By Chere Di Boscio
Vegan leather has a slightly fusty, cheap reputation, but Matilda Janosi is about to change all that forever. The London-based designer has just launched new fashion collection that uses upcycled materials to create some of the sexiest vegan-chic designs we’ve ever seen.
The TildArt EcoLuxury brand is the result of the creator’s interest in recyclable materials which began in her native Transylvania, where recycling has been a common practice for decades. After moving to London in 2012, super-fit Matilda initially worked as a rickshaw driver and noticed that large amounts of the inner tubes of bicycles were frequently discarded and could possibly be recycled into something of value.
She eventually came up with the idea of using the bicycle inner tube as the base material in creating a line of eco-friendly and luxury clothing, and the TildArt brand was born. The line also includes a range of stylish eco-luxury jewellery designed to complement the clothing.
Bicycle repair shops around East London are the source of Matilda’s inner tubes, which are later transformed into arresting designs in her studio in Hackney. All of the other materials used in the fashion pieces are sourced from suppliers around the UK.
Interest in the novel fashion designs has so far been high and in October 2013, Matilda was invited to show two of her collections at the Canadian Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver. A range of eco-luxury accessories has since been introduced, and items are available at the designer’s online store, www.TildArt.com. Matilda has created glamorous bracelets, pendants, scarves, capes, bags, gloves and card holders from what some would consider to be waste materials.
Today, TildArt EcoLuxury has global ambitions and is aiming to bring eco-friendly style to sophisticated shoppers in major cities around the world, including New York, Shanghai and Paris. The brand believes it can also make an impact with buyers because of its ethos of sustainability and being a business that lives up to its social, economic and environmental responsibilities. All TildArt items come with handmade packaging that can then be used again.
For the daring designer, using something that has already had a life and giving it a new one is the driving force behind what she’s doing. “I love it when fabric or material has a history,” she says. “It is the material that inspires me – it gives me a sense of passion to breathe new life into the material over and over again.”
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