In a world where fashion is getting faster, Claudi JVR is taking it slow. Exclusively using recycled textiles, sustainability engenders the emerging designer’s work. Isabella Corbett speaks with her about her practice, and keeping fashion cool and eco-friendly at the same time.
Have you always been interested in fashion design?
I’ve always been a creative person; the thought of doing anything else never even crossed my mind. I’m a total nerd when it comes to clothing and fashion.
What inspires you?
My mind moves 1,000 kilometers an hour, so inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. Once I saw a lady walking her dog wearing two bum bags, which then led to a series of detachable pockets!
Your work revolves around sustainability. What was the catalyst for pursuing this notion?
It started when I was a uni student living out of home; I couldn’t afford $12 packets of dye, or silks that cost $80 a meter. I looked for alternative ways, using eco dye techniques, recycling, and up-cycling what we already have around us. I also have a pretty close relationship with the environment around me, so the urgency to protect it has always been part of my lifestyle. Marrying two passions together, fashion and conservation, has always been my vision.
I love that your pieces are crafted using recycled materials. How do you source them?
Everything I make comes from deconstructed jeans or up-cycled bedding, which I source from second-hand stores. I work with the idea of taking something old or broken and creating something new. There are a lot of references in my work to traditional techniques used around the world; Japanese BORO has always been a huge influence!
Does your creative process change with each collection?
Depending on what I am working on it may vary, but the stages are always relatively consistent. Your creative process is like a recipe: I always work best when I am scribbling down notes, ripping up paper, or doing anything hands on.
What are your thoughts on the advent of fast fashion?
Fast fashion sucks. The industry is HUGE and has been around for a long time, but consumers are just waking up to it now. Most people don’t even know what sustainable fashion is. It’s all about planting the seed. To slow it down we need to open a discussion about the negative impacts of fast fashion and encourage more sustainable choices amongst consumers and young designers
What do you aim to achieve through your work?
I try to make my garments attractive enough to encourage consumers to be like, ‘Hey, that coat is sick AND it’s made from recycled materials.’ I challenge myself to create pieces that are on trend but also made from sustainable practices. Sustainable fashion can be fun and look cool; this has always been my aim as a young designer, because it is still such a young movement.
What is next on the horizon?
There is no step-by-step guide on how to build a successful career in the fashion industry. At the moment, I am working alone from a studio at home. It’s hard to say, I am working my ass off trying to build something from this, so I’ll keep doing it and see what happens!
Finish this sentence: “I hope the future of fashion is…”
SUSTAINABLE! I have always said the future of the fashion industry lies in our ability to embrace sustainable design. Without it there simply is no future for fashion; we cannot keep ignoring the negative impacts. It is so important for young designers to open their eyes and start making some positive changes. It really isn’t very hard to cut down on waste or make more ethical decisions!
Keep up to date with Claudi’s work @sexy_vegetables, or etsy.com/au/shop/byClaudi
Model: Samuel Lebib
Photographer: Jeremy Phillips at River Road Studios
This article first appeared in print volume 88 edition 5 HOME.