing else. It is our core value and the guideline of many customers and other sustainable brands. Isn’t it beautiful belonging to something bigger?
Can you define ‘sustainable luxury’ in context with Murmali as a brand?
Murmali luxury is about our brand culture, the community that shares our same values and creating products designed for function and longevity. The days where the luxury product signified excess, opulence and status are long gone. Our concept of ‘luxury’ has more to do with the process in which the product is involved than the product itself.
What is your earliest design memory for your brand?
I cannot remember a single phase of our life where designing has not been involved. Ever since my grandmother gave me my first stitching lessons, I have been creating some of my own garments. I like to think that was the first sand grain of Murmali.
Could you share with our readers a little about the materials used in your handbags?
All materials used in all our products and packaging are cruelty-free. However, for us, that is not enough. Not harming animals does not mean being sustainable. Some of the most used cruelty-free materials are made of non-sustainable materials like PU or plastic. Murmali takes pride in using just natural fabrics; while cork is our signature and the outer material of the bags, the interior of the handbags is also made of a soft blend of linen and cotton. Also, the metal hardware is made of solid brass. Brass is extremely strong and corrosion-resistant, which is why it is used in marine applications.
“Our purpose is to create handbags that leave a good footprint in our environment and society.”
Why do you think sustainability is important in the fashion industry today?
The voracity with which society consumes fashion is not without consequences. Trends come and go faster than any other time in history. As one of the biggest industries in the world, fashion has a huge responsibility towards society and the consumers themselves.
Does the consumer define what the market provides or is it the other way around? I like to think of it as a two-way road and while consumers should aim for a lower rate of consumption, fashion brands should aim for providing more sustainable products.
How would you describe your personal style?
I believe in utility, quality, and classic lines. If these concepts are present at the same time in a single product, this can easily replace thousands of other temporal designs. This allows you to age with your own clothes, so you get to bond with them. You do not bond with a pair of shoes that break after a year. You do it with a pair of jeans that last for a decade.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?
Whatever you decide to do, do not overthink it. Eventually, everything comes together.
Tell us more about Murmali’s ethics & values as a brand?
While all our bags are ethically handcrafted by local artisans in Portugal, all the materials are mostly natural and from the EU, mostly from Spain and Portugal. Our purpose is to create handbags that leave a good footprint in our environment and society.
“Murmali is the combination of Murco and Chimali, the surnames of the founders. Our logo refers to a link, which represents our aim of introducing Nature into our lives through our handbags.”
What is your favorite part about designing?
It is difficult to choose one! The whole process is amazingly rewarding. We seriously enjoy every single step, from the scary white paper, where everything is yet to be drawn to the last detail in which you get to decide the power of the machine that will engrave by laser the logo on the handbag.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with everyone in the fashion industry?
As an entrepreneur, the best advice I can give is basically to be honest with your own beliefs and never betray that. The only way to succeed in any project you might be involved in is to do it from the heart, otherwise, it will likely take double the amount of work and will not be as enjoyable. As a designer, I guess my advice would be to do what you like and to show yourself within the products you offer. Most of the time that is what makes any brand different from another and what really interests the customer.
What do you envision for the future of your brand?
We envision Murmali on the same path we are right now, making high-end cruelty free, sustainable products and doing it the right way. Furthermore, I would love to see Murmali conquering other natural fabrics like apple or cactus leather and increasing the range of products.
What inspired you to name your brand?
“Murmali” is the combination of Murco and Chimali, the surnames of the founders. Our logo refers to a link, which represents our aim of introducing Nature into our lives through our handbags.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
As a passionate entrepreneur, I believe all my strengths can become weaknesses and vice versa. I believe it is all about finding a balance and knowing when to stop or keep pursuing a certain goal. To give an example to the readers, the path to sustainability is a tricky one, because now, it is impossible to be 100% sustainable. For instance, whatever product you are selling, if you are sending it to the customer, you need shipping, and shipping needs petrol. There is a certain point where you need to stop and for somebody as passionate as I´m, sometimes that is difficult.