16 May 2014 at 10.10am | Comment on this article
Orsola de Castro is an ethical fashion designer and the founder of From Somewhere, a designer label that works with the pre-consumer fabric surplus from the luxury fashion industry. Speaking recently at the Culture Change launch conference at the Royal Opera House, she discusses upcycling, waste, creativity and the “appreciation of something mended over something new”.
After the conference, Yvonne Chichi Chukwuemeka, Marketing/ Communication Support Intern spoke to Orsola to discuss her ambitions, Fashion Revolution and emerging trends in sustainable design.
What is the most unique experience you have had as a result of being sustainable?
I value my entire journey at the heart of sustainability in fashion… but I guess that the best bit still remains the creative aspect, turning waste into beauty, which is just my passion.
How do you hope your sustainable designs will influence people?
I hope it makes people think, and question, and (from a lighthearted approach) become involved. The public has an incredible power to spearhead a different industry if it chooses to ask for more transparency from their favourite brands.
What's trending in the sustainable design world?
Transparency and upcycling are suddenly very sexy words.
What are your top tips for Small and Medium Enterprises and sole traders who want to become more sustainable?
There are a multitude of organizations which can help young designers and SMEs become more informed and, subsequently, more involved. Good examples include the Clean Clothes campaign or the Ethical Fashion Forum and Lucy Siegle’s book ‘To Die For’. There are plenty of ways to change, and improve and make sustainability a design choice for the future.
What are you working on next?
Fashion Revolution has taken over my life!
The Culture Change programme is a Royal Opera House initiative, supported by the European Regional Development Fund. It provides support to small and medium-sized enterprises working in the creative and cultural sector in the East of England.