A young Redfield resident has collaborated with a social enterprise to focus on the empowerment of women in textiles and bring more colour into the ethical fashion landscape. Her shop, aimed at the vibrant, Earth-conscious fashionista, launches this month
Pariss Cozier grew up dreaming of being a novelist, and now she tells stories through clothes; specifically those of the women who created them. Having studied English literature at Falmouth, and worked for an interior design comms agency in London, she was soon packing her bags for South East Asia; later returning without a penny to her name but with a new-found ambition to address ethics, inclusivity and sustainability through fashion. Thus passion project Chaos & Colour was born, in Redfield, where Pariss moved to live with her cockapoo.
“I was becoming more conscious of my impact and habits, trying to buy less and second-hand, but struggling to find brands that reflected both my personal style and beliefs – my love of colour combined with shopping ethically, and celebrating women from all backgrounds,” she says, of the project’s inception. “Currently, global fashion doesn’t do a good job of connecting people to what they wear, and we are starting to see the consequences. Understanding what the fabrics are, where they come from and the lives behind each garment is more important than ever. Often, these stories are of women from developing countries, treated like commodities in the broader landscape of fast fashion and consumerism.”
Last year Pariss travelled to northern India, to an unassuming desert village on the edges of the Blue City, to meet the director of Saheli Women, an organisation which equips women with formal training in garment making, giving them economic independence and a sustainable livelihood to support their families. The NGO has created jobs, established the first health centre in the village and funded the education of 80 girls so far.
Most of the collection is made using Ikat weaving; an ancient technique of wrapping threads together tightly and dipping the bundle in dye. It is only on the loom, when the artisan begins to weave the threads together, that the unique Ikat pattern emerges; it’s a slow, labour-intensive process which is why it isn’t commonly used in the wider fast fashion market. Everything is designed by Pariss, inspired by traditional textiles, and she plans on producing a limited selection each year – garments with longevity – to reduce global environmental impact. “I am drawn to fusing complex textiles with the simplicity of natural fibres,” she says. “I wanted to make the collection bold but wearable so it can serve as day wear and be striking. I want to give every piece a story, so people can connect and feel special in what they wear. I also want to show that there is life outside of London; that you can create a sustainable, thriving business outside of the Big Smoke. Bristol is perfect; there is such a sense of community and support.”
• Instagram; @chaos.colour; chaosandcolour.com