Consciousness and Sustainability

There is a wish to do good; not all choices are 100% waterproof green, but we do what is within our reach and consider PPP.

We do it now—not in ten years like some mainstream fashion brands; we started with this philosophy in 2007. That also includes saying “no” to opportunities and growth for the company.

By being a local and small brand, we steer clear of many environmental and social issues. This one-woman company has a small footprint; Pepa is a designer and maker, executing from the Rotterdam Studio. 

Her first sustainable choice was creating original items that could complement what was already abundant but with a different operation; Our made-on-order production prevents overruns and enables us to offer made-to-measure service, which was quite unusual then and is still uncommon today. With our operation to make long-lasting and timeless fashion accessories that are original and attractive, we convince customers to invest in a piece for many years. She also decided that all designs should be available all year round and even year after year when the materials were available.

When we started to create hats, bags, and gaiters in 2007, we solely used leftover materials for the ooak items, handmade from Pepa’s little attic. To meet the demands of buyers and shops, we also started to buy quality materials from other local businesses, such as natural wool felt or leftover tarpaulin from truck cover manufacturers.

To keep our footprint small, Pepa commutes by bicycle. For minor loads or creative events, we use the company bike, a 100-year-old Monark, and, in other cases, we drive our cute and spacious C3 Picasso on LPG. Yes, LPG is a byproduct of polluted industry, but it is a clean emission and affordable, within our reach.

We would love to tell you more about the origin of the materials that we use for our designs.

Natural Wool felt

The Dutch wool felt manufacturer gets the wool from South American sheep that are held naturally in small flocks. They walk freely on extensive grounds. Some wool they use for the felting process comes from Spanisch Merino sheep. The wool felt is 100% Oekotex certified, thus free of toxins and safe for people. 

Pepavana did investigate within her reach. We realize that we need to learn every detail of this particular wool harvest. When we can work with industrial wool felt from local wool, we will surely choose that option to have total control, but there is no such alternative now that will live up to our demands.

But we will take advantage of this beautiful and natural material, which has many benefits for creating long-lasting products. Wool is warm in winter and regulating in other seasons. It is also dirt—and water-repellent. 

As we create classic fashion items from it, mostly made on order, they will be a wardrobe staple for years—timeless quality items.


Then, we buy natural Hemp fabric from Romania for the summer gaiters and hats. Hemp production in Romania has always been biological and sustainable.


The Piñatex Fabric, sent from Spain, is an alternative to animal leather. The company uses the long and strong fibers from the leaves of the pineapple plant for the basis of pineapple leather, a byproduct of the fruit harvest. Its production is fair and green. We use it for gaiters and bags.


We buy cork fabric from a company in Rotterdam. They get the cork from Portugal, the cradle of this natural product. Cork leather consists of a thin layer of cork on cloth. It is another beautiful alternative to genuine leather. It comes in different patterns. We made some exciting women’s gaiters from it.

Secondhand jeans

Cotton jeans are bliss for reuse, but transforming them into quality products is time-consuming. Our method and technique are essential for the upcycling process to create a true Pepavana loyal to the original piece and distinguish itself from the average upcycler.

We make dresses, hats, and gaiters this way.

We are not always happy about the production process of most jeans, which can harm people and the planet, but since they are already secondhand, they are not harmful anymore. Reusing will raise the value of the material.

Vintage blankets

From the early start of Pepavana until now, we have used secondhand blankets to create hats and gaiters. Since these typical Dutch Blankets are from Virgin Wool, we can transform the products further by felting them by hand after assembling them.

Mostly, we buy vintage blankets in thrift shops or from individuals. It is getting harder to find good examples for a fair price. 

After the hats and gaiters, we successfully launched the Layers Line, an attractive series of products with multiple layers and typical outer seams, like shopper bags, house slippers, and treasure boxes.

Leftover Truck Tarp

We buy the leftover tarpaulin pieces from truck cover manufacturers in the Rotterdam harbor. Most pieces are neat, clean, and perfect for designing stylish or sturdy bags. With Pepa’s sewing skills, she can make quality bags that will be your companion for many years. When they break down after excessive use, free repairs will extend the lifetime of the beloved bag.

Textile disposals

Then, we have quite a supply of donated clothes, linen, and disposals for creative textile workshops. Our policy is that the workshop’s results with these materials must be usable and relatively sustainable. 

We love recycling, but I have also learned that not all secondhand materials are a blessing to our environment and that it is better to throw them out. First, because they can continue causing damage (like the polluting ink in newspapers), disposing of them ends the pollution. Second, using inferior materials will never result in a sustainable and long-lasting product. Working with worn and inferior materials is also a waste of labor.

Leftover leather

We recycle secondhand genuine leather for bag handles or other product details.

In short

  • We have been green since the start of 2007; we have kept our production by ourselves.
  • We use fair materials, buy at local businesses, and make quality products on order; there are no overruns of products and raw materials.
  • Our products are not tied to the seasons and stay available forever.
  • We offer a lifetime guarantee and free repairs on our designs.
  • Our customers invest in long-lasting accessories.
  • We spread our green philosophy through educational workshops, appearances at fairs, and customer service online or at the studio.