Paula Delgado, Founder of Ound
New Norm Magazine
“This is a project about nature, about silk dyed with handmade pigments obtained from food waste and plants, and about hand-knitted undyed wool.” - Paula Delgado
What’s your background and what made you decide to launch Ound?
I am a fashion designer with over 15 of experience in the fashion industrie. I have worked as a senior designer for big retail companies such as Zara and H&M, where I gained awareness of the harmful nature of an industrie that is based on high speed turnover, over-production and waste.
I decided to launch ound as an answer to this waste-full industrie, where not only garments are disposed like they have no value, but everybody's work on the chain is considered valueless. From the people growing the fibres, to the designers, buyers and all throughout the chain. Off course that there is some people's work that is less valued than others, but when a garment is created, produced, send to a store and ends up all smashed up at a sales rack 2 weeks after being delivered, or burnt or forgotten at the end of somebodies closet, to me that means that we are not giving value to the piece, to the resources and at the end to our selves. For this reason, I decided to create long-lasting thoughtful essentials that will accompany the owner through a long period of time, establishing a bond between the piece and the person and that is respectful to the people and the planet.
What does the name OUND mean to you?
Ound is a made-up word but is contained in several other words that are in the DNA of the project, bound, round, found, sound, profound, ground… it is a sort of abbreviation of that that we aim for and that we get inspired with.
What colours and type of materials do you prefer to work with? And why?
We only work with 100% silk dyed with natural self-made colours from food waste and plants and with 100% undyed wool. We obtain the colours for the silk from nature and are very settled and soft earthy colours, from pink to yellow and black tones we as well print flower petals directly to the silk obtaining the most delicate shades.
For the wool, we only work with natural tones from the sheep. Ecru from 100% superfine Merino and brown from Corriedale, we create mid-tones at the spinning process by mixing them differently. We like the idea of creating loads with little resources, again as a way to avoid waste.
How do you hope people connect with your clothing?
I hope people connect through several senses, first through touch. Ound pieces are super tactile, silk is soft and wool is fluffy, they complement each other beautifully. As well through smell, the wool has very little process, just washing, spinning and knitting, so there is a reminiscence of the odour of the animal, not strong at all or invasive, you just have something on that smells very natural. The same happens with the silk, when I use fig leaves to dye, the scent of the figs stay at the garment for a long time. As well by understanding how much work there is behind each garment, and valuing the material and the people making it happen.
Do you have any tips on how to main naturally dyed garments?
Natural dyes are delicate, but very hardy as well. The things that have to be avoided are long exposures to direct sunlight and radical changes of PH. If you keep your piece in a dark place while not using it and use a PH neutral soap to wash it there shouldn't be any problems, and if you have one, you can always contact me; and if there is a real problem I can always re-dye it for the customer.