In the words of Tihana Todić: “Slow, sustainable fashion is just on its beginnings and has a very bright future”
Tihana Todić, a 31-year-old woman entrepreneur born in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is among the 25 women entrepreneurs joining the upcoming Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO 2023 satellite event, taking place on 20 October 2023 in Sarajevo. After successfully graduating from high school with a specialization in interior design, Tihana set her sight even higher, and today she is a graduate student at the Faculty of Technology, majoring in Design and Clothing. Her academic journey and personal story have driven her to leave a mark in the fashion industry, and she’s starting her own company named Treehana, a slow fashion brand focused on sustainability and zero waste.
The Treehana brand was born out of a personal necessity. Although officially established in 2016, my journey began years earlier as I found myself sewing my own clothes. Being above average height, finding well-fitting clothes had always been a challenge for me. The inspiration to offer this comfort to other women emerged from my own struggle. Our commitment is not limited to tall women only but for all women because no two bodies share the same proportions.
Therefore, every piece of our clothing is tailor-made, crafted to meet our clients’ unique measurements. Our approach avoids mass production and excess waste, as we prioritize our health and the environment. We primarily use natural materials and incorporate synthetic ones only where when necessary, such as for water-repellent jackets.
The main challenge I faced was introducing a concept that was quite novel at the time. When I initiated the brand, the idea was to operate entirely online and send items by mail, a concept that was not yet mainstream. I had to educate the market about it first and earn people’s trust in our production process. Overcoming these initial hurdles involved strategies like sending materials samples by mail to potential customers.
I firmly believe that slow, sustainable fashion is just on its beginnings and that it has a very bright future. Many people will soon recognize its true value and adapt to a lifestyle where we don’t really need a new piece of clothing every 15-30 days to be well dressed. Instead, we can always create new styles and combinations from existing pieces. Treehana's mission is to raise awareness about the importance of this mindset, refine what the style means, and actively participate in a more sustainable way of dressing and living.
This is why, I am excited about the upcoming Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO satellite event, on October 20th in Sarajevo. I know that I will have the opportunity to connect with many women entrepreneurs, exchange experiences, and gain fresh insights through various examples.
I also look forward to meeting potential investors and, whether or not they express interest in my business, I expect to receive valuable feedback and guidance for our future development. And of course, I am eager to participate in the workshop, hoping to learn something new, which later on I can implement in my own work.”
Launched in 2021, the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO is a unique partnership platform to promote women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem building in the Europe and Central Asia region. EXPO provides an interactive space for women entrepreneurs, investors and private sector representatives for networking and collaboration, peer learning, ideas generation, capacity building and business development. EXPO 2023 is organized by UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Yıldız Holding as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator supported by Mary Kay.