Natalia Zawada is the Head Designer and Founder of STARSEEDS. The sustainable designer began her life in high fashion with Alexander McQueen before starting her own line, and eventually launching STARSEEDS. With her feet firmly grounded in sustainability and her head still in the clouds of creativity and design, Natalia finds herself constantly walking the line between a love for fashion and a relentless desire for a more sustainable, fairer world.
So with the arrival of Fashion Week 2019, we asked her: what does she really think of Fashion Week now? Is Fashion Week still important in this changing world? And how does she see Fashion Week staying relevant as sustainable fashion becomes the norm?
How do you feel about Fashion Week now that you work in slow fashion/sustainable design?
It’s a great source of inspiration and I hope it will keep its place in the industry. I do believe it’s changing though.
When I was growing up and dreaming about becoming a fashion designer, fashion week was the field for designers to express their creativity. People would wait for what was shown on the catwalk and then they would go out, buy it and wear it.
In past few years however, it’s become more dictated by celebrities, bloggers and influencers and trends have started bubbling up from the streets and music scene. We watch musicians, singers and rappers becoming the trend dictators. I don’t’ have an opinion on whether that’s a good or bad thing, but it’s not the same as it was.
Another change is how fashion has become much more open to the public. In the past, only a selected few from the industry would be invited to discover the new trends and then translate them to the public. These days, we have a much younger crowd using media platforms like Instagram to share the trends in real time. In that sense, fashion has never been so accessible.
Slow fashion, is a completely different story. We are targeting a different audience. Those who would rather make a conscious choice than follow the trends. I’m in between both of those worlds, trying to find the link.
What do you hope to see in the future for Fashion Week?
I’m just hoping to see more brands turning sustainable. That’s all I wish for.
For those who love to follow trends and get excited about what's new, how can they indulge their love for fashion whilst also embracing sustainability?
The shift is happening. There is a growing space for emerging sustainable fashion. Just keep your eyes open as to what’s happening.
Follow Fashion Revolution and Sustainable Angle, and public figures like Emma Watson and Livia Firth. Those are organisations and people bringing the change.
Follow hashtags on Instagram like #fashrev and #sustainablefashion and follow The Good Trade on Pinterest (and everywhere!), their boards are so inspiring and informative!
Which sustainable designers are you excited about?
There are so many! But these are my favourites:
- Misha Nonoo
- BITE (By Independent Thinkers for Environmental Progress), Plastic Freedom
- NAK (No animal Killed)
What advice would you give to emerging ethical and sustainable designers?
Be patient with the journey – it’s a long one! Don’t be afraid to start small and grow gradually and sustainably. Stay true to your values in the face of industry pressure.
What advice would you give to consumers who were looking to begin investing in and buying ethical and sustainable fashion?
When buying new products, always choose high quality. Start building your wardrobe with classics that you can wear time and time again, and begin from the inside out - with garments that will be closest to your skin. That way, you’ll notice the difference and reap the rewards sooner. Soft, organic and natural fabrics are addictive. They feel incredible against your skin and help calm any allergies you may have, that were most likely triggered or worsened due to the chemicals laden in your clothing. You will never want to go back to plastic made clothes that suffocate and irritate your skin!