We first met fashion designer Runa Ray three years ago at her debut New York Fashion Week collection, where she has returned to show her sustainable fashion collections for three seasons. Runa Ray is deeply committed to developing innovative, sustainable fashion production techniques. From reducing her brand’s carbon footprint using origami-style folds to replace the need for stitching to creating biodegradable fabric that turns into soil when discarded in landfills.
Interview: Runa Ray, Sustainable Fashion Designer
Fashion Mingle founder, Melissa Shea, met up with Runa at our favorite NYC hotel, ROW NYC to talk about her latest collection that debuted in Toyko, Japan.
Runa Ray studied in India, and when unsure if she should be a doctor or a designer her mother encouraged her to chase the arts. She entered design school and was quickly awarded with best collection. From there she was given a scholarship to study in Paris.
“Paris was really interesting because I did my masters in fashion engineering. I was the only one in school who got an internship at John Galliano at the House of Dior. That was fantastic! That was my first foray into couture and understanding what it entails, and the kind of work that goes into it, the creativity, the mindset, the way people get lost in an idea. If you have a theme, you would listen to that music. If you were working on a Japanese theme you would be listening to Japanese music. You would eat sushi. You would be inspired by everything to do with Japan and that’s how you create your collection. “
After leaving Paris, Runa returned to India where she launched Mojo Design Studios which specializes in ready-to-wear and moto-style jackets. In 2016 her private label Runa Ray was launched to fulfill her passion for sustainable fashion design, sending eco-friendly collections down the runway of New York Fashion Week.
Clothes that can save the world
“The recent collection I showcased in Tokyo was to show how garments should be given back to the planet. As a designer, I think it is important to keep the end in mind. So before starting the process, you understand where your product is going to end up. Once you have that in mind, it’s easier to design the product. When I was in Delhi, I saw a lot of landfills and I was appalled by it. It’s really sad to see these huge mountains of garbage with trucks driving over it. So as a designer, I want to help make this world a better place or and do my part to help save the planet.”
To create her latest collection with bio-degradable fabric, Runa worked with mills and textile designers to source filaments that biodegrade quickly in soil. Once the consumer is finished with the garment, they can cut it up, put it in a burlap sack with seeds that come with the garment and bury it in soil. Once in the soil, the seeds in these garments germinate and grow beautiful plants.
The collection features luxury healing garments made of fabrics from lotus flowers, rose petals, aloe vera, milk.
Runa Ray Spring / Summer Collection
Runa Ray is based in San Jose, California and her sustainable fashion collection for men and women can be purchased on her website at www.runaray.com.
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