“I am who I am. Your Approval Is Not Needed.” That's the mantra of designer Priya Jangda’s new independent sustainable streetwear brand, “Quillattire”. The bold, and somewhat rebellious motto is captivating and I was almost certain the face behind the brand was the same.
Upon arrival, she immediately extended her arms out for a hug. “How are you?” She asks, her voice gentle but firm. Meeting Priya carried the familiarity of meeting an old friend; the boundary of interviewer and interviewee was hardly noticeable as we sat in a small Costa Coffee nestled in the heart of Shoreditch.
Born and raised in London, the 32-year-old studied Fashion Designer Pattern Cutter at London College of Fashion, and then went on to work as a designer at various fashion houses. "I got bored of the constant churning of designs without meaning and decided to set up 'Quillattire'. I wanted the brand to inspire youth and to support sustainability,” she says.
Priya asked me for my opinion on the brand’s name and if I liked it. “I wanted to create a brand that was urban but also high end, I wanted the name to be humble." She says, when asked about the thought process of naming her brand. "I thought about it and merged 'quill', this reminded me of Shakespeare's quill - writing with this elegant tool, and 'attire' which is super casual."
So how did Priya's path as a designer begin? "My dad is amazing at creating furniture and interiors, my mum makes Indian clothing - this is probably why I am a creative now as I have been around it from young."
Although her parents were both creative, they were initially uncertain in her decision to go into Fashion Design, primarily because she was the first in her family to go down this route. “I believed in herself and stuck to that decision, their doubt and worry fueled me to make this work! Now my parents love it as I have shown them that it's a great industry to work in and also so enjoyable as you get to express yourself through art."
The focus on sustainable fashion is an important one to Priya and one that she wanted to convey through her brand. Most of her genderless ‘Retrograde’ collection was made using organic bamboo, which, if you didn’t know, produces more than 35% more oxygen than other plants. "Times have changed from when the consumer wanted what all the top end designers were putting down the runway but at a lower price. The High-street, unfortunately, is destroying our planet, so things need to change somewhere." She says.
She recognises the challenges of being a sustainable clothing brand, not to mention a young brand new to the industry. However, there's no doubt that her hard work and passion has paid off as Quillattire was featured in London Fashion Week 2017, won the ASOS Homepage Competition and was exclusively interviewed by I-D Magazine by Vice.
"It is difficult as prices of anything sustainable compared to polyester, for example, is much higher - which is where slow fashion comes to play. But, the fashion industry should help the environment with sustainable fabrics and products that do not cause any harm." She says.
Priya is certain that the brand will continue striving and supporting sustainable products, as well as encouraging to look after the planet. "I feel like this movement is starting to take off which is amazing and exciting for the younger generations to push further. 'Quillattire' is the future and will continue to flourish," says Priya, her eyes bright with hope and confidence.
Visit Quillattire here: https://quillattire.co.uk/