Green is the new black: fashion designer Amos Ananda talks sustainability

By Amos Chin 9 July, 2024

Fashion designer Amos Ananda champions the message of sustainability through perseverance and thought-provoking art

It isn’t easy but it is about time we hold up a mirror to the fast fashion industry. It is responsible for nearly 10 per cent of global carbon emissions—a figure that is projected to increase to 50 per cent by 2030. It is also estimated that US$500 billion is lost annually because of under-wearing and failure to recycle clothes, no thanks to throwaway culture which has gotten progressively worse over the years.

As a sustainability advocate, local fashion designer Amos Ananda stepped up to the plate to underscore the severity through their works, one thread at a time. In his latest collaboration with Harley Davidson, Ananda redefined convention by transforming what is deemed trash into striking visual displays for the upcycling capsule collection and showcase. The showroom echoed the same sustainable ethos, tapping on solar power.

Here, Robb Report Singapore delves into the perspectives of this trailblazer, discussing his vision of a green world and how he believes art can be created without compromising our planet.

What inspired you to focus on sustainability in your fashion and art projects?

This year, my brand celebrates its 10th anniversary and I’m more determined than ever to push fashion’s boundaries. Inspired by unconventional design and aesthetics, I aim to create and collaborate in ways that honour sustainable practices, which is crucial in today’s world.

Using leftover crates and cardboard packaging from Harley-Davidson bikes delivery, revitalised with traditional wheatpaste technique applied in his stylistic expression language. Photo by Amos Ananda

How has your experience shaped your approach to sustainable design?

A decade in fashion and design has shaped my journey, prompting questions like ‘How can I create meaningful products?’, ‘How do I add substance to future creations?’ and ‘What can I do to give soul to projects beyond design?’.

Can you share the story behind your collaboration with Wearnes Harley-Davidson?

Over the past year, working on four Harley-Davidson projects has forged a strong partnership. For the grand opening in Singapore, I embraced the opportunity to champion its sustainability ethos, a key focus for my brand as well.

What were the most significant challenges of working on the upcycling project with Wearnes Harley-Davidson?

My biggest challenge was to rethink sustainable design in a manner that was beyond my comfort zone. While tedious, I was thrilled to honour green fashion by using leftover fabrics, proving that style need not come at the cost of our planet. The capsule collection also supports The Unlabelled Run by The New Charis Mission, which advocates the removal of societal prejudices.

Titled Re: Destroy | Create, the art installation embodies the ethos, ‘Not destroying but re-destroying to re-create and give new life’. Photo by Amos Ananda

Tell us more about the art installation.

Titled Re: Destroy | Create, the art installation embodies the ethos, ‘Not destroying but re-destroying to re-create and give new life’. I upcycled leftover crates, cardboard packaging and Harley-Davidson bags using the traditional wheat paste technique. For the mural, in collaboration with local collective Dplmt (pronounced ‘diplomat’), we used sustainable air- purifying paint from Gush.

How do you envision the future of sustainable fashion and art, and what role do you see yourself playing in this movement?

We’re living in the sustainable movement, which I see as a new form of freedom. We’ve rooted ourselves in this community. I aim to open more doors, not as a role model, but to inspire others to embrace change and express themselves freely.

Injecting his creative approach with leftover fabrics from his archive to showcase a newfound beauty in the old, Amos Ananda produced a series of looks, including biker jackets. Photo by Amos Ananda

What message do you hope to convey through your art and collaborations?

That nothing is impossible. My collaborations with notable brands show that with perseverance, anything is possible. I stand strong through hard work and dedication. While others only see the glamorous outcome, the grind is essential. If you don’t work hard, you won’t last. Nothing comes easy, but nothing is impossible.

This story first appeared in the July 2024 issue. Purchase it as a print or digital copy, or consider subscribing to us here