Talking zero-waste and consumerism with Valentina Karellas

by PAUSE Team on November 13, 2019

Valentina Karellas’ inspiring vision on changing the fashion industry through her zero-waste concept is a solution-oriented approach to make the fast-fashion industry slow down and create sustainable options without causing harm to the planet. Valentina Karellas is not only the founder and designer of her own brand, Valentina Karellas, but has also educated herself on sustainability in every aspect.


“I have meticulously looked through every element of sustainability I can possibly do, using surplus waste yarn, not throwing away any fibre used in the making process, made to order, which means not overstocking, using only UK manufacturers for my marketing and packaging materials. Hand powered machines, slow fashion making process.” 

What makes Valentina Karellas’ beautiful knitted pieces not only sustainable but also one of a kind is her way of creating them. Remembering her mother, the designer talks about how she taught her to keep all leftover scraps and fabrics in order to use them elsewhere. This philosophy is still a big part of her brand today. Her inspiration does not only draw from the sustainable but also the craftsmanship angle. Experimenting with all capabilities of the machine that produces her clothes bring out new and innovative elements which make her designs outstanding. With her eye for the detail, Valentina Karellas creates fun, bright and comfortable garments that are made to last. 



“I don't believe or follow trends, it’s the worst thing to happen to fashion, this is the problem with fashion, things only last one season, leading to waste, yes it’s important to have cutting edge design and evolve our styles, but not with the speed that its turned around, the volume that its made in.”  

Nevertheless, the British brand sees more problems in the industry than trends. It is not only the speed of fast fashion that Valentina Karellas is worried about. It is the mindset of consumers when it comes to their buying and consuming behaviour, that needs to change.  

“Buying for the sake of buying and buying for the thrill and sheer cheapness and not fully understanding the true cost of fashion buying habits.”


Moreover, it is the competition with fast-moving fast-fashion retailers. Zara, H&M &co. do not only copy high fashion, but also the small and independent fashion brands. As the retailers often have better opportunities to produce faster, cheaper and on the cost of not only the planet but also the creative brain behind the design. 

 “We waste nothing, keeping all the yarn fibres to create new things is what is most exciting of being zero waste.” 

Valentina Karellas influence on the fashion industry with her design philosophy is inspiring. Not only her creations are unique pieces, but you can also see and feel her experience and knowledge in every garment. For the future, is aspiring a large knitting factory in London, which offers space for co-working, serves as a showroom and will produce Valentina Karellas end to end. 



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