Designer Darshi Keerthisena of Buddhi Batiks from Sri Lanka was chosen to create a bespoke The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange - an initiative for established and emerging fashion talent from across the Commonwealth’s 53 countries to showcase the power and potential of artisan fashion skills to deliver new networks, trade links and highlight sustainability.
Darshi has created a wrap coat dress using Seacell™ fabric made from algae and silk which has been hand pleated and batiked by Buddhi Batiks’ team of craft women in the village of Koswadiya, and lined with peace (Ahimsa) silk from India. The sleeves are detachable for greater versatility, and the obi belt is made from Piñatex, a pineapple-based leather alternative. The look has been embellished with laser cut sequins made from Piñatex, and Swarovski upcycled crystals.
The project was launched by Commonwealth Secretary General the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland and Livia Firth, founder of sustainability consultancy Eco-Age and supported by Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.