In recent years, ‘sustainability’ has become somewhat of a buzz word when it comes to thinking about the future of fashion.
But slow fashion isn’t just another trend and a new womenswear label out of Amsterdam is gaining the attention of the fashion pack, particularly those women whose wardrobes inspire intense envy, for epitomising the kind of cool glamour that comes from the new-wave that sits at the intersection of minimalism and environmentalism.
Due to be launched in Australia at Incu in October, CAES was founded by designer Helen de Kluiver in response to the large-scale fashion industry she worked in early on in her career. To her, sustainability wasn’t merely about one specific aspect, but an entire approach to building a label. Chiefly, one that avoids over-production by working with smaller-scale family-run factories that are high-quality and eco-friendly. As well as making clothes that can be worn together and for a long time, going away from trend-centred dressing that result in people buying clothes that last only a season – if that.
In fact, CAES is season-less, meaning each collection (or “edition” as de Kluiver refers to each new installment) is composed of pieces crafted in natural colors and materials that can be worn at any time of year and for years to come. She also incorporates vintage pieces into her campaigns, encouraging people to reimagine how our modern wardrobes can interact with those from the past to once again minimise our environmental impact.
For the label’s fourth collection, Edition 04, de Kluiver was inspired by the thought of “overthinking what you need, and where you want to invest” to create a capsule that she’s calling a “Pause”; forever staples that you won’t be throwing out anytime soon. Think tailored trousers made of eco-wool, cotton-blended trench coats, long dresses for any occasion and an updated version of the curved-sleeve sweater in eco-wool. Not only is the quantity of the collection a reflection of the intention behind the label, but so too are the materials used. The fabrics used are innovative, sustainable and produced ethically.
de Kluiver was particularly inspired by a quote from trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort: “A new decade requires new rules and a different focus, away from fashion and towards sustainability. A quest for peace is leading to an era of tranquility and a culture that will mobilize people to consume less and less, so as not to further harm our planet.”
It’s a brand to know now, and wear forever.