“Ananda Pascual, since today”: fashion with trends and heart
We are glad to introduce you to ANANDA PASCUAL, SINCE TODAY a trendy and sophisticate way of understanding sustainable fashion. But take a look at this exclusive interview with Ananda, creator of the brand, where she shares her honest feelings about fashion today.
1.- Could you tell us a little bit about the project, ANANDA PASCUAL?
Ananda Pascual is a fashion company with the uniqueness of how is it produced. All our garments are entirely made in workshops, which help women in risk of exclusion and/or marginality, giving them a labor output through the manufacture of textiles. We produce everything under parameters of fair trade and respect for the environment. It is designed, it communicates and it’s expressed as fashion, framed as trendy and directed to a male and female audience. The spirit of the clothes of the firm is urban, and its distinctive features are the use of industrial cold colors combined with special colors. The urban West is complemented by the exoticism and the vibration of the places in which occurs (India, Cambodia, Peru). Ananda Pascual aims to bridge the gap that there is still between the trendy and fair, between the fashion and produced responsibly.
2.- Why is that you’ve chosen to develop a sustainable fashion brand?
Because I want to continue doing fashion, I mean… hopefully, one day we all dare to go bare and remove us from problems! But as it’s not possible, I wear it, but in a conscious way. I can’t stand that so many people suffer bad living and even die so I wear a nice dress or shoes that look cool. I can continue dressing cool stuff that makes me shine without involving any crime. We all can.
I’ve been working and believing in this “slow way”, sustainable fashion, and it’s not just me. We now know that things can’t be done the same way they did so far, because these business methodologies have made us failed as people. Fashion can always make us dream, express ourselves and feel good, but poorly managed can be a source of suffering for:
(a) The consumers are forced to invest in a large number of garments, enslaving us to keep them: wash, iron, bend, save it… change the summer for the winter…
(b) Because of the way that many brands produce, implies serious, serious abuse in the lives of people employed for this purpose. More than what many people believe. There is little information on these practices so common and so brutal. By many brands!
We are not saying you have to abolish fashion, but certainly, as another colleague and designer, explained very well, Luna Hussein:
“All fashion could be fair trade, if the people who work in the fashion business realized that things can be done in a sustainable way.” Fashion is something creative, and what we design it comes from our heart. And I think that it is possible to do so. We all have to dress, so I would like to convince the rest of the people from the all over the world, that: “we have the possibility to do it, and show it to the world. It is easier now than ten years ago”.
Under the name of our brand, (we are a team), “ANANDA PASCUAL, SINCE TODAY”, it refers precisely to that concept. We have to live in quite exciting time, where the world could be rebuilt, and therefore, we must create, innovate, and invent new ways to do so! Today it’s today. So come on, let’s live in our time.
3.- Can you tell us about the production process, the materials you employed, and where did you produce your collections?
We produce with different organizations, and with the materials that each of them produced.
In Peru we work with the natural fiber Baby Alpaca, which is the wool that comes from the Alpaca animal in their stage of baby wool that shear in the first years of life until change them the hair of an adult. The Alpaca has populated areas, where live Aymara women, and with it they have sheltered to survive extreme temperatures. It is a very precious quality by its softness.
In India we work 100% cotton jersey, plush, twill prints… For example, printed cottons come from Gujarat State, recognized by the textile work. Artisans, with carved wooden stamps go stamping the fabrics, giving them a great beauty, making the imperfections of the manual labor singularized and craft make clear.
In Cambodia work unisex garments with a nylon which has been recycled from water bottles and fishing nets. Science, technology and development go together to offer us new more environmentally friendly possibilities for our home planet.
4.- You are a designer committed with sustainability. With this collection is there any specific organization or project that you wanted to support or collaborate with? Why?
Although all of our three suppliers (Creative Handicrafts-India, Coordinadora de Mujeres Aymaras-Perú, (Women’s coordinator Aymara-Peru), and Afesip Fair Fashion-Cambodia), make an excellent work in their countries, if we have to select one of them, I’d choose our supplier in Cambodia. I choose this supplier to talk about, because they have just started to try to make profitable their textile workshops. Our supplier, Afesip Fair Fashion, is part of Afesip Cambodia, NGO that fight for the empowerment and reintegration of women who have been victims of abuse and sexual exploitation in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
They’ve been fighting against this fault in South Asia for many years with many successfully histories and nowadays, with Afesip Fair Fashion and other initiatives, they try to give a future to their women and at the same time, try to be profitable, and consequently, sustainable.
