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Charini & Kanchana promote ethical fashion in UK

Young eco fashion designer Charini Suriyage together with Kanchana Talpawila will launch their sustainable collection for the first time in London in August-September this year. Both won awards at the Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) Ethical Fashion Designer Award 2010, which paved the way for their talents to be recognized.

As part of their award, Charini and Kanchana got the opportunity to undergo an intensive three months training under ethical fashion and business experts from the UK and Sri Lanka to develop a lingerie and dress collection for the European market.

A design at BeeraluWhat is their brand philosophy? “Our philosophy is to create real luxury through celebrating design, reviving heritage crafts in Sri Lanka, considering the welfare of the environment and ultimately eliminating metal, plastics or harmful dyeing. We care about the wellbeing of the woman who wears are products.”

Luxury eco lingerie brand ‘Charini’ celebrates the beauty of Beeralu lace by working with community groups in rural Sri Lanka. Charini Suriyage will be showcasing her collection at the London Fashion Week Esthetica in September. Charini who studied at the University of Moratuwa (BA fashion design), is currently completing an MA in Design Management at London College of Fashion.

Beeralu lace making was introduced to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese in the 16th century and developed by the Dutch in the 17th century. It gained recognition as a cottage industry among the women living on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. With the introduction of modern designs, innovative designers such as Charini are taking this beautiful craft into the world stage.

Kanchana Talpawila will display her Ready-to-wear eco brand ‘K T Brown’ collection at PURE London in August. Inspired by iconic Sri Lankan artist Ena De Silva, Kanchana inputs her own innovative pattern techniques using circles as a base for the structure of the garment. The vibrant K T Brown collection also supports sustainable livelihoods and fabrics, sourced locally.

Kanchana supports sustainable livelihoods, using locally-sourced fabrics and garments exclusively made by her team in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The design professionals who worked alongside the two designers included, award winning designer Orsola de Castro – Founder of Reclaimed To Wear, Filippo Ricci, Claire Hamer from E8ight ethical fashion consultancy, ethical fashion consultant Elizabeth Laskar, Soozie Jenkinson and Paschal Little from M&S, Subramaniam Eassuwaren from Carbon Consulting Company and Ajay Amalean from MAS Holdings Sri Lanka.

“Recognizing, nurturing and launching designers is essential to sustain a healthy fashion industry and as the world increasingly operates as a global village, breaking geographical boundaries is our future. The SLDF Ethical Fashion Designer Award is a bridge, a journey of discovery and cultural intermix, an opportunity for young designers to think of design as a universal language, understood by all”, says Orsola de Castro, Founder of award winning eco brand ‘From Somewhere’.

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