Claude Monet once remarked, “I must have flowers always and always”.
Now you can immortalise the faded glory of wilted flowers as it continues to emanate everlasting feminity and grace in your wardrobe. Cara Marie Piazza, founder of Calyx Intimates is exploring this creative and eco-friendly solution as she works with faded flowers and garment to create breathtaking fashion.She recycles flowers that go to the trash post celebrations to create dyes that give a sense of peace and tranquillity for those who wear it. The end product mostly resembles a pastel shade which celebrates the spirit of summer and fall. Cara took up this line of work after witnessing the kind of pollution the fashion industry makes which thus inspired her to look for a sustainable and green alternative.
Doing so, her brand Calyx intimates is taking leaps and bounds into the future of fashion by creating sustainable clothes and encouraging the fashion industry to embrace the benefits of Organic Fashion.Here are some of the excerpts from our conversation with the artist.
Feature Credit- Instagram (@caramariepiazza)
What is the idea behind your brand Calyx Intimates?
Calyx was born from the myth that witches dyed their undergarments in their potions…The Calyx philosophy reads more as a Manifesto: In the days of the witches, when spells were cast and potions brewed, the sorceresses would soak their undergarments in their magic to hold their incantations closest to the most powerful parts of their body. The most intimate layer between you and the world, your underwear, should be imbued with power, magic and love.
The sepals of a flower collectively, forming the outer floral envelope that protects the developing flower bud.
Each calyx piece is hand dyed naturally with locally grown colour, sewn with Fair Trade silks and manufactured in NYC. The seasons we run on are nature’s seasons, our prints dictated by the petals she grows. Our cuts are classic and can be customised for all shapes and body types. We are here to love your bits. Calyx is your amulet, your personal armour and your secret strength. The first thing you put on and the last thing to be taken off. Calyx holds you in.
What inspires you to pursue this line of work?
I think it was more of a compulsion than anything else. Sometimes we don’t know why certain ideas are downloaded into our minds, but since I learned the craft of natural dyeing, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
“From a young age I was mesmerised by fashion but always carried a guilt about what a polluting industry it was. When I learned of natural dyeing the pieces came together and I realised you could marry sustainability and fashion with this medium.“
What according to you is the potential for market growth for organic fashion and why should it be an essential segment of sustainable fashion?
Organic – and locally grown, is inherent to sustainable fashion because it helps to reduce carbon emissions caused by transportation of goods. There are many many factors that contribute to making fashion sustainable but a good place to start is with the Ted’s Ten here.
In the competitive fashion industry, how do you plan on making natural dyes and sustainable clothing accessible for your consumers?
This is a hard question as it is not a cheap industry, it raises questions about accessibility.
“This is why I teach, so I can encourage people to try these techniques on their own. Everyone has their own hand, and technique and inherent uniqueness which makes the process and medium so special. I feel that more dyers and creatives need not be competitive with one another but should create support systems and networks within their industries. The law of abundance tells us we already have everything we need, so for me sharing and teaching this technique creates an avenue for all people to be able to afford this art.”
The ideology of ‘ahimsa’ has been crucial in your brand.How do you plan to explore this factor in terms of trend using the same ideology?
Ahimsa means to do no harm, and cause no injury. I believe when creating we must adhere to these principles, I wish to put healing intentions in my garments, and if they mean something to just a few people, I feel like I’ve done my job.
You have worked with designers for FWs. Do you think more mainstream designers are gradually opening up to this idea?
I do! I believe that most designers would use this technology but we need to find ways to make it cheaper as the process raises the cost of goods significantly. The variance in the dyes is also something designers are wary of, but I believe training the customer to also be more accepting of perceived “imperfections” and uniqueness will help to change the market.