Victoria Bakir, Founder and Designer of
Made By Wave.
When we first saw Made By Wave’s beautiful straw baskets and handbags, we were hooked.
A modern classic, the baskets are painstakingly embellished in Indonesia with intricate seed bead patterns.
Sharing our commitment to the talented artisans who create such beautiful designs, we wanted to introduce you to the founder of Made By Wave, Victoria Bakir.
UB: Tell us about the beginnings of Made By Wave.
VB: When I travelled to Indonesia back in 2015, I had no intention of deciding on a new life path. But that is the beauty of spontaneity. I took this journey at a time in my life when I was feeling disillusioned in my role as a financial journalist. While I enjoyed my job very much, I felt the urge to truly reconnect with my creative side. As a former travel writer and keen photographer, I missed exploring different forms of creative expression.
I travelled through Indonesia with my eyes opened wider to the world around me. I soaked up the incredible atmosphere while gaining insights into a culture and people with customs so far removed from my own. Their creative process was also like nothing I have ever seen before. There is such style, talent and passion behind every detail. I was fascinated by the hundreds-year-old artisan techniques, the unbreakable link to ancient traditions and the intricate craftsmanship.
Every part of the madebywave journey tells a story, and the product names are no different. Madebywave collection takes you on a journey around the world, on a colourful adventure of naming, inspiration and design…
UB: When did you first start to feel that an ethical and sustainable lifestyle was important to you and how did it effect your life and style!?
VB: My extensive travel experience across the globe has been eye opening for me. I always fall for something unusual and a bit ethnical on my trips to Africa and Asia, where traditional craftsmanship is still a crucial part of most communities. I love combining my finds from far-flung destinations in my everyday city style dressing as well. I think this is when for the first time I started to think how the clothes I like the most are made, who is behind them, what heritage they have got. I find all the above incredibly exiting and breathtaking. Also, in many remote areas I like to travel to, sustainability is important how the lodges/small hotels are built and sustained.
UB: What would be your advice to our readers who want to start to shop more responsibly or build a more ethical wardrobe?
VB: Don’t be too conservative sticking just to well-known names, go to pop up shops – they are full of new designers and this is a great way to discover new ethical names.
UB: What 3 small changes do you think we could all make to make being an ethical consumer easier?
VB: Reduce impulsive purchases, being more conscious where the clothes are made, recycle and donate clothes you don’t use any more.
UB: Who’s ethos you most respect and are inspired by?
VB:I am very much inspired by Liya Kebede and all her work she does through her charity foundation in Ethiopia and her ethical fashion label Lemlem.
UB: How do you convince the eye-rollers? (Those who just don’t try or care!)
VB: I think to open yourself truly to the world you live in is very important. Convincing is not easy, but when you tap into a person’s passions whatever it can be, you can translate it then to them in their ‘language’ the passion I have about sustainability. Showing and letting people to experience is quite powerful.
UB: Simple ways to update a tired wardrobe.
VB: Accessorising is the best way to update your tired wardrobe. Mixing your old favourite pieces with a splash of something new will be just enough to revive the looks. I have some items in my wardrobe, which are over 15 years old and still loving them as much as I did before.
UB: What are your personal favourite pieces from Made By Wave’s collections?
VB: As I design all madebywave pieces myself, I have a strong connection with all of them and frankly it is not easy to make a pick. However, the bags inspired by my travels to Africa have a special meaning to me. I am fascinated by African heritage and nature, and also collect tribal art with a deep affection from all over the world. Kalahari Bag from this year collection and Zambezi Bag and clutch from our debut range are probably my favourite pieces.
UB: For many people, investing in ethically produced items isn’t financially viable. Would you agree and if so, what affordable alternatives are there/ how do you justify the expense?
VB: There are more and more high street brands are working towards sustainability, for instance Gap and H&M launched their organic cotton ranges. But the key is to invest in capsule timeless pieces and purchase less of other wardrobe items. I am a big believer in small sustainable brands, which also can give you that uniqueness and exclusivity most of us are looking for.
UB: Tell us your top 3 guilt free places you love to visit…
VB: I love spending my Saturday mornings at the Duke of York Square farmers market.
The Farmacy Kitchen in Notting Hill is excellent for catching up with my girlfriends over lunch.
I think London parks are the most ethical places in town, so grateful for how they are preserved and protected – I am a runner and Richmond Park is my true sanctuary throughout all seasons.