Sustainable Fashion Designer Klementina Dukoska: The Recycled Plastic Dresses That Inspired a Movement•
Posted on September 11 2019
Klementina Dukoska is the founder of sustainable and ethical fashion brand, Ocean Goddesses. A brand that not only creates beautiful, timeless dresses, but makes them from those items at the centre of our plastic pollution problem; ghost nets, bottles, even carpets.
We talk to the designer about how her brand is evolving from a recycled plastic collection to a movement and how she believes we all can play a part in creating a more sustainable world.
Tell us about Ocean Goddesses - what inspired you to start the brand?
The Ocean Goddesses seed was planted just over a year ago, when I was looking for a dress for my best friend’s wedding. Unable to find a sustainable piece which I loved and could wear on multiple occasions, I thought – why not design my own dress? Inspired by my work in coral reefs conservation and frightened by the plastic I kept on seeing in the ocean, I thought, why not create it using recycled plastic?
I created it and I loved how the piece felt! How I could wear it on different occasions and the fact that it initiated conscious conversations. I decided to make the first collection and the brand was born. What started as an idea for tackling the plastic waste problem and initiating conscious conversations has now grown into a movement.
What are the problems we are facing as a planet and within the fashion industry?
We are experiencing a global ecological emergency as a result of our collective and individual unconsciousness and actions based on fear and ignorance. Climate change is one of the symptoms.
The statistics around the fashion industry and climate change are quite shocking. A truckload of clothes is wasted every second, and the industry contributes to 10% of global carbon emissions.
Fast fashion does not only contribute significantly to the global climate crisis, but also leads to very poor working conditions and unfair pay for people involved along the value chain.
What is the change that you hope to see in the future, as the fashion industry evolves? What is the approach you take to minimising the impact of fashion at Ocean Goddesses?
I am a firm believer that each and every one of us has a role to play in the transition towards a conscious and sustainable society. It’s up to individuals to make conscious choices and businesses to prioritise people and the planet over short term profits.
Ocean Goddesses is founded based on education and providing tools, as a basis for helping people and businesses make more conscious choices. Womxn are expressing themselves and what they stand for in the world through a recycled nylon dress.
Ocean Goddesses also provides workshops and tools to help humans make sustainable fashion and consumption choices.
Long-term, I think this is an exciting time for the fashion industry, especially thanks to the innovation that can be created around biomaterials. We just need to ensure that those can be made with minimum impact to the earth’s ecosystems.
Can you tell us about the material you use for your designs? Where is it sourced, what dyes do you use, etc?
The first Ocean Goddesses collection was created using 78% recycled nylon yarn fabric, which is made from ghost nets, carpets and plastics from the ocean and landfill. We source the material from Italy which ensures it has been approved by more strict EU regulations, then the dresses are cut and made by local people here in Bali. We’re also based in Bali, so oversee the whole process and ensure fair working conditions and pay.
Can you tell us about your collection. How do you want customers to feel when they wear your designs?
Ocean Goddesses helps womxn express themselves and feel into their sensuality and power. We want womxn to feel empowered and connected to a bigger cause they care about. Wearing a dress made using recycled plastic which is ocean, coral or seaweed themed is a strong message linking to their personal ‘Why’.
How can others become involved in the movement and begin shifting their mindset when it comes to fashion and the environment?
At Ocean Goddesses, we are true believers that we are all capable of actively creating a conscious and sustainable society right now. It’s time for us to step into our power, get clear on our ‘Why’ and lead by making sustainable consumption choices every day and communicating about it. This is what the movement is all about.
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