Paul Upali Gouëllo, renowned contemporary dancer in LOVI's maroon stud sarong, 2017.
COLOMBO FASHION WEEK IS HERE
“It drives me crazy,” says Asanka de Mel. “When the dinosaurs come back, spandex will still be here.” Measuring tape in hand, the CEO of LOVI Ceylon gives us the nitty-gritty as he puts the final touches to his new collection, PLAY. “My wife does yoga every day and I see her wearing spandex, an even worse form of polyester made out of petroleum,” continues de Mel. “Only half-jokingly, I say her pursuit of nirvana through yoga is killing the planet. To which she replies, well, make me some clothes then.”
Model wears LOVI National Silk Lama Sariya at Colombo Fashion Week, 2019.
And like a red flag to a bull that's exactly what de Mel did. “Focusing on sustainability doesn't mean you have to wear ugly clothes,” he continues. “We can make this clothing beautiful, with a light, playful solution to a huge problem.” And a huge problem it is, especially now that a billion people are wearing athleisure daily. Whether they are hidden under the names active fit, dry fit, or recycled polyester, these materials are choking our land and seas.
Picture this. According to theEPA, roughly 17 million tons of textile waste gets sent to the landfills in the USA alone. When you drop naturally biodegradable fabrics such as linen into a landfill, it turns to dust in two weeks. Cotton, five months. But polyester does not biodegrade. Instead it breaks down into microplastics, which can take up to a 1000 years to decompose.
True cost of athleisure?
“And if we cut the polyesters we buy by 10, 50 or even 80 percent, can you imagine the difference it would make for the planet in 5, 10, then 30 years?”
De Mel is already ahead of the game as 99% of LOVI’s clothing is made using naturally biodegradable materials like cottons, linens, and silks. This avoids the need for earth-clogging, plastic-based fabrics like polyester, nylon, and spandex.
Landfill site located in Ampara, Sri Lanka.
However, the PLAY collection is not just about yoga. Work from home crowd rejoice, you can finally replace your favorite dress-shirt-boxer-shorts combo with some LOVI business casual outfits to zhuzh up those Zoom meetings. “The sarong is the original home garb,” de Mel says, “so we expanded on the ease, flow and feel of it for this collection.”
So there you have it. PLAY is a collection that fuses conscious designer wear with a playful attitude in the context of work, fun, and fitness, all the while doing its best to protect the environment. Join us s'il vous PLAY?