As a designer who made everything from dresses to jackets to headpieces while studying as a fashion design major at Parsons in New York City, I always used to wear what I made out about town in NYC and my hometown of Hong Kong. Somehow, my headbands and headpieces seemed to be most memorable (I realized that when someone I met at an event once said ‘Oh you’re the headpiece girl!’). Upon graduating from Parsons with a thesis collection of headpieces, I was offered the opportunity to create a range of headdresses for Lane Crawford’s winter campaign, as well as to launch my headband line in their stores. Thus, Yunotme was born in 2014.
Yunotme is a line of headpieces which celebrate feminine charm and empowerment. My designs are often inspired by the strength and voice of female heroines in literature and the society. Meanwhile, the production of the pieces is made possible by a team of mostly female craftswomen in my home town of Hong Kong.
After a hiatus from 2017, I decided to start sharing my headpieces with the world again in 2020. Having spent a considerable amount of time learning about the sustainability problems and solutions in fashion, including working on sustainability initiatives at Lane Crawford and blogging about such topics on my blog Glorious Days, I decided to share my creativity with the world again – this time in a small, considerate way.
From using deadstock materials to using a preorder system to minimize waste, learn more about sustainability and pricing at Yunotme below.
Behind the brand
Who makes the headbands
The core Yunotme team basically consists of me (Gloria), and I work closely with the owner of a small-scale manufacturing studio in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, to make my pieces. She works with a team of sewers and craftswomen to make your headbands!
Every single one of our headbands are handmade by experienced craftswomen in Hong Kong paid a fair, negotiated wage, often with flexible timing in their own homes. If you look closely at my headbands, most of them can’t be made with a sewing machine and have to be meticulously put together through a careful combination of measuring, beading, hand-sewing and adhesive.
The materials we use to make our headbands are of the highest quality, carefully selected to create pieces that would stand the test of time.
I often source materials in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong. Part of our collection is made with deadstock materials – meaning leftover yardages from designer and luxury brands. The material is made already – why not use them and prevent them from hitting the landfill otherwise? The challenge of using deadstock materials is you have to work with what is available, and you can’t just spin designs out of thin air. There is also limited stock available, which means we can only produce in limited quantities for certain styles. But that’s fine – it means what you get is pretty unique :)
Yunotme headbands are designed and tested for comfort. We think it sucks that headbands are sometimes great to look at but uncomfortable to wear and even headache-inducing! We don’t want that. Our headbands are always designed with your comfort in mind to the best of our abilities, because pretty shouldn’t get in the way of you doing you!
At the moment, I am choosing to produce in my hometown of Hong Kong, but Hong Kong is also known to have some of the highest living costs in the world. The reason why I am still choosing to produce here is because I can easily work with my manufacturing studio to perfect techniques during sampling, and ensure the quality of each piece I ship out is of the highest quality.
The average markup from cost to retail of Yunotme headbands is significantly lower than those of peer brands as I wish to share my creativity with more friends and people, while still paying those who make my headbands a fair price.
Yunotme won’t be doing discounts nor sales because pieces are primarily made-to-order, in limited quantities and are priced fairly.
Pre-order and ready-to-ship products
There are two types of items you can order - ready-to-ship and preorder.
Ready-to-ship styles are headbands that we have made from limited amount of deadstock materials. Once you buy them, we ship them out to you within 2-3 business days.
Our preorder items are available to be ordered once every week from Wednesday to Saturday. Please refer to information on our instagram bio, or on individual preorder product pages for the next preorder dates. During this time you can put in your order. After the shop closes on Saturday, we will take the materials and make your headbands from scratch. Just like when you order your main course at a restaurant! Your order will be shipped out in approximately two weeks from the Sunday the shop closes.
A huge part of the waste problem in the fashion industry is caused by leftover inventory. An estimated 100 billion items of clothing are made each year and around 20% goes unsold – left to be incinerated or landfilled. Creating your headbands with the pre-order model is how we can ensure we don't create more products than the demand. You get your products a bit later but we can reduce unnecessary waste together this way.
New styles will be launched each time the pre-order shop opens. Some styles might reappear, but some styles might disappear forever as we often use deadstock materials, and we can only make the amount the material quantity we have allows.