Designer Seema Mathias’s latest collection
Designer Seema Mathias’s latest collection

Unlike fast fashion, sustainable fashion is relevant: Designer Seema

Speaking to DT Next, Seema says, “When I began Coral in 2004, I used to specialise in garments and home accessories and then I slowly ventured into designing footwear which was just for the experience.

CHENNAI: Evoluzione Chennai and Coral by Seema have collaborated to showcase Mumbai-based designer Seema Mathias’s latest collection at the store in Nungambakkam. Coral by Seema is known for their natural dyeing techniques and sustainable fabrics in the city of dreams, Mumbai.

Speaking to DT Next, Seema says, “When I began Coral in 2004, I used to specialise in garments and home accessories and then I slowly ventured into designing footwear which was just for the experience.

“I didn’t have formal training in accessories and I explored the scene on my own and figured out how important they actually are. In 2018, I felt I wanted to add more value to my designs and the brand itself and so went to Milan, Italy to pursue a master’s in accessory design.”

After a year Seema returned and soon the lockdown happened. She says that the lockdown gave her a lot of time to think, explore and push her horizons. “I wanted to restart and reinvent the brand. But I didn’t want it to be the same way. I wanted to do justice to all the time and effort I spent learning. After extensive research, I realised how much the fashion industry needs to be sustainable.”

That’s when Seema began experimenting and trying out to dye fabrics naturally with flowers, leaves, and roots. She curated a unique collection through her bundle printing, which uses flowers to create random patterns on the fabric. Tie and dye used natural dyes and the eco-printing method through which leaves are imprinted on the fabric. “I wanted people to connect to nature,” she adds.

As much as people want to turn to sustainable fashion, they are expensive and not everyone can afford them. Is sustainable fashion accessible? She answers, “I agree that sustainable fashion is expensive. But that’s because of the process and production. If you want something cheap, we would have to cut down on several steps during production which will result in bad quality. This is why I conduct workshops so that my clients are able to see the work that goes into making these clothes.”

She also says sustainable fashion is not trying to compete with fast fashion and is rather trying to make its own place to remain relevant at all times.

Opening up about why she chose to expand the brand to Chennai she says, “Chennai is slowly becoming fashion conscious. They understand the urgency for better fashion solutions and I can see the chance of my brand interacting really well in this market scene.”

Talking about the upcoming collection she says, “Something is definitely cooking and I cannot reveal much but it is very exciting. Since we are in the testing out stages, the process is taking too long. But you can expect it to hit stores in Chennai and Mumbai by February.”

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