Sustainability Sunday #56
Introducing: Coca-Cola and X-Rays from Sonya Vajifdar
The world of sustainable fashion is beginning to bloom, designers committed to the cause are continually looking for sustainable and ethical alternatives to fabrics. We’ve seen the introduction of Piñatex™, Lyocell and Bamboo, all overtaking the ever-derided hemp. Now, we’ve got brands like Timberland bringing us Thread X which is made from recycled water bottles collected from littered waterways in Haiti, and now Sonya Vajifdar, a couture and high-end fashion designer from India is creating her latest collection, Organic Bloom, with waste material, recycled Coca-Cola cans and discarded X-Ray prints.
Sonya has launched this new limited-edition, 26-piece capsule collection which includes corset dresses, ball gowns, ruffled tops, blouses and asymmetrical skirts, with sustainable practices and recycled materials, and has still maintained a luxury couture feel.
I visited India in 2013 and was blown away by the beauty of garments there, both modern and traditional. I admired the work that goes into creating Indian high fashion, the formation of each piece given such care and detail. When I was introduced to Sonya Vijifdar I recognised that same careful curation. Here’s some of my favourite pieces from the new collection:
Curious about how the brand forged such unique concepts, I set five questions to Sonya to get the down low on her inspiration and thoughts on sustainable fashion:
1. What was the original inspiration behind your designs?
I started thinking and becoming more aware about how fashion and my designs can make a difference without compromising on my style whilst doing so. My collection was called Organic Bloom as it was the first time I was using completely certified organic fabrics and the waste fabric all went into making flowers that were used as embellishments on the pieces. One of my favorite pieces has 150 roses all made of waste fabrics which are made into the skirt of a piece.
2. Why did you choose organic and sustainable practices?
Two years ago I started practicing Nichiren Buddhism – which is based on the law of cause and effect. It made me understand and be more aware of how I live my life. I believe we are at a point where everyone can do their small part for the planet. I love fashion and designing clothes and even though it is more expensive and difficult to produce, at the end of the day I sleep satisfied knowing I have taken one more small step out of my comfort zone. I firmly believe it is a new way forward in fashion and every designer that goes down this route is helping to stop polluting the planet.
3. Why do you believe sustainable fashion is important?
The fashion industry at the moment is the second largest polluting industry in the world. Sustainable fashion is important not only to spread awareness but the end quality of the clothes is better and they last much longer.
4. Is sustainable and/or organic garments something you are seeing a demand for from your customers?
It is slowly going in that direction. A lot of people are going towards living a more organic lifestyle. Although there is a huge marketplace for food and wellness, clothing is not very far behind. I have also started a campaign on social media called #knowyoursource where bloggers/fashion influencers from all over the world have been participating and sending in videos of how important it is to know where your clothes come from!
5. Can you give us an insight into what might be coming next?
I am working on a very exciting project at the moment, recycling old soda cans and x-rays to make my embellishments. We are also looking at stocking in many more countries! At the moment we are in selling in stores in USA, UK, UAE, SA and India.
So watch this space and share your love for sustainable fashion through the #knowyoursource campaign!
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