Hailing from the coolest city in the Nordic block, Copenhagen based Colo is a new clothing brand that brings a sustainable approach to the Danish table. Colo is not only conscious about nature and environment, but is highly relevant with sportswear inspired, unisex and white pieces with cool prints.
With only two collections under her belt, and few stockists in her homeland, designer and founder of Colo, Anna C broadens her horizons and opens an online shop in WeAreSelecters Stores. We get to chit-chat with the creator and heart behind Colo Clothing…
You are a very young brand, but still, is there anyone who you admire from the ‘old school’ fashion industry?
I think the designers from Paris who refused to go to nazi Germany from orders of Hitler should have a lot of credit, and if you have a linear understanding of history they've shaped the path I'm on.
What was the reason to go sustainable with your brand?
Not that I'm a philosopher but sometimes I doubt a lot - How do we sustain life/consciousness the best? By saving the ecosystem or advance the development of artificial intelligence? Since we can't be sure when the transition will happen we have to save the ecosystem and I do believe in global warming. Also there's the primitivists - they don't like the advances of technology - So i'f they wan't to stay in the old nature - we should let them. On a shorter term - I don't wan't people to get sick from wearing my clothes - cancer or Colo? A little too morbid slogan maybe....
What sustainable materials do you plan to use in the future?
I believe mostly in technological up-cycling: “textile to textile”, chemical-recycling technology is able to separate and extract polyester and cotton for re-spinning into new yarns. This process will enable a “circular resource” model, allowing textiles to be collected, processed, and remade into new textiles and clothes in a cyclical fashion. Circular economy in other words.
Where did you find the knowledge about sustainable materials and techniques?
That was very difficult, but we have a great initiative here in Denmark called fabric-source made by Danish fashion institute. They've gathered samples of sustainable fabrics from a lot of companies, so I'm very thankful they exist. Also I've got some tips from people in the industry.
What is your educational background?
I attended university before I knew I wanted to design; so I didn't have a lot of educational money left (a part of the danish welfare state here in Dk - education is for free AND you get money to live) that's why I took a private course for 2 years and stayed focused on craftsmanship, not academia which I actually think is a good thing.
Do you follow any events or workshops about sustainability?
Yes! the Danish fashion institute sometimes has workshops in which I participate, but I've actually made a difficult choice. I've decided I won't be an expert on this subject since I don't have the time for it - so I go for certification courses and have to trust that. They work full time on this - I have to design, produce and promote. That's a lot already. I'm sensing there is no miracle cure yet though…
Your brand is very fresh, sporty and clean, very Danish, do you take inspiration mostly from danish street style?
Well thanks! I do like danish fashion, but I try not to think too much about what is Danish and so forth - the internet is my base.
You never shy away from interesting prints, who is behind the designs?
I always collaborate with an interesting artist, as they are called... and then I try to do some of it myself - still learning….
How do you find the designers you want to collaborate with?
Internet or people I meet away from keyboard - not that this happens very often…
Each of your collections has a future/technology/pc inspired theme, are you fan of comics or sci-fi?
I love sci-fi movies - a lot of people disagree but Prometheus blew me away.
Or…where does each theme come from?
Before I was probably identifying more with a neo luddite, and was against progress because I thought we where killing the spirit of nature, whatever that is. I saw technology as the opposite of nature, humanism and spiritual growth probably because of ignorance.
Its not that I'm also a skeptical, but after studying transhumanism I changed my mind - so much for ideals :) I see technology as nature - new nature - artificial intelligence as an opportunity for more humanism and spiritual growth.
It’s possible that the primitivists are right about homo sapiens brains being better wired for living in small tribes in the jungle, but if (When) we become technology ourselves, we will experience connection again and beyond - we are more or less lying on the beach trying to walk - being a fish that is - not a fat westerner.
Another discussion is how to approach sustainability - as a neo luddite sustaining: Wanting trees and malthusian ideas - or a tech-optimist: wanting oxygen machines ("artificial" trees) and growth. It's not this black and white - but to clarify. By the way 'Colo' is the word the latin word 'cultura' derives from, and it means to make things grow - spiritually and materially.
It's actually also being discussed wether the AI we create will be religious - now Islam and Christianity are the fastest growing religions - and atheism is falling worldwide. But atheism is popular amongst scientists - they are spiritual though - check out the speakers at the international congress global future 2045 and you'll find a very diverse crowd.
Only two women. Only female robot strippers and receptionists. Watson - the computer who won jeopardy is a man. The wildest things I've come across so far in this field is the Terasem religion and the Initiative 2045 movement - which just got support from Dalai Lama.
But I'm actually considering if the next collection should be a little more ‘low key’ since I need to focus on the actual clothes. I do consider AI as the most important thing going on - so a T-shirt can be hard to concentrate on sometimes, but humans still need clothes for now - and I do love clothes and culture.
You don’t really have a social presence anywhere on the internet, that is kind of ironic, isn’t it?
Ironic AND stupid - but the simple fact is that I'm a chicken - performance anxiety - will…people...follow... and...like? I really have to put myself together. After I finish this interview I will do it...
White color plays a main role in your collections, do you plan to play with more colors in the future?
Very simple explanation. Usually you can be sure that white and black will be in stock - not colors, and I do actually like colors a lot. Doing organics limits the possibilities a great deal, regarding fabrics when you are a small company. Also I've gotten a little more conscious about white getting dirty too fast.... Not very sustainable, but I can't give up on a white t-shirt completely.
You play a lot with unisex cuts, both wearable by women and men, do you see it as a main trend in the future? Mixing genres?
I see the future without gender - or at least the possibility to change as you wish. Also if we become cyborgs changing gender it can be done very fast - some underwater snails have group sex and change gender as they go!
And once pink was considered a man’s color etc.... Whoever tells you there is any rules or limits, let your chaos be stronger. (don't kill people though).
What do you listen to?
Garage, house, techno, jazz, d'n'b, pop, hip hop, R'n'b , classical, ambient and everything in between....
What do you enjoy to do besides work?
Food, *art*, music and boys.
How do you find danish fashion style?
Like it a lot.
Would you change something?
I just do my own thing.
In the line with sustainable trend, how do you view thrift shopping as a part of a trend?
We've had thrift shops in Denmark as long as I remember - so for me it's not really a trend, but just the way it is. I'm not sure when it became trendy though - Only problem about it is that the clothes can still contain bad chemicals - not good for your skin and body - but it's still better for the environment.
Do you find inspiration there too?
I do like a lot of the old clothes - and I try to put as much soul in my own clothes, as I find there is in some thrift stores. Not that old always means more soul.
How would you describe your brand in three words?
Hugs - tech - CSR (Corporate social responsibility)Discover Colo Clothing in We Are Selecters Stores