Name: Ani Wells
Instagram ID: @simplysuzette
Daily work: Sustainable Denim & Communications Consultant
1. Who are you and what are you doing within the (denim) industry?
Ani Wells is the Director and Founder of Simply Suzette, an online platform bridging the gap between the denim industry and consumer. My creative and strategic approach has turned the platform into a global resource for denim professionals and consumers alike. Driven by my passion to change the world, I strive to provide education on best in class practices for the denim industry to follow and consumers to fall in love with.
I also work closely with market leaders in the denim and fashion world, advising them on sustainably focused campaigns and communications to create global impact.
2. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working as the Communications Lead at Transformers Foundation, as well as custom collaborative projects showcasing the latest technology for sustainability on the market. Keep your eyes out for my series with Star Fades International where we showcase a tasteless product development process recreating a pair of beautiful vintage finds from the Rosebowl Flea. I have also been working on a collection inspired by nature’s cycle that will be released in the coming months. Stay tuned!
3. What is the biggest achievement so far in your career?
My biggest achievement so far is changing the sustainability narrative in the denim industry coming in as an outsider with a new perspective and fresh take, and being recognized for that as one of the Rivet50 honourees in 2020.
4. What is/are your favorite denim brand(s), and why?
This is definitely a tough question, but I am a huge fan of upcycled brands using what we have (since fabric production is where a bulk of the impact of a jean comes from) like EB Denim for their unapologetic designs and E.L.V. for the elegant takes on the classics.
5. What is your favorite denim store, and why?
Flea markets and vintage stores! It might not be a store per se, but I love the hunt and there is nothing like a good pair of vintage jeans with natural whiskers and distressing. Some of my favourite vintage shops are Mood Indigo in Amsterdam and Flashback Vintage in Toronto!
6. What do you think we can expect in the (near) future of denim developments as it comes to sustainability?
I think we will continue to see more developments in indigo dye and the dyeing processes, but I think the biggest push we will see is towards regenerative agriculture as we strive for jeans that sequester more carbon than they create, and I emphasize strive here as anything we create has an impact.
7. What is the most valuable lesson your have learned during your work?
One, enjoy the process. And two, keep your blinders on so you don’t get bogged down by what others are doing. Stay true to your beliefs and yourself.
Image: Star Fades International
8. If you could be someone else for one day, who would you be, and why?
This might not be a single person per se, but I would love to step into the shoes of an experienced farmer. My dream is to one day have my own farm that grows natural indigo, hemp, flax, and hopefully cotton if the soil and climate allows, as well as many fruits and veggies and possibly a vineyard!
Image: Star Fades International
9. Can you describe your ultimate pair of jeans?
My ultimate pair of jeans would be a mid-rise bootcut that hugs your hips but still giving way for a little wiggle room, in a 13oz mid-dark wash with a slight green cast, a slightly faded thigh and subtle chevrons, naturally faded whiskers, light distressing at the pockets and bottom hem, creating an elegant yet rugged look. I love the juxtaposition of feminine yet somewhat masculine style.
10. Do you have a life slogan, or one that inspires you?
“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first” - The Go Giver