Welcome to the Pandora´s Box, my name is Mónica Rodríguez Varela, the person behind the Pécora project, we present this space where you can meet us, we would like to offer you contents that may be of your interest, art, stories, curiosities, this is a disaster box where anything has a place. We invite you to participate, we would love to know what you think and what you like.
We will count on the invaluable periodic collaboration of La Diabla Cojuela with “Jumping on the Rooftops” that will submerge us in a sea where fish dance backwards, telling us wonderful stories in a neverending tale.
If you want to collaborate with us and that we publish your stories, artistic manifestations or anything of interest that you can think of, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to open a window to your concerns and enjoy your contributions. Dare to participate!
Recently we were lucky enough to be able to participate in a Seminar on Fashion and Sustainability, we made garments with fabrics of vegetable fibers from certified forests with the seal of management and sustainable exploitation and we gave a small talk in which we presented the Pécora brand. We leave you the transcript of this talk so you can get to know us a little better.
“Good Morning! My name is Mónica Rodríguez Varela, I was alumnus of the Mestre Mateo School of Arts and I come to tell you my brief experience after finishing the Degree in Fashion Design; how and why I have created a brand of Sustainable Handmade Fashion.
Let me introduce you to my background, because I believe that my case is not the most common. I entered the world of Fashion by chance.
I am 41 years old, I started studying Fashion Design with 36 years, before that, I had a degree in Art History, I studied Dramatic Art for 4 years and I worked in a thousand jobs, none of them related to Fashion.
I had never been interested in the Fashion Industry, moreover, I felt a certain rejection towards Fashion for all the preconceived ideas that we associate with the industry, for the dictatorship of trends, the massification of tastes, frivolity, the emptiness of that world of Showcase and appearance. The canons of beauty, impositions and established models bothered me.
I wasn´t aware of the other side of the coin, the immense power of rebellion that Fashion has. I was anchored in consumerism, pollution, exploitation … and all those realities that have not disappeared. But I did not realise the possibilities of change that Fashion has over the systems. A power that, in my opinion, is much greater than that of other disciplines, because Fashion, whether you like it or not, whether you are aware or not, is in your life in one way or another, and is also intimately linked to the individual and his own individuality. We all dress, and however unconscious or reluctant the choice of what we wear each day of our lives, it is a personal decision and says a lot about us.
I started in Fashion playing and I hope I never stop playing. I started manufacturing recycled rag dolls to sell them online and I discovered two things, one, which was not profitable at all and two, that I was passionate about doing the styling, so I decided to study Fashion, but since I am a complete disaster, I was late for the date of the entrance exam, so while waiting for the next call I learned to sew with Selvita, the wonderful dressmaker of my town.
Finally I graduated and fell in love with the design of prints, fashion is hard, as you well know, it is intense and demanding but it has the great advantage that it offers an immense range of possibilities. Especially if one broadens horizons and does not remain anchored in the idea of “great designer” as a famous person.
Well, at the end of the Degree my idea was to work for some company, anywhere in the world, if possible in print design but very happy to do anything related to Fashion … even technical sheets … I wanted to continue learning , gain experience and be self-sufficient.
But of course … let’s recap, I ended up with 40 years because I postponed the project a year to be able to do everything myself, I ended up with a surprisingly good file, I did the best I could, and with great enthusiasm I sent thousands of cv, they answered two, very kindly they told me … “It’s not you, it’s me” … they were looking for a profile of an intern and I didn’t fit.
At this point I would like to make a subparagraph, especially for those who are starting … do not get overwhelmed with the notes … They are NOT SO IMPORTANT … try to enjoy, be receptive and flexible to criticism but do not let the judgment of others affect you … not even the teachers´judgment!
Well, the fact is that I found myself in my forties, dependent and frustrated…. So I went to plan B.
I wondered what my dream was, my aspirations, where I wanted to get…. And what I wanted was to do whatever I wanted, to be my own boss, to have my own artisanal brand of slow, ethical and sustainable fashion. In the village, in contact with nature, with my animals … I wanted to be able to make my own decisions freely, especially at an artistic level; do what I like and live on it …
All very beautiful … yes … but of course … without experience, without money, without contacts, without anything more and nothing less than will, enthusiasm and work … well, it sounds a little “risky” … and obviously it is, but it is not impossible … and above all … there is nothing to lose.
So Pecora believes on artisanal and sustainable fashion, Slow Fashion, I did it by principles and personal affinity but also because I think there are business opportunities …
We are increasingly aware that the brutal consumption model in which we are trapped is not viable for much longer, it is undeniable that Fashion as an industry has a problem … a big problem … and there will be no choice but to adapt or die, so ethical and sustainable alternatives can be profitable.
The essence of Pécora are the prints. I design garment and accessories but the hallmark are the prints.
I got the Artisan Letter from Artesanía de Galicia, I did printing courses, especially ecoprint or botanical printing and I threw myself into the pool creating the company, myself and without money. I’m going crazy, I’m not going to lie, but … I’m happy. I just started and I can not do an analysis, this is a long term race, but it is essential to enjoy the road and although with a thousand uncertainties and panic attacks …. I do what I like and that is a luxury.
I want to end up encouraging you to believe in yourself and in your possibilities, however adverse the circumstances may be. You have to work hard, yes, but you also have to enjoy it and never stop playing.
Everyone is very free to make their own decisions but you have to be aware of the consequences. You are the future and we have a responsibility, it is up to us to transform reality, let’s not fall into the trap of … “no …we don’t have the power … the politicians … I am alone I can not change anything… ”because it is not true… We are more and of course we have the power to change, and yes, it is not easy, it carries risks… but the real danger is not changing anything.”