Khadi or Khaddar – an indian homespun cotton cloth often referred as ‘fabric of social change’. It got its identity from a crucial role it played during the Indian independence movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. Most commonly worn today in India and Pakistan. Khadi has
Ethically conscious designer, half British, half Greek. Simple. Elegant and modern. Joanna Cave first launched her brand in 2012 with a focus on creating ethnic and sustainable jewellery. She is one of the scarce and successful sustainable and ecological jewellery designers in the fashion world today. Surrounded by the magical and mythical of Greek history and stories, Joanna’s brand is inspired by her Greek heritage. FE sat down with Joanna to talk about her latest collection.
Tell us a little more about the person you are and how you launched your brand
I grew up in Greece on a small Island in the Aegean. There I attended the one local Greek school until I was eight. My father owned a jewellery shop on that Island and I grew up surrounded by beautiful designer and artistic jewellery. I loved it from a very young age, I loved the scale and preciousness of it. I have a vivid memory of being in my father’s shop trying on rings at a very young age barely old enough to reach the counter. When I was 8 we moved to Athens where I attended an English school and from there on to London to do a foundation course in art at Central saint Martins and then BA jewellery in Middlesex University.
I can see that your inspiration for your 2018 collection comes from a classic Greek myth, tell us why you choose this story and what it represents in your new collection.
It’s my heritage. The myths, the traditions. Greece is part of me, I had a wonderful grandmother growing up who I loved dearly. She use to tell me so many stories, a lot of them about the Greek gods. Stories from the Iliad and the Odyssey. Having become a mother I find myself repeating the stories to my daughter. The fall of Ikaros flying high close to the sun was one of such fascination. I wanted the collection to really symbolise Greece through a sense of magic and childishness and I think it did.
Tell us about your thought process when making / coming up with an idea of your collections.
It always starts off by daydreaming and thinking of happy places. Lovely objects and good feelings. It’s a magic thing that just comes out of nowhere and suddenly you know it and it’s there.
I can see that you recycle your materials and are aware of and source sustainable materials. Can you tell us what led you to incorporate sustainability and ecological practices to your brand
From a very young age my father instilled in me a sense of being respectful to the planet. He is someone who is very close to nature the earth trees and so growing up around him I was made very aware of what it meant to look after what looks after you, the chain, nature. I feel there’s no other way to go.
How has incorporating sustainability changed the way consumers view your brand and collections?
My brand was always sustainable from the very beginning when I started so I didn’t see the difference. I read this recently posted on Instagram by the fashion revolution and I found it so painfully real and sad. I wish more people could see. “If the girl who made your skirt is not paid you cannot say its beautiful, if the pay is less than living wage you cannot say it’s beautiful, if the coloured dyes now lie in rivers poisoned fish, polluted waters, if there’s no sick pay, no toilet breaks, if the factories are in decay no matter what your mirror says or how stylish you might look today you cannot claim its beautiful”
What / when did you feel a defining moment for your brand?
When I got an email from Anna Wintour’s secretary saying ‘Anna would like you to send in your SS collection. My heart had a little dance.
Where do you see your brand in the next few years?
Hopefully selling in all the great places I’d love to stock, working with even more wonderful people and continuing to inspire others to take the sustainable route.