All posts by vashti

Look out leather!

THE FUTURE IS PINEAPPLE… 

It all began in the 90’s (like most great things) when Dr. Carmen Hijosa took a business trip from her home country of Spain to the Philippines. Hijosa used to work for 15 years as an industry consultant for the design and manufacturing of (dun dun dun) leather products. After seeing the significant issues that accompany the leather industry- vegan and animal alike- Hijosa left the dark side and began exploring leather alternatives.

Hijosa, aware that PVC alternatives contain petroleum, knew that vegan leather was not the solution. Also aware of the environmental damages caused by the tanning process used on animal leathers she realized there was a niche to be filled and thus began her journey to create Piñatex.

Inspired by the Filipino national garb the barong tagalog, a woven formal dress made with pineapple threads, she began to consider how clothing can be made from other materials. She formed the company Anansas Anam Ltd. that patented a process that extracts pineapple fibres from leaves and turns them into a leather-like material now known as Piñatex.

Photo-by-David-Stewart-for-Wired-2-1600x2347
 Image credit: Piñatex:  Dr. Carmen Hijosa (above)

In it’s early days Ananas Anam Ldt. supplied brands such as Puma and Camper and made its way to car upholstery through Porsche, BMW, Mercedez Benz, and the always innovative, Tesla. Now Piñatex has hit runways and made a name for itself in the slow fashion movement. Pineapple leather was featured in the 2017 Milan fashion week by collection by Laura Strambi, among others throughout the fashion industry.

#MadeFromPiñatex Jacket by Laura Strambi    Fall/Winter 2017/18 Jacket - https://www.laurastrambiyoj.com/presentation-fall-wintwer-2017-2018Image credit: Olga Mai  (Milan Fashion Week 2017 Laura Strambi’s “Frozen Garden”)

Laura Strambi Fall 2017 - Milan Fashion Week. Clique e confira a coleção completa. Photo by @manuluizeImage credit: Olga Mai  (Milan Fashion Week 2017 Laura Strambi’s “Frozen Garden”)

Pineapple leather is cheaper than leather products for manufacturers to purchase because it’s derived entirely from a waste product adding no extra cost to farmers. Piñatex is created from the skins of leaves and discards only 30% waste. It’s difficult to call this waste however, as the biomass produced after creating the Piñatex fibres is later used as fertilizer or sold for profit and gives an extra source of income to the farmers.

pinatex1.jpgImage credit: Pinterest

There is no extra land, water, or chemicals being used in the production of Piñatex and the leaves being discarded by farmers would otherwise add to the estimated 40,000 tons of pineapple waste generated globally each year. As Hijosa states “… we are actually taking a waste material and ‘upscaling’ it, meaning that we’re giving it added value.” 

Related imageImage credit: Pinterest

As humans we should all care about the planet. Piñatex has a huge advantage over animal derived leathers as there are no harmful chemicals used in the process to make pineapple leather. Hijosa promises a ‘Cradle to Cradle’ philosophy which means that the entire process is natural and eco-friendly from beginning to finish.

Pineapple leather is biodegradable but has a non-biodegradable protective top layer for durability- Piñatex is currently working towards a natural alternative.The fabric is breathable and flexible, and can be printed on and stitched. It’s also available to purchase as a roll so as to avoid the waste caused by irregularly shaped leather hides.

Vegan1Image credit: Google Images  

It is true that Piñatex will never have the same feel as animal leather but it is not trying to copy this- it’s a unique product all on it’s own. Much like formica when it first came into being, it looked ugly but eventually became a product by itself with it’s own authentic look and feel- Hijosa anticipates the same outcome for Piñatex. She explains it’s not supposed to look like leather- it’s supposed to look like Piñatex. (4)

Dans la famille invention de génie, je demande la nouvelle alternative canon au cuir, 100 % végane à base de fibres d’ananas. De l’espagnol « piña » qui veut dire ananas, Piñatex® est le fruit (ha, ha) de longues années de recherche et séduit de plus en plus de créateurs mode, chaussures, horlogerie, et même design.
 Image credit: Pinterest
The durability of leather is hard to match though, and many people who use vegan leathers complain that the material lacks the same longevity of animal leather. However according to the ISO international standards for: seam rupture, tear & tensile, strength, light, color fastness, water spotting, flexing endurance, and abrasion resistance Piñatex passes every test.
El cuero a base de fibras de piña que revolucionará el mundo textil | VICE | Colombia
 Image credit: Pinterest 

Piñatex has style, versatility, durability, and will likely become a natural part of our lives. It’s not unlikely that pineapple leather will seep from the runways and luxury cars into our daily lives. In a few more years you may find yourself sitting in an airplane only to realize all the seats are made from pineapples.

