Yabisí by Alessandra Jourdan: Creating harmony between nature and design
Updated: May 6
As COVID-19 has spread in the most unprecedented way, the world has nearly come to a halt. In one way or another we have all been affected by the global pandemic. With stay-at-home orders throughout the world’s major cities and the near closure of all major airports, we have witnessed firsthand how human activity directly affects the environment. We saw the Los Angeles’ skyline smog-free, the Venice Canals looked significantly cleaner even from a satellite view and China’s major cities measured record lows in Nitrogen Dioxide.
As we look forward to opening the world again, it only makes sense to highlight businesses like Yabisí that put forward environmentally friendly products. Founded by Alessandra Jourdan, Yabisí's designs are just as intriguing as the business philosophy and the company's roots.
"Growing up in the mountains of Añasco gave form to my connection with nature."
Before there was a business, fashion design was just Alessandra’s hobby. Her inspiration for this artwork was birthed in Añasco, Puerto Rico where her grandmother, a seamstress, would make draperies for her townspeople. Almost as deep as this familial relationship with fashion, is Alessandra’s bond with the environment. “Growing up in the mountains of Añasco gave form to my connection with nature. Going into the fashion industry, I knew I had to care and honor our Earth” said Alessandra. After doing research, she took deep appreciation for cork as her material of choice. Alessandra found cork's long lasting nature to be the perfect substitute for leather while being eco-friendly.
Historically harvested in Portugal, cork is a fascinating material that comes from the bark of cork oak trees. When done properly, cork can be harvested from a single tree for more than 200 years without damaging the tree. In an age of deforestation, it is encouraging to find a material that is not only produced by trees, but that can actually benefit trees and the surrounding environment. For this reason, Alessandra saw fit to call her company Yabisí, which means 'tree' in the language spoken by the Taino people living on the Island called Borinken (now Puerto Rico) of pre-columbian America.
Yabisí not only represents Alessandra’s signature material (cork) but also her philosophy which emphasizes harmony between consumer and environment. On the philanthropic side, Alessandra partnered with One Tree Planted, a Non-profit organization known for planting a tree with every $1 donation. She sees this partnership as a gesture of reciprocity to mother earth and as a means to promote social responsibility within the fashion community.
It’s no easy task to build a company from the ground up, but Alessandra hopes to continue expanding her brand in Southern California where she is currently located and fulfilling online orders. We look forward to seeing the development of this business and encourage everyone to look at the products Yabisí has to offer.
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