Plain Tiger Spotlight: SENTIENT

Life-affirming fashion

By Renee Fortune

en·tient | sen(t)SH(ē)ənt/

1. Capable of feeling and perceiving through the senses.
2. The ability of any entity to have subjective perceptual experiences.

There are so many brilliant stories about people from unexpected sectors changing their professional trajectories or delving into a skillset that exists on the other side of the career spectrum. Many of those stories exist within the world of fashion. We’ve seen number-crunchers – accountants and auditors entering the fashion world as designers and innovators. The same can be said about several other sectors that aren’t the typical birthplaces of creative talent. 

SENTIENT is another example of how these kinds of stories can take people down a fascinating rabbit hole of discovery – both inwardly and outwardly. Brand founder, Jimena Suárez graduated as a lawyer in Mexico City and continued her graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, specialising in sustainable development and environmental justice. 

But Jimena is a lawyer who can design fashion; and exquisite fashion at that. Let’s take a moment for the Aura dress. It’s difficult not to look at it and get serious Morticia Addams vibes. It’s got everything you want in a standout staple – sumptuous texture, voluminous sleeves, a low-cut back and the classic colourway that exudes irresistible LBD (Little Black Dress) energy. 

But you can’t quite grasp the magnificence of the Aura without talking about the fact that it’s made out of 100% vegan, sustainable cactus leather. For the team behind SENTIENT, cactus leather is a go-to. It’s the ideal alternative to animal leather products and is sourced in the state of Zacatecas in Mexico. 
The cacti used to produce the textile called Desserto® is cultivated in an organic plantation that does not use pesticides or herbicides. There’s so much to say about this innovative textile, but arguably, its most valuable characteristic is its water-efficiency. You’d be surprised to know that it only takes 200 litres of water to grow one kilogram of cactus biomass, given that the plant itself absorbs water naturally due to the region’s humidity. 

The use of this textile is just one way in which SENTIENT shows its commitment to sustainability and continues to iterate its production methods and protocols to become as carbon-efficient as possible. 

The notion that all species; both human and animal, are sentient, and by virtue of that quality, deserve to be treated equally and protected with the same manner of urgency, is the foundation of SENTIENT. Every piece of design in its stable is geared towards expanding at least one of the brand’s three main values:

We believe in compassion and respect for animals.
We believe in spreading love for Earth’s natural habitats.
We believe sustainability starts with peace and unity among human beings.

Underpinned by these values, each garment or accessory that is produced by SENTIENT is designed for long-lasting versatility and functionality. SENTIENT is a brand that understands and appreciates the centrality of fashion as a form of self-expression but believes that that expression should reflect the changing values and needs of an evolving world.

Describing SENTIENT’s growing customer base, Chief Brand Officer, Karina Zarzoza explains: 

“Our customers are conscientious and caring human beings who are in touch with their environment and the effect their lifestyle choices have on the world around them. They are creative, adventurous, compassionate, and intentional. They appreciate a brand with a mission and a story. Our customers believe in coming together as a collective to contribute and be mindful of the present and future wellbeing of humans, animals, and the planet.”

We need to design and produce fashion that can stand the test of time – fashion that exists beyond short-lived fads and passing trends. We need to advocate for fashion that does not eventually become waste and places emphasis on time-old principles like comfort and well-being. SENTIENT exists at the intersection of these values and the forefront of global culture in its most progressive form.

Karina fully subscribes to the belief that meaningful change towards building a more sustainable future for all, can behind right here, in the world of fashion: 

“The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the guiding principles behind our operations and targets so that we can be part of building an industry that is sustainable. SENTIENT values fashion as a pillar of modern culture - one that tenders the tools for self-expression and unity. The planet, as well as the humans and animals that share it, deserve to see a fashion industry that fosters a purposeful today and a prosperous tomorrow.”
$270.00 USD
$311.00 USD