Look out leather- the future is pineapple!

Written by: Abby Caroline Teeter

 

Sources:

  • https://erebusstyle.com/blogs/news/alexandra-groover-ancestral-aw16
  • https://www.thefashionatlas.com/atlas/photography/settimana-della-moda-laura-strambi-frozen-garden.php?h=1

Featured Image Credit: @scanart 

https://www.instagram.com/scanart/

https://www.instagram.com/scanart/

The Evolution of Indian Fashion

The Designers at the Forefront of Indian Fashion

The elixir of fashion is an interesting concoction of different ideas, philosophies and endless research that results in a breathtaking creation by a designer. Every designer has got a different story to put forth through their designs and bring a difference in the world of fashion. The B behind the Bollywood Boom Fashion industry of India are designers, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anamika Khanna, Hemant and Nandita’s.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee crafted an unparalleled world of grandeur in the Indian fashion industry with his perpetual creativity and an exceptional aesthetic sense. Eponymously named, the label ‘Sabyasachi’ is a pure reflection of the richness of Indian heritage, grandness, culture and crafts. His collections have also displayed glimpses of his admiration for Frida Kahlo, antique textiles, gypsy fantasies and Bohemian flair. Redefining fashion with his flamboyant designs and meticulously crafted embroidery, while revitalising the forgotten weaves with a modernistic approach. His couture shows are an affair of extravagance and innovation. Sabyasachi is every celebrity and every bride’s favourite one-stop destination for creations ranging from the ethereal iconic pieces to simple black outfits.

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Sabyasachi Mukherjee luxury bridal collection 2016 Image Credit: Pintrest
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The iconic Frida Image credit: Pintrest

Designer Anamika Khanna sets the mood of the Egyptian aura with her collections. The reiteration of dhoti pants has besotted every ‘it girl’ to have it as their wardrobe staple. The designer’s famous black and white rendition manifests in a beautiful chiaroscuro effect and her take on long fluid like capes, unique sari draping techniques, slouched outfits have made a phenomenal mark on the fashion scene. Khanna’s designs have a classic and edgy appeal. The subtlety of the embroidery and her love for monochromes and pastels reflects an essence of pure romance.

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Anamika Khanna Brings the blue to FW 2016 Image credit: Pintrest
Sonam Kapoor at the Cannes Film Festival wearing Anamika Khanna's couture
Sonam Kapoor at the Cannes Film Festival wearing Anamika Khanna’s couture Image credit: Amazon India

Designer duo Hemant and Nandita have brought a significant dimension to fun, free spirited and relaxed clothing. Their colour play sensibilities are marked by an essence of whimsical, charming and quirky impressions, which make their designs stand out from others. The depiction of their design philosophy in terms of Bohemian, folk and retro genre exudes their interest in rural and mod culture of fashion. The duo’s vivacious creations ranging from maxis to minis are pretty much every young girl’s desire to have hanging in their wardrobe.

 Amazon India Fashion Week AW 15, SS16
Hemant & Nandita’s collections at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week SS15 Image credit: Amazon India

Written by Sameena Baig

Biodegrade is great, but..

Edible is better

India is a majestic place full of a mysterious paradoxes, bindi bearing brides, pastel painted elephants, home of the samosa and now the most polluted place on the planet.

According to recent NASA satellite data India has now topped Chinas pollution levels for the first time in the 21st century.

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Photo: Manan Vastsyayana

Even though it is culturally common in India to eat with your hands, 120 billion pieces of disposable cutlery are thrown away every year. Worldwide, this becomes a figure at 16 times this magnitude. As plastic is composed of major toxic pollutants it has the potential to cause great harm to the environment in the form of air, water and land pollution.

