Saturday, 20 July 2019

Interview With Designer Jogaile Zairyte About Her Award-winning Sustainable Collection, 'Makoto'

I came across Jogaile's collection 'Makoto' on Instagram, where it popped up in a photoshoot for Fashion Graduate Week's 'Talent of Tomorrow' campaign. 
Jogaile created these uniquely coloured fabrics for her collection with natural dyes, such as avocado stones and indigo. She used an efficient, zero-waste pattern cutting technique, which comprises of rectangular, square and triangle patterns, inspired by traditional Japanese kimonos and samurai armours. The collection is beautifully finished off with intricate Sashiko stitching, but also has a fun and playful side, with padded sections and plenty of embroidered texture. 

I love the positivity emitted from this collection, as well as the intricate hand processes which Jogaile has used to create the clothes, celebrating hand-crafted processes and slow fashion and thereby contrasting with the frenetic speed of fast fashion.

In April, Jogaile's collection won the Batsford Prize for Fashion 2019.

1. What is the creative process and inspiration behind your latest collection?

My collection, “Makoto”, was inspired by the Japanese samurai and their beliefs, and how they cherished nature and natural organic materials by utilising different handicraft techniques and natural hand-dyeing processes.

2. What is your favourite part of producing a collection?

Creating for me equates to happiness. I enjoy every part of making a collection, from the initial research to the final stitch. It is amazing how much you learn during each design process, and I love seeing how every collection ends up being so different from the one before. It really is an invaluable experience.

3. How and when did you become aware of the impacts of fast fashion on the planet?

Ever since I was a teenager, I have sought to combat the environmental problems that are plaguing the world. However, at that time, I didn’t know that the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world, although I have always preferred shopping in second hand shops or vintage shops because the clothes there are more unique and interesting. I found out the hard truth about the fashion industry during my first year at the University of Portsmouth when I was volunteering for a “Fashion Revolution” campaign. After watching the documentary 'The True Cost', my mind and approach to fashion drastically changed, and since then I have never looked back, I just keep on moving forward on the sustainable path, striving to make a difference in the industry and for our world.

4. Has your knowledge of how the fashion industry works changed the way you shop for clothes personally?

Yes, yes, yes!!! I don’t buy clothes from fast fashion companies anymore, I always look for small businesses that make sustainable clothing, or just make the clothes myself!! I also go to events such as clothes swaps, where I take my unwanted clothes and swap them for something new! Very exciting! Of course, I love mending my clothes or reconstructing them if I have a spare minute. Loving your clothes is important and we need to stop buying clothes that will be thrown away after one use, instead, we need to invest in quality and sustainable clothing which will last!

5. What do you aspire to do in the future?

I want to work in the sustainable fashion industry and to share all my knowledge with the people around me and inspire to do better, as every little step counts!

6. How have you designed your collection to be sustainable?

To make my collection, I used all natural and organic materials, I hand-dyed all of them using natural dyes such as avocado stones, turmeric, etc. I also incorporated a zero waste technique into my designs.  

7. How would you describe your collection in three words?

Colourful, unique, fun!

Thank you Jogaile!

You can keep up with Jogaile's projects and beautiful designs on her instagram @joza_eco

             Beccy x


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