Vanni Leung's new vegan fashion collection adds another level of sustainable attractiveness for all the lovers of elegant, and holistic lifestyles, with fabrics made of biodegradable fibres. Leung's passion for breath work has led her to appreciate the lightness of being in materials such as hemp and banana leaves for her delicate designs.
AGB: Hi Vanni what inspired you to start your clothing label?
Vanni: Valani is an extension of my vegan lifestyle. Veganism is all about compassion, respect and having a lighter impact on the planet while living a plant-based lifestyle. When I wanted to incorporate this into my wardrobe, it was hard to find clothing that was plant-based, sustainable and ethical. The options I did find seemed to be boxy, boring and lacked the feminine details and colour vibrancy that fit my personality. I created Valani to show that sustainable fashion can be dreamy and beautiful while embracing feminine details.
AGB: Please tell us about the materials you're using and what makes them biodegradable?
Vanni: We use Tencel, Hemp/Tencel blend and banana fabric. Organic cotton will be added in a few months. Tencel fabric is soft and silky with excellent antibacterial and moisture absorbing qualities. It's produced in a closed-loop system where 99% of the water and solvents are reused. The trees are sourced from sustainably managed forests. Banana fabric is a luxurious, cruelty-free alternative to silk that up-cycles agricultural waste: It's made from discarded banana tree stems that would otherwise produce methane sitting in a landfill. Hemp is a very eco-friendly crop, it grows quickly, requiring much less water than cotton. It's also a carbon-negative crop that absorbs CO2 from the air. By blending it with Tencel it becomes a very soft, flowing, breathable fabric.
These are all 100% natural fibres dyed with non-toxic, certified Oekto-Tex, low impact dyes. Our buttons are made of biodegradable Corozo nuts, aka vegetable ivory. 100% Natural fabrics can easily biodegrade in one week, unlike others that will take up to one year. There is no spandex added for the stretch in our garments, so the clothes can be composted with some preparation: You have to remove the non-biodegradable materials: zipper, elastic and fusible. It's recommended to shred your clothes as much as possible, so it'll decompose faster in the compost bin or your home compost.
AGB: Your designs are so delicate and feminine, what’s your inspiration?
Vanni: The flow and drape qualities of the fabric influence our designs. We adjust the designs to showcase the fabric's best qualities. The designs are inspired by the beauty of nature and women. Women and nature have so much in common. They’re bold, resilient, and full of intrinsic beauty. They’re strong when they need to be, and soft when it matters most. Women's cycles are constantly changing, yet somehow steadfast. It’s that movement and strength that inspires our aesthetic - feminine lines with a touch of ethereal.