Fed up with this major plastic waste stream, groundwater researcher, Narayana Peesapaty created an innovative edible cutlery company, Bakeys. The edible spoons are full vegan, preservative free, trans fat free and operate of principles of fair trade. Made of millet, rice and wheat they are free from genetically modified organisms (GMO). Their lack of water, moisture or fat allows them a shelf life of up to 3 years without the need for extra preservatives (whilst still remaining their crispness)With India’s favourite spices (ginger-cinnamon, ginger-garlic, cumin, celery, black pepper, mint-ginger, and carrot-beet) the spoons come in sweet, savoury and plain to suit every meal. They are not only environmentally friendly but ‘tasty, fun and highly nutritious’ says Peesapaty.

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Photo: Kickstarter Campaign

Whilst biodegrade products are seemingly a step towards a zero waste future, there benefits are many times negated.

Corn and sugar crops currently used for biodegradables require extreme heat and very specific conditions to properly degenerate. Whereas Bakeys Edible Cutlery don’t require specific conditions and if not eaten will break down within 3-4 days in any outside environment. In concord due to the large quantity(presence) of millets used, the spoon itself does not degrade within liquids and can withstand a hot bowl soup, your favourite butter chicken curry, ice cream or tea.

Peespaty develops his business in correlation with growing environmental problems. Debunking the “conventionally known fact that environmental safeguarding and social responsibility rarely integrate with sound business process”.

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Photo: Kickstarter Campaign

Peespatys decision to use millets as his primary product is not only due to their incredibly nutritious benefits but millets are known for flourishing in the worlds most arable land. Millets requiring far fewer nutrients and water for cultivation allows environmentally friendly farming on a massive scale. Peespaty cites, ‘of the energy it takes to produce 1 plastic utensil, we can produce 100 sorghum(millet) based spoons’, in comparisons to corn (biodegrade crop) they are able to make 50.

Peesapaty states “for Bakeys Foods, environmental and social amelioration is the business”.

As an attempt to raise funds for mass production Sarah Muir for Bakeys created a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Pledging a goal of $20 000 to compete with the prevalence of plastic. Plastic is widely used due its longevity and affordability. However Peespaty feels ‘with mass production he will be able to make his spoons just as cheap’. Peespaty believes that the ‘change is inevitable’ but before this change can ‘overtake and overwhelm us, we should be instruments of change’.

Since launching in Hyderbad India 2011, Bakeys have sold over 40,000 spoons yet Bakeys business ambitions reach far beyond the realm of spoons. With their plan to expand into a whole new line of table wear, including edible plates, cups, forks and chopsticks.

A collection completely waste free, nutritious and environmentally friendly!

Que the cutlery evolution!

Written by Bridget McDonnell

Beyonce Brings Us to Yet Again ‘Bow Down’

Beyonce compares herself to Khaleesi…

…and Jay Z was there for everything

Image Credit: CFDA

Last week at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (C.F.D.A) awards Beyoncé received the award for fashion icon and her acceptance speech was everything!

The iconic Diane Von Furstenberg presented Beyoncé with the award, praising her ‘undeniable influence’ and commending beys recent ‘Ivy Park’, athletic line.

Beyoncé glittered in a Givenchy, pinstriped suit and delivered strong ‘Formation’ vibes in a broad brimmed hat.

Hello…. ‘I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress’…. Lemonade anyone?

Replicating on her Instagram the now iconic broad brimmed head bopping scene from her formation music video.

Image Credit: Instagram

She walked the red carpet alone and delivered a speech to the fashion elite reminding them of a time when they didn’t want to dress her. Bey bringing her Mother to tears praising her hard work as a seamstress ‘My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams.’.

Sharing that her uncle and Mother made by hand her costumes for Destiny’s Child and even her wedding dress. Noting that they “individually sewed hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into every small detail.”

Image Credit: Instagram

Bey deeming the artisanship of fashion with the power to transform and transport. Proclaiming she “felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armour. It was so much deeper than any brand name”. Ethical clothing reaching realms beyond their superficial qualities. “Soul has no colour, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work, it goes far beyond what the eye can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, and to show people how to embrace their complications, and see the flaws, and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us.”

Highlighting the power of fashion and the importance of painstaking design and artisanship.

Find the full speech below


Thank you so much, Diane, for the things you just said about me. I feel so much love and I feel so proud. As long as I can remember, fashion has been part of my life. Its effect on me actually started before I was born. Many of you guys don’t know this, but my grandmother was a seamstress. My grandparents did not have enough money, they could not afford my mother’s Catholic school tuition. So my grandmother sewed clothes for the priests and the nuns and made uniforms for the students in exchange for my mother’s education. She then passed this gift onto my mother and taught her how to sew.

