Green light for new fashion collection

Zuhal Kuvan-Mills with her latest collection being prepared at her studio at home in Brigadoon. Picture: David Baylis        d440205
Zuhal Kuvan-Mills with her latest collection being prepared at her studio at home in Brigadoon. Picture: David Baylis        d440205

Her brand Green Embassy is Australia�s first internationally recognised organically certified fashion label.

Her previous collections which have sold out overseas include eco-printed organic cottons, organically merino and alpaca wools embedded with eucalyptus leaves and fine dyed-silks.

In this latest collection she uses flowers, plants and natural materials to help convey her message about the fragility and sensitivity of the world�s ecosystems.

�This time my abstract eco-prints are made from hibiscus flowers, bougainvilleas, ferns, orchids, purple carrots, pomegranates, forest berries, beetroot, red cabbage and turmeric and the lotus,� she said from her home in Brigadoon.

For the raindrops and dew, Kuvan-Mills has chosen bursts of Swarovski�s crystal, beads and glass which give the garments a 1920s edge of elegance, romance and sophistication.

This season her colour palette is a feast for the senses with golds, creams, crimsons and violets.

Delicate and subtle and also visually stunning, Silent Rainforest evokes the lightness of the rainforest canopy with its sea of ferns, mosses, trees, butterflies, colourful birds and flowers.

Kuvan-Mills said much of her inspiration had come from the 1962 classic Silent Spring, a book by Rachel Carson which is widely regarded as launching the modern environmental movement.

Her love of rainforests has come from their ability to create one of the world�s most diverse habitats.

�While they cover only a small percentage of the planet�s land mass, they shelter half of all the animal and plant species. Unfortunately this rich heritage is fast disappearing at the hands of commercialisation,� she said.

Kuvan-Mills said her newest collection used flowing fabrics and elegant lines which emphasised the feminine.

�As always, my creations use certified organic cotton fabrics to international parameters and standards,� she said.

To this end one of the new fabrics embraced by the designer in this range is peace silk that�s been ethically sourced and then hand-woven by local artisans from Orissa in India.

�This stunning fabric is also known as vegan silk or ahimsa silk as it does not involve the killing of worms during the production phase. Instead, empty cocoons are used so that the moths can complete their life cycle,� she said.

Kuvan-Mills also dedicates 10 per cent of the sales of her garments from the collection to the UK-based charity Cool Earth to support indigenous rainforest communities around the world.

The organically certified fashion label which sells under the brand Green Embassy is setting new standards in the field, providing a much-welcome antidote to the world of mass-produced manufacturing.

As a �slow� fashion label, the garments have Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) certification.

GOTS provides the leading standard for quality assurance in organic textiles manufacturing in the world.

Each Green Embassy garment is an individually hand-made labour of love.

One organic alpaca-fibre dress like those in the 2015 winter collection can take up to 30 hours of work as the process involves hand picking, cleaning, washing, drying, carding, spinning, felting, design and sewing.

�Green Embassy is an haute-couture label that celebrates sustainability in every sense of the word,� Kuvan-Mills said.

�As an earth ambassador, I�m thrilled to be launching this new collection which promotes exquisite wearable and functional art pieces that use earth-friendly, hand-crafted techniques using only organically certified Australian natural fibres.�

Since Green Embassy�s launch in Paris, New York, Vancouver and China last year, she has been invited to show the latest collection in San Francisco, Denmark�s capital, Copenhagen and Birmingham, UK, this year.

She said her garments were now worn by people all over the world since her debut in Paris and since being named the designer to watch in French Vogue in 2014.

�It has been very popular with people who are serious about sustainability and community,� Kuvan-Mills said.

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