Welcoming back one of our oldest designers to Curated Crowd - Sidikai. Their newest design of scarves, 'Fixed Air', is an exemplary collection that is an ode to purposeful design, showing that we can lead change through sustainable fashion.
q: We are so happy to have you back with your newest collection! What has changed since your last collection with us?
a: Thank you! We are very excited to be back too. A lot has happened but not much has changed. Back in late 2018, one of Mariana's daughters had to be hospitalized for several months, so we had to put the firm on standby for a year to focus on family and health. Although we couldn’t “do” much, we certainly could take advantage of the situation to think, plan and reflect on what we wanted for Sidikai after the hiatus. Our capsule Fixed Air is the most tangible outcome from those months, but also we have learned to be more patient, more resilient and more aware than ever about the importance of having a greater vision beyond our own business.
q: Can you give us a little background information on this new collection?
a: Fixed Air is an ode to purposeful design. It turned out to be a silk scarf collection by chance! It all started as a creative challenge we imposed on ourselves: generate through design and aesthetics the maximum positive impact with the minimum amount of resources. It then translated into a work process in which, by applying sustainable design principles throughout the whole production chain (product, packaging, manufacturing and distribution), we were able to create a beautiful pieces with the highest positive impact possible.
We were able to make the scarves and packaging zero-waste (pre and post consumer), and also utilised respectful materials only. Everything is made ethically - scarves by a certified ethical manufacturer, along with following a very ambitious social program and packaging locally in Madrid. We also decreased our carbon footprint of manufacturing and distribution transport through a certified offsetting platform.
q: Why is sustainability so important to you?
a: We believe it is everyones duty to build a better world with the resources we are given.
There is plenty of stuff out there, designers creating for the sake of it, for the pleasure of beauty, is just not enough anymore. That is why we approached the creative process as a form of personal expression equally bound to purpose. Becoming mindful about fashion design means rethinking every step of the value chain, incorporating Circular Economy practices and fostering social empowerment every step of the way. We aim to create 'beautiful' clothes and objects in the whole meaning of the word, putting the value in in the process, in the story behind it, the people involved, and the resources taken from the environment. If not…. why bother?
q: What is the significance of all the different landmarks on the scarves?
a: The inspiration for the illustrations comes from the role of air in the urban environment. Air is what we take in when speed, stress and chaos gets too much. The last realm of nature around us, imperceptible and indispensable in equal parts. For us, it is the perfect metaphor of the importance of purposeful design in positive change. As we like to say, “there is no life without air, just as there is no progress without design”. To express this idea, we have played with the perspective of looking from the ground up to different buildings in various metropolitan areas such as London and New York. This creates an interesting set of black/white geometric figures, almost abstract if unfamiliar to the premise, that work beautifully on silk and also help tie very well the story behind the scarves.
q: What is your design process?
a: We created Sidikai to exercise our vision to transform the fashion industry by aesthetics, innovation and commitment. As creators we feel the responsibility of going beyond personal expression and use our creative process to generate conversation around important issues and create solutions to solve real problems. Only by applying design and creative expression towards a positive impact, will actual change happen. Our mantra is:
“We create not just to have something to sell, but because we have something to tell.”
That is why every piece we make is a calling for a revolution.
q: Where do you see Sidikai in the next 5 years?
a: We would love to see that Sidikai is effectively contributing to reclaim the fashions role as an agent of positive change. Fashion is very powerful in many ways - through creativity, collaboration, disruption, activism and transparency. If we all put our creative minds to work in that direction, we can revert the inherited momentum towards turning fashion into an ally, not a villain.
q: What is the one advice you’d like to give to the fashion industry or the world for that matter?
a: This is a strange time we are currently living in, but it has forced the fashion industry to slowdown and hopefully to re-think and redefine the principles and values on which it stands. When our industry begins to recover from this unexpected pandemic, we must be ambitious and remember not to go back to normal, that we must rebuild a better, new normal, redesign the core values and invest in culture, not consumption.
Sidikai was one of Curated Crowd's first few designers and we are extremely excited to be welcoming them back with their newest collection - 'Fixed Air'.
We've always admired Sikidai for their brave, innovative designs that promote and inspire change. They've always championed the initiative of creating something beautiful without harming the environment and our planet. They made a huge effort to apply sustainable design to the entire production chain, from design to final product to packaging, ensuring that minimal waste is created throughout.
Sidikai's new collection is based on the role of air in urban environments. We take for granted sometimes the air that we breath in everyday and it's time that we show some appreciation towards it. With increasing pollution caused by various industries, fashion included, it is time to step back and reevaluate how we're doing things. That is excatly what Sidikai is trying to convey in the designs of these scarves. Although abtract in the designs and illustrations, their message of change is clear, reminding us to build a better world for not only our future, but also for future generations.
It's easy to sit back and let other people do the work, but why not be like Sidikai, and be the agent of change yourself. We all want a better world to live in, don't we?