Garments from the latest collection by designer Runa Ray

Designer Runa Ray is Saving the World One Dress at a Time

In Designer Gallery, Fashion Features, Fashion Week, Icons and Newsmakers, Sustainable Fashion by Buchanan Moncure

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 instead of stitching to creating biodegradable fabric that turns into soil when discarded in landfills.

Runa Ray Interview

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 would probably get lost in an idea. If you have a theme, you would listen to that music. Like 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. That was my first foray into it.”

After leaving Paris, Runa returned to India and spent some time heading a large international company. Once she felt it was time to move on she launched Mojo Design Studios. In 2016 her private label Runa Ray was launched. She’s continued to send  environmentally focused collections down the runway ever since, and we always look forward to seeing her next collection.

Clothes that can save the world

The recent collection I showcased in Tokyo was to do with the garments should be given back to the planet. Because 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 these landfills and I was appalled by it. It’s really sad and there are like these huge mountains and you see trucks go over it. So how can you as a designer help make this world a better place or rather like save the planet .

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 and bury it. Once in the soil, the hidden seeds in these garments will grow beautiful plants, meaning these clothes never die.

While Runa Ray isn’t the only designer focused on sustainable fashion, she is one of our favorites! We can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next season, and make sure that you’re following her so that you never miss one of these world-saving designs.

About Buchanan Moncure

Buchanan is an artist, author, and Vivienne Westwood enthusiast living in New York City. He works as Fashion Mingle's content manager.

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