This fashion month has been one like no other, with the pandemic forcing designers to think harder about creating pieces that transcend trends are are kinder to the planet.
But of course this is not a new conversation, but as we become more aware of the environmental impact of our shopping habits, more and more of us are turning to sustainable fashion brands where we can, shopping less but better.
On such label is KALITA, a London-based resortwear created by Kalita Al Swaidi. Here she talks us through her new collection, and explains how she tackles sustainable fashion.
Your collections started off as resortwear, are you trying to evolve more into everyday wear?
Yes we are indeed – the brand started off as resort wear due to the K A L I T A dramatic silhouette, however, I feel that this silhouette in a more pared down way is just as relevant in everyday wear as it is in resort wear – perhaps, even more so.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Our new collection Mesopotamia was inspired by the land, sand and sea. With ecology and sustainability at its heart, I set out to create a collection that is not only born from nature but emulates it in the movement of the fabric.
Your designs can be worn by any body shape, is this a conscious decision?
Absolutely, I was particularly excited about the Pegasi gown in this collection which is one size… I think women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes and the concept of a size can be so upsetting for women that to move away from it completely is exceptionally freeing.
Can you tell us more about your sustainable ethos?
Sustainability has been a passion of mine since the very start, all our packaging is recycled, the ‘plastic’ we use is made from corn oil and is biodegradable, our tags our recycled polyester threads and then most excitingly with the launch of our new website earlier this year we are now able to use the left over fabric to make knicker sets and limited edition runs of our dresses. We are also working on a secret project which is 100 percent recycled and made from plastic bottles – I will tell you more at the end of the year!
Do you see fashion shifting towards being more sustainable?
I think it is a natural evolution and also the focus on philanthropy – we try to give 10 percent of proceeds to a philanthropic cause every month, for the last two months it was to the Blue Marine foundation to support our oceans and overfishing and this month it is to aid the Lebanon crisis through a charity called Preemptive Love.
You always donate part of your proceeds to charity, how do you pick them?
We pick charities that speak to us as a team – whether they be conservation based or on a more human level. My favourite time of the year is December when we are able to help charity Christmas and enable those who are alone on this day to be with others and enjoy a festive lunch or dinner – loneliness is something that speaks so many volumes to me and I feel is such an unheard tragedy of spirit.
What are your plans for the brand?
We are enjoying working on our sustainable projects as well as excited about the upcoming new collections – watch this space.