Ethical fashion brand uses nature as inspiration

Ethical fashion brand Art Katsura, launched a range of limited edition clothing items using fabric designed from their own unique art. The art, inspired by patterns in nature, is painted directly only canvas and then the orginal art is used to digitally print the fabric.

“It was important to use digital methods as not only does it allow short runs of fabric printing, meaning no huge stock orders and waste, it is also the most environmentally friendly process to transfer design on to fabric.” Explains Rachel Branson, creator of Art Katsura

Slow fashion movement for an ethical brand

With a love of nature, it was important that the collection made as little impact on the planet as possible. Rachel believes that being part of the slow fashion movement is vital if we are to change the fashion industry for the better.

Items are made using no more than 2 metres of fabric and patterns are cut leaving very little waste. All the scraps are then used to make bespoke one-off items.

Choosing fabrics for their sustainable fashion collections

Fabric consideration has been hard. Choosing fabrics that have little impact on the plant has been very difficult. Even natural fibres need water, land, under-go process and use chemicals at some point in the cycle. While fabrics like Polyester is usually derived from petroleum, it is still one of the world’s most popular textiles. Some forms of polyester are biodegradable, most of them are not, and polyester production and use do contribute to pollution around the world.

However, natural fabrics such as cotton require huge amount of water for growing. Even the beautiful bamboo fabrics that are kind to the skin require chemicals to turn it from fibre to soft wearable fabric.

“I believe it is not just about fabric choice but about what we do with the garments afterwards. If garments are chosen to last for years rather than wear a few times and throw away I thinks that’s the most import decision when making a purchase. Each fabric has it’s downside in its creation. Using little fabric and making sure there is little or no waste is the second major consideration. Finally, how we dispose of the garment to have the least impact. My hope it that in the near future we can offer a return system so that fabrics can come back to us to reuse in some way or recycle responsibly. I have met many people who take waste and fabrics and breathe new life into unwanted items so this is definitely the way forward.”

Yoga leggings to maxi skirts

The Art Katsura collections use fabrics that are suitable for the garments. From yoga leggings to maxi skirts, their fabrics have a beautiful sheen, keep their shape and are easy to wash and dry at low temperatures. Where they use a man-made fibre they use small amounts of fabric, most items use less than 1 metre. They create items of clothing that are meant to last and hopefully become treasured items.

“With a background in Fashion Knitwear, I loved the simplicity of knit and jersey fabrics in creating simple shapes using small amounts of fabric. This is important as it helps to reduce fabric production and fabric waste. Many of our items are made from a single meter of fabric, garments can be worn in several different ways giving the garment a long life in different forms.” Explains Rachel

The Ice Collection using natural fabrics

Fabrics are chosen because of their comfort, how the colour looks after many washes so that we can offer a long life to the garment, rather than disposable fashion.

The latest ‘Ice Collection’ is a departure away form digital printing and will be using bamboo jersey, organic cotton jersey, cotton voile and linen. Using hand dyed techniques such as ice and shibori all their fabrics are printed or dyed in the UK.

Because their collections are mainly made to order, they don’t hold very much stock and never have a sale. instead they offer special discounts to their ‘Tribe’ of loyal customers. Their special discounts help them to place minimum quantity orders with fabric suppliers and in return they offer up to 50% off their new collections.

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