When it comes to sustainable fashion on the Hungarian scene, it is inevitable that we mention the PINKPONILO team. With no community to speak of, their community sewing studio has undergone a little transformation during the pandemic. They had plenty of time to rethink the design and management processes. We even got to see the girls in Telekom’s campaign. Anna Kudron, one of the founders of PINKPONILO, told us about these troubled times.
It has been more than a year that we have to live with the changes brought about by the pandemic. How has the coronavirus affected your business?
The biggest change we had to get used to was that for a long time we only saw each other online and even after we only had one or two people working in the workshop. We then realized that we had everything we needed for work, but we had to put our planned strategy aside for a while. At the same time, however, we could focus more on the implementation and production. A huge challenge for us was to have essentially no cultural and educational events for seven or eight months. The absence of these was very difficult to bear, given that each member of our team is very social. We missed the face-to-face meetings and the buzz we were used to.
Thus, each of us in the PINKPONILO team had to find sources of inspiration on our own, creating a kind of balanced internal system despite the fluctuation in the central information surges. I believe we have succeeded in this respect. Our sewing skills have greatly improved, we have worked a lot on our communication system just as we did on tenders and future development plans. The impact of the pandemic situation itself on the city and on society is anything but inspiring. For us, motivation has always been provided by those few people, creators, friends who are close to us and with whom we work and talk.
Despite all adversities, we have experienced some good things as well. We had two great shoots. As a very inspiring undertaking, we were featured in Telekom’s national campaign, and together with the Hungarian Fashion & Design Agency and the OTP Fáy András Foundation, we made an educational video for young people who are about to choose a career. Almost the whole country could meet us through the screen, while we were still spending every day in the near-empty Paloma Art Court – where things have fortunately returned to normal since then. In addition, we work together with many local designers, Alma Vetlényi being one of them. We also collaborated with Anna Ott, for whom we made book jackets (here you can read more about this and about other products made by Hungarian designers – ed.)
If there is anything you have learned from the pandemic, what was it?
We have developed our own specific production-design system; we have organized our educational and cultural programs in a conscious lifestyle–design–art system, thus opening up to more age groups and also toward men. We have several project-based creatives joining us, and we have wonderful interns. Communication, management, design – we are now able to improve ourselves in each of these fields. You can probably feel this from the atmosphere of our family photo!
Photos: Beatrix Gergely, Viola Kaulics