5.- Tell us a little bit about you.
I am Ananda Pascual, a fashion designer from North of Spain, but developing my professional work in Madrid and from there traveled to work with our partners. And I love the poetry of color!
I worked for several years as a designer for the NGO, designers for development (DPD), then at Loewe (brand that belongs to the Louis Vuitton group) and Zara. My DPD years marked me personally and professionally for life. I felt clearly where it could be very useful as a professional and therefore motivated to give the best of me. The work of this DPD is to provide technical support in design organizations from developing countries that employ women in situations of social exclusion through textile manufacturing. These organizations require to DPD collections that are competitive in Western countries. My personal and professional experiences during these years working closely with these organizations in countries such as India, Nepal, Cambodia, Brazil, or Kenya, were extremely motivating, and marked the rest of my career and my life. But to do so, I knew that I needed to learn more, and that was working from within the industry of fashion. I walked to it and I was lucky enough to be able to work in two very strong Spanish companies: Loewe and Zara (Inditex). Three very different experiences, and for me very positive, so I could have a more complete picture of the business to undertake what was my ultimate goal, that today I am immersed. And in the three situations, I could enjoy two of my passions as a designer: color and investigate the trends emerging as a result of what is happening in our world. That is the result of ANANDA PASCUAL, SINCE TODAY, and I feel very happy with it.
6.- What fashion means for you? What inspired you to become a designer?
To create is innovate, invent, develop. To create is to react.
Fashion is a creative medium that can bring reaction to what we live and what is happening that we don’t like. Fashion allows me to express this, and to contribute my two cents to the development of societies. Fashion has the power to impact because the beauty is a source of energy for the human being. Beauty fascinates me too. On the other hand, the textile and fashion industry are some of the world’s largest industries and employs a sixth part of the world’s population. And after the agriculture is what more water consumes, emits larger amounts of toxic and consumes energy not manageable by the planet, being one of those responsible for global warming. If I don’t do fashion in a responsible manner, better don’t do it because its beauty disappear.
7.- Personal style, favorite designers, jewelry brands…
Yohji Yamamoto, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Nicolas Ghesquière, Rick Owens, Nai of Death, Rei Kawakubo, Jil Sander, Gareth Pugh, Haider Ackermann, Jean Paul Gaultier. And many of the designers of this web that is a new standard for me: NJAL
8.- Could you tell us a little bit more about the recent pop up store in the Museo Wurth La Rioja?
Yes, the Museum Würth is a Museum of contemporary art, so they hosts contemporary works. The Museum proposed us to do an intervention of the firm there, since fashion is plasticity and because the message that is behind our project can amplify the meaning of this “work”, and the new ways of doing things. What we did, was done through the belief that a game can trigger human being’s curiosity and learning ability. So we create a game in which through color, plastic arts, music and surprise, the spectator became the philosophy that is behind: the philosophy of beauty, fair trade, fun, respect, craftsmanship, comfort, dynamism, etc. There were very, very exciting moments. The participants came from different fields: music, theater, circus, and there were public speakers, light, color intrigue, poetry, participation. It was beautiful and very nutritious for all. Overall was a great experience.
9.- Where can we find your collections?
E.D.I.T El espacio de moda sostenible y ética dentro de Enfant Terrible c/ Núñez de Balboa 30. Madrid. (BARRIO DE SALAMANCA)
COSHOP BANYS VELLS. C/ Banys Vells, 9, 08003 Barcelona. (BORNE)
RUGHARA C/ Corredera Alta de San Pablo, 2. 28004 Madrid. (MALASAÑA).
FLAMENKO ART C/ Zapatería 22, 01001 Vitoria. (CENTRO)
MUSEO WÜRTH Agoncillo (La Rioja). Spain
HAVE FUN. Av/ Portugal,14. 26001. Logroño, La Rioja. (CENTRO).
HABEMUS SESACIONES. C/ Rodríguez Paterna, 2 bajo. 26001 Logroño, La Rioja. (CASCO ANTIGUO).
THE NUD. A FAIR FASHION BAAZAR (ENGLAND)
UPDATE AUGUST 2012!
– EEUU: Fashioningchange: http://fashioningchange.com/brands/ananda-pascual
– UK: ASOS: https://marketplace.asos.com/boutique/ananda-pascual/
– Australia: Young Republic:http://youngrepublic.tv/designer/ananda-pascual.html