As the year comes to an end, epic feasts and lavish parties commence with a frenzy. The dull monotony of life takes a turn – suddenly, you find yourself surrounded by an endless stream of friends and family. For many of us, this means frequent outings and parties at home. Apart from the indulgent meals, these also require almost endless Christmas shopping for good gifts!
On these occasions, dressing your best and giving memorable presents is usually high on our list of priorities. Given the impetus to move towards conscious consumption, how can these be done while remaining responsible towards the environment and our fellow human beings?
This week, we take a look at a few Sri Lankan brands that boast a flair for sustainability and social responsibility. Take a look for the best of ethical fashion this Christmas!
Rice and Carry
A witty twist on a beloved Sri Lankan staple, Rice and Carry specialises in trendy bags made entirely of upcycled rice bag material.
Beyond bona fide hipster gym bags, laptop cases, and even makeup pouches, the brand is the perfect choice for those with an interest in brands that empower communities. With the promise of improving the livelihoods of tradesmen and women in the country’s once war-torn Eastern coast, shopping at Rice and Carry allows you to give Christmas fashion a much-needed dash of sustainability.
Bonus? You can also place orders for customised bags! How’s that for the most unique stocking stuffer this year!
Rice and Carry items can be purchased online at www.riceandcarry.com and at a number of local stores including Selyn, PR Concept Store and at a number of other outlets outside Colombo. The full list can be found on their site.
For those in need of a brand new purse this Christmas or notice a loved one carrying a wallet hanging together by the barest of threads, Kantala is the place to go.
Leveraging the country’s galore of skilled artisans and the rich trade of the handwoven hana mat, Vikum and Nadishan, the founders of the brand, decided to support local livelihoods by combining these elements.
Producing a range of wallets, clutches, and handbags in a variety of vibrant shades and styles, their collection offers an extensive choice for anyone with a taste for social responsibility. Shop their range online at www.kantalabrands.com or at the Design Collective, TRUNK, Tropic of Linen, or Riththi today!
Another notable entry on this list is Selyn – a brand renowned for being the country’s only fair trade guaranteed handloom company.
If you wish to dazzle Christmas guests with shirts, sarees, and dresses that burst with colour, this brand is a sure-fire choice. While Selyn specialises in products that stretch beyond fashion, clothing is easily one of their most popular offerings.
Check out their range of homeware, clutches, clothes, and toys at www.selyn.lk and purchase your favourite selections at their stores in Colombo, Kurunegala, Kandy, Negombo, and Dambulla!
If you’ve got your sights set on luxury wear that’s incredibly guilt-free, Amilani Perera does a stellar job with her ethically-sourced, upcycled collections.
With her line of clothing, the designer, who launched her brand at the Colombo Fashion Week in 2013, discards the notion that sustainability inhibits style. Her “Enigma” batik collection is a testament to how fashion and environmental responsibility can be combined to create a wardrobe that’s whimsical with a touch of local colours and textures.
Speaking to Amilani, she shared that her retail collections, in particular, are created with vegan material that’s cruelty-free. This includes cotton, linen, and other types of fabric that don’t harm our ecosystem. Beyond clothing, her line also features a unique collection of bags made of scrap metal, incorporating Vaka Deka – a unique design element taught in ancient Sri Lankan art schools. This is done in collaboration with local artisans.
Grab her styles at Melaché ahead of the season, for outfits worth remembering and gifts that will never be forgotten!
You can also browse her collections on www.amilaniperera.com.
For those with an eye for bohemian flair, Dimitra is an eponymous local brand with collections that promote values of social justice and equality.
Empowering local artists with meaningful employment and committing to work solely with partners that embody the same values, Dimitra Sahabandu, the designer, also sources her fabric locally through sustainable practices.
To style the brand’s elegant line of day and nightwear, simply head to the Design Collective or DM the brand’s official Instagram page @dimitra.official to place orders. Worldwide shipping is also available for those of you who wish to surprise loved ones abroad with stunning pants, floral tie-up tops, and other pieces that are unapologetically feminine.