In the first episode of Meshugge Q&A, we will be diving into the world of recycling and upcycling with Miaraka. It is a passion project of creative genius Zoar and shows his love for making new things from old. His designs and patterns evolve as he continues to find fabrics and clothes and give them new purposes in life.
How did you start Miaraka?
Hi, my name is Zoar, I am 32 and I started the brand, MIARAKA in 2017. At the time, I used to work for a fashion retail chain, but when they offer me to move up in the company, my convictions and ecological values took the upper hand.
Why do you choose hat to be the main focus of the brand?
I really like accessories. I believe they complete a style. I never wore rings or necklaces but I always loved hats in every shape and form and I couldn’t find a miki or docker that was really for my taste! I skate, so I already had various five panels caps, and I draw my inspiration from it to conceive my own miki. After I made a few of them for myself, I realized many people liked it, so I started up!
Who have been your major influencer / muse / inspiration?
I don’t really have a model or a muse, I feed from my surrounding. I am vey inspired by hip hop culture (music, dance...) and skateboard. In my different styles, I really like to combine comfort and utility. These are activities that need ease and that you mostly practice in the street. Since I was a teenager, I evolved in these spheres, in the street, in dance battles, skateboard contests, training underground or even in parties where you can meet strong characters that leave a mark for their originality.
Please choose your sustainability indicators from our list and kindly elaborate more for our readers.
● Being Local
What are the challenges in staying true to your eco-friendly brand philosophy?
The real challenge is to stay ethical all along the production line, from sourcing to sale, passing by production. In every domain, you can find alternatives, and this feeds creativity. But more than everything, it’s a way of life: stop eating in fast-food restaurants, buy from local producers, fix things instead of buying new ones... It’s our duty to participate in a new form of economy, a bit more reasoned and virtuous.
What is Miaraka’s soul?
MIARAKA means ‘together’ in Malagasy. Our ethical values are not only ecological, but also social. We form a plurality of creatures, we must take care of our planet and what it’s made of, including us, the human beings.
How do you source the fabrics that you are using?
When I started, I used to ask my relatives if they new people who wanted to get rid of their old jeans and other clothes. We all have items we don’t throw away for laziness or just “because you never know”.
I used to work with a “ressourcerie”. I gave them the clothes in good condition that people handed to me and I didn’t use to make the mikis. In return, they gave me fabrics (curtains, sheets...)
When they started to develop, I went toward the sorting and clothing drive centers to find ‘broken jeans’.
What is the best part about upcycling in your creative process?
I love to deconstruct. From time to time, I create beats and I sample music. I like to take a monument of soul, jazz, or another music to create a new version of my own. Give music a new life... Well, I do the same with clothes, fabrics and their different textures. I give them my style to create a new product.
What kind of music do you listen to while producing the hats?
It depends of the moment of the day but I mostly listen hip hop and electronic music. The news rappers (and they are a lot lately), and a lot of beat tapes too. Also, some classics like Jay D Dee, 9th wonder, Nujabes... and the new stage of future beat like the artists from the Soulection label. Sometimes, when I need to feel more dynamic, I like to listen drum and bass or jungle music: I love Shy Fx and all the artists from times of the label True Playaz.
Will you be expanding to making another type of original hat in the future?
Yes, I am currently working on another model, and also new unisex accessories and clothes. My goal I to explore up-cycling like a method of production and to offer original items.