Starting out in Destiny’s Child, high-end labels didn’t really want to dress four black country curvy girls, and we couldn’t afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams. My mother and my uncle, God rest his soul, made all of our first costumes, individually sewing hundreds of crystals and pearls, putting so much passion and love into every small detail. When I wore these clothes I felt like Khaleesi. I had an extra suit of armour. It was so much deeper than any brand name.

My mother is fabulous and beautiful and she’s here tonight. My mother, my grandmother, and my uncle are always with me so I cannot fail. My mother actually designed my wedding dress, my prom dress, my first CFDA Award dress, my first Grammy dress, and the list goes on and on. And this to me is the true power and potential of fashion. It’s a tool for finding your own identity. It transcends style, and it’s a time capsule of all of our greatest milestones. So to my mother, my grandmother, my uncle, thank y’all. Thank you for showing me that having presence is about far more than the clothes you wear and your physical beauty. Thank you for showing me how to take risks, work hard, and live life on my own terms.

I want to say thank you to every designer who works tirelessly to make people think they can write their own story. Y’all are fairy godmothers, magicians, sculptors, and sometimes even our therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power you have or to take it lightly. We have the opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no colour, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work, it goes far beyond what the eye can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, and to show people how to embrace their complications, and see the flaws, and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us. Thank you so much for this incredible award, I’ll never forget this night. God bless you all. Thank you.”

Words by Bridget McDonnell

 

 

A Map to Modelling

Modelling. We are exposed to it every day through media, fashion and the Internet. Many young people want to try modelling or make it a career often due to the prestige attached, and dreams of the high life, parties and free clothes.

Whilst that does happen for a select few, many other models are very hard working whilst studying and working other jobs to get their break. So if you want to try modelling and don’t know how to even start, Colosoul provides some useful advice and tips!

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/bride-viewing-woman-female-young-1082239/

Ever wanted to try modelling? Sure go for it!  But remember the industry is not as easy as it sounds and it is not just smiling or posing in front of the camera. Like most industries there is often hard work and a lot of organisation behind the scenes. The first thing is to work out your look(s) and why you want to model. This will drive you forward when your motivation is low or you are not sure if you can handle the industry. If you are doing modelling purely for fame and fortune, you generally have the wrong outlook like most industries. Obviously, you can be attracted to that glamorous lifestyle, but having the motivation and hunger to achieve or live out your dreams will be a better, more fulfilling choice.

It is crucial and this will determine your path in modelling. Modelling is a lot of hard work to be successful, and you really need that passion and drive to make something of it. If you don’t know why you want to do modelling or ‘not really that into it’ it will be difficult to progress. 

The next step is building a portfolio. A portfolio is basically a collection of images to show that you can model to an agency or client. A diversity of images is often seen as the ideal portfolio to show a client or agency you are versatile and not just suitable to one sort of look. Starting from scratch can be challenging and of course you could hire many, many great professional photographers to take pictures of you for your portfolio.

This is highly recommended particularly in regards to head shots and portraits, which are often frequently requested photos and used as cover photos on modelling booking websites. So a good headshot is crucial to ensure people in the industry access and browse your portfolio, and hopefully book you too! Once you have a diverse portfolio you can approach agencies for prospective work. There is no right way to do this, but the best approach is to be persistent and confident and have an up to date diverse portfolio that captures the style of modelling you like and something you enjoy doing.

Modelling is a lot of hard work to be successful, and you really need that passion and drive to make something of it.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/people-male-person-man-young-1229576/

This can be expensive, so if you really want to do modelling and receive paid work, some great starter shots are a worthwhile investment. An alternative if you don’t want to pay or can’t afford photographers fees, is to do trade for print or TFP. This essentially means two creative parties exchanging their skills and talent on a voluntary (not monetary) agreement. For example a common situation would be Photographer x shoots model y, capturing 200 images from the shoot. The model is new and developing their portfolio and the photographer agrees they can have the best 8 images of the shoot to distribute on their social media and other modelling websites. However often in return the photographer will watermark the photos with their brand for copyright protection and self promote the model on their website and social media as well. The model often loses creative and intellectual property of their own images.

