How Celine Helps Young Designers to Make Fashion More Sustainable with APR
Before joining Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), it was always Celine’s dream to be a designer. Now, the 23-year-old realizes that engaging with local designers and supporting them to make fashion more sustainable is far more important.
Working in A Beautiful Office
Upon graduating from Esmod Jakarta’s Fashion Design and Creation programme in 2018, Celine began her career in the fashion industry as a designer in a local garment company. It was not until 2019 that she learned about APR.
“At first, I considered working at APR as a huge challenge, as someone who came from a design background,” Celine said. “But after I did more research on the topic of sustainable fashion, it really hit me.”
On January 13, 2020, Celine officially joined APR as a Fashion Development Specialist.
“As a part of the Business Development department, I’m based in Jakarta. I am actually lucky because my office is in the Jakarta Fashion Hub,” she said.
Jakarta Fashion Hub (JFH) is a collaborative space that brings together designers, creatives, and fashion enthusiasts to drive sustainable growth in the Indonesian fashion industry.
Operating following all health protocols, JFH officially opened in 2020.
“As a millennial, my friends are jealous that I get to work in such a pretty office with access to modern facilities. It is a dream space for fashion designers” Celine said. “But, most importantly, I get to meet creative people with a strong passion to make a better future for fashion.”
“People come and attend workshops, do product photo-shoots, even to conduct meetings and create ideas. I personally think that a creative space like JFH is needed for fashion enthusiasts to explore their potential,” Celine said.
“You’re not coming to JFH just to work. You come here to create, to realize an idea. We even take the opportunity to create dance videos with colorful and beautiful fabrics as the background,” she said. “Please check them out on our IG.”
Engaging with Local Designers
“Most of the time, my job requires me to engage with fashion designers and fashion start-ups and introduce them to viscose as a more sustainable alternative,” she said.
Viscose, which is also known as rayon, is a plant-based textile fiber. It is inexpensive and has a wide range of applications. Viscose is smooth, soft, lightweight, breathable, and has excellent color absorbency and retention.
It is also versatile and blends well with other textile fibers.
“We believe that viscose give the textile industry in Indonesia an edge as it is grown, manufactured and transformed here in the country, Everything Indonesia. My role is to encourage local designers to use viscose in their fashion designs. They may combine it blended with other fibres, but putting plant-based fibre as a composition in their fashion supports the development of Indonesia fashion industry using fibre produced domestically,” Celine explained.
“Is it easy to convince the local designers to start using viscose? No,” she grinned. Although it’s changing, customers in Indonesia still tend to consider style and comfort before paying attention to the materials used and where they are sourced.
“Viscose was not commonly used in Indonesia because it’s not well-known by designers. So, it is quite a big challenge, to put the fabric under the spotlight it deserves,” Celine said.
“Normally, designers do not know which fabrics are more sustainable because it was hard to find that information in the market. So, when we explain that viscose is made from natural materials and the industrial process certified to industry recognized standards like the “Made in Green” label, designers are usually interested to use it,” Celine explained.
“Some designers who already knew about viscose mostly thought that the fabric is only suitable for sleepwear or house dresses, but I always convince them that viscose is very versatile and can even be mixed to create denim. When they know the versatility of products they can create with viscose, they’ll start using it,” she added.
“The best satisfaction for me would always be when the designers or clothing brands agree to use APR’s viscose,” she smiled. “I’ve learned that the best way to win their hearts is by spreading knowledge and awareness of the attributes of viscose.”
Taking Part in Determining the Future of Fashion
Having a background in fashion, Celine understands that the future of the industry needs to be sustainable.
“As customers’ awareness on ethical fashion increases, there will be more demand and expectation for brands to emphasise the sustainability attributes of the materials used in fashion,” she explained.
Celine is aware that it is her job to ensure that local designers, fashion brands, even fashion students are exposed to information about more sustainable choices.
“Even in fabrics, there are tons of choices out there in the market. So, my main job is to give creators reasons why they should always choose environmentally-friendly options,” Celine continued.
“One of our ways is to educate our consumers in a friendly and fun way through our social media platforms,” Celine explained. “Because everyone goes digital today, we have to always be relatable, especially when our aim is to spread awareness and promote viscose,” she continued.
“But, we try to post content that is easy to digest by our followers. Not only social media contents, we also conduct numerous webinars to engage with the customers and creators as well as spreading the strong message on a sustainable future. It’s always fun to spreading knowledge!” Celine concluded.
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