(Written by Cathy)
An important element to Chrysanthou is encouraging connection with sustainability which began by creating graphic and basic pieces that one can resonate with and learn about the processes that would go into it.
Fashion is an industry worth 2.3 trillion dollars and employs 60 million people. The industry has the capacity to reach more people than a lot of other industries do and Chrysanthou stands for fashion to be used to express not only ideas, but to address the industry’s issues and to appreciate art, the imagination, and people behind what we wear.
For each design, I think of how I can bring it to life while projecting the least harm to the environment as I possibly can. Fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry and I believe sustainability must be imperative, meaning being conscious of the cultural, social, economic and environmental issues around fashion design.
My primary choice of fabric is recycled or dead stock fabrics (fabrics from previous brand collections that were unused), this is my first option as it addresses the issue of waste.
I also use 100% organic cotton (GOTS certified) fabric which significantly contributes to providing a market-driven solution to poverty and reducing inequality. This also means that the Cotton was grown without the use of synthetic chemicals. For cotton to be GOTS organic certified it needs to grow in soil that has been free of prohibited substances for at least three years prior to harvest, and all chemicals used (dyes, processing) must meet requirements on toxicity and biodegradability. Organic GOTS certified cotton also reaches all 17 of the UN sustainable development goals.
If I print graphics onto these fabrics, I always choose digital printing as this process uses the least water and chemical waste.
I began by producing the clothes myself as Made to Order, but as I got overwhelmed with orders I decided to begin working alongside a small production team in East London. It is important for me to work alongside the people who help me bring my designs to life, to have a good relationship with them, and to ensure that we are both happy with the work.
As a young designer, it is important for me to always be learning about the issues within the fashion industry, and I am excited to keep growing and discovering more sustainable solutions to incorporate into my brand. I know that I am not saving the environment (as much as I wish I could) but at least I am not harming it through what I love to do.