Specialities in modelling are also another key point. If you decide you want to do fitness modelling or runway for example will determine your skill set and physique. E.g. fitness models generally need to be athletic and bulky, while runway often restricts models that are too short. The latter also need to correct walking techniques for catwalk. So the former may engage a personal trainer and exercise regularly to achieve their fitness modelling path, where as aspiring runway models should work to keep lean and perfect their modelling work.

Creativity is also very important in modelling. Even when working for a client or agency, and the brief mostly dictates your placement, the setting, costume and lighting you can still have an input. Think spontaneously for things that could work in the shoot, perhaps an old shed, or a different pose. This allows you to think for yourself and express your vision and ideas.

Photographers often appreciate a different perspective and it may result in a better image. Simply matching your dress and behaviour with the theme of the shoot is really important. So if you are doing an Alice of Wonderland spin off, you would likely dress brightly and shoot with a eccentric, gothic facial expression. Of course sometimes clients and photographers can be very specific and you should follow their directions, but a bit of improvisation shows your skills as a model and paints you as dynamic and collaborative.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/model-fashion-glamour-girl-female-600238/

Modelling is fun, exciting, and a great form of self expression. If you have always wanted to try it, do it! There are enough types of models and different personalities and nationalities out there that there is likely a niche type of modelling for you!

Words by Simon Chitre

 

Shopping With a Conscious: Baby Peppers!

Baby Peppers
Featured Bag by Baby Peppers
Baby Peppers

In a world saturated in technology to the point of undeniable dependence, an Eco friendly, ‘Baby Peppers’, are bringing back the old school authenticity of playtime and products made with one of a kind love.

Based in Bendigo, Victoria and made (inspired) in India, Baby Peppers sole ethos is to provide ethical shopping of ‘slow’ inimitable fashion. That is fundamentally socially conscious.

Products include handwoven baskets, totes, wooden toys, cotton quilts and bedding sets. All organic items are sourced from fair trade and artisan communities, aiding in sustainable income.

Staying true to ethical fashion, Baby Peppers are notably the first Australian store to partner with Kateson, an American brand that redefines the meaning of ‘pure organics’. Kateson organic garments are hand dyed in plant botanicals and Ayurveda herbs, with coconut husks for buttons, every final detail is completely artificial/chemical free. Perfect for the curious little ones, the all-organic products quite literally make them safe enough to to eat.

One of Baby Peppers most popular items is the Multicolour Sivankan tote, salutes to the vibrant colours of India, featuring deep sea blues and the hues of a summer sun. The baskets and totes are handwoven from recycled polyethylene and ethically sourced from a world renowned fair trade organisation called Baladarshan. Helping single mums living in the slums of Chennai, India. Celebrating not only the arresting colours of Indian culture, but the empowerment of women through supporting their financial independence.

Unlike flashy toys will all the bells and whistles, Baby Peppers traditional wooden stackers, rattles and race cars encourage creativity due to their simplicity. According to Temple University developmental psychologist, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, electronic toys make your child a consumer not a creator.

Your child gets to build his or her imagination around simpler toys, they don’t command what your child does, but your child commands what they do.

Electronic toys that boast brain development not only inhibit your child’s natural problem solving abilities but the chemical compounds and production process cause great harm to human health and the environment

Baby Peppers wooden toys are friendly on the earth and on your health. Every piece is handcrafted from sustainable hale wood, lacquered in vegetable dye and coated in natural shellac. All spare parts measuring bigger than 35mm ensuring they won’t lodge into your child’s throat.

Class favourites include the retro race car, cheeky monkey bowling set and the turtle train family. Drenched in lavishly tactile qualities the turtles are coloured in complementary swirls of lemon, circling the smooth spherical domes of their shells. The cheeky monkeys also come with 6 black capped, polka dot bottomed rascals and two candy coloured bowling bowls.

The charm lying not only in their artisanship but their gloriously, glossy aesthetic – deeming them bookshelf worthy. Where a child’s mess is now a designer décor dream!

All products embody one of a kind appeal. With laborious processes of block printing, hand carving, quilting and creating natural dyes, no two pieces will ever be alike. Their appeal lies not only in their aesthetic, but their ethical production, creating a positive impact on broader communities. Every item tells an honest and ethical story.

Baby Peppers offer free shipping Australia wide plus delivery world wide.

To find out more about their products, visit www.babypeppers.com.au

Words by Bridget McDonnell