What Is the story behind the name WAWAHA and what sparked the knowledge that it was the perfect label name for your Creations?
WAWAHA is a word from the local dialect of Norfolk Island. I was born and raised on Norfolk in a close knit community of only 1500 people. Norfolk and the people set the foundation for who i am as an adult which made it an obvious choice for me to use one of our local words as my brand.
People who are described as being WAWAHA are usually confident and authentic. The definition online in the Norfolk Island dictionary is: “Ostentatiously dolled up.”
I chose this word because i love what it stands. To me it stands for freedom of expression and the courage to act out your inner self; whether that means with words, or the fashions that one wears! I also love think the word itself is aesthetically pleasing. When written down, it displays a lot of triangles which i have always felt connected to. The triangle when pointing down is an ancient symbol which represents the divine feminine or goddess. The triangle is also connected to the number 3 which represents true wisdom. Its also just a fun word to say!
Do Ethical and Environmental Issues within the fashion Industry Influence your work ethic and creations and if so, How would you advise others to take steps to ensure they are informed and can consider the same when making a footprint in the Industry?
WAWAHA has now been up and running for 3 years, within those three years i have seen first hand how harmful the fashion industry can be. Every year i choose to be more mindful when it comes to making wiser more environmentally conscious choices. The choice of fabrics and the dying of fabrics can make a huge impact on the earth. Our 2017 Spring/Summer collection uses natural fabrics such as Linen, organic cotton, model and silk. Dying can be a very dirty and harmful process which is why i choose to not dye many of my fabrics at all. I tend to buy undyed /natural fibres and have them sewn directly into garments. Most of my collection are soft natural variants of white, but as we know there are many shades of white, all of which are subtle and beautiful. One of my most recent garments which Im really excited about is our Toddler Pinafores made from undyed natural Linen. I personally will be hand dying each piece using a natural Indigo pigment.
The advise i would give to others when choosing there fabrics is to truly look into who is producing the fabrics. If the label says organic make sure to gather information about the manufacturer so that you know that its certified. If your wanting your fabrics to be a certain colour try to find the fabric pre dyed; this way your not adding more harmful chemicals into the world, or buy natural fabrics and have them dyed using natural plant based dyes. Buying organic/natural fibres as well as dying using natural pigments can be wayyyyyy more expensive but i suggest looking at your process in regards to longevity and understanding that you have the choice and vote for positive change within the industry with each production you do. The way in which we are able to live out our passions as fashion designers is through all of the abundance that mother earth has offered us. Personally the reason why i chose to create garments with natural fibres and attention to dye is because i care for the earth and all beings.
Where do you source your fabrics and materials from? Do you have any reoccurring fabrics in your collections or Fabrics that define your creations? for example, do you use mainly a few signature materials or a large bunch of variety?
All of my garments are made in blissful Bali Indonesia. I primarily built this into my business plan so that i could flee Canada's harsh winters but continue to work. I go to a reputable fabric store and hand pick all of the fabrics i choose for my collection. I use similar fabrics for every collection however i construct them into different garments. I have a soft spot for Cotton Krinkle, Bamboo, Model, Linen and Silk.
What do you feel the most rewarding part of WAWAHA is?
Being creative and seeing my dreams manifest through texture and form is very rewarding. However i would have to say that the most rewarding part of my job is meeting all of the other creatives along the way that have help make WAWAHA a successful business. I am my only employee however i freelance other creative beings along the way. My photographers, models, dyers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, festival/ market coordinators and customers are all essential and incredibly appreciated. Looking back over the last 3 years i have had the honour to connect with so many beautiful, talented and supportive human beings.
Are there any Great movements or achievements you'd like to see within WAWAHA in the coming years?
The To Do List is ongoing and its important to take time to stop and broaden your scope, i appreciate this question and will take time right now:) hahah
WAWAHA is growing exponentially. I began my business by travelling to different markets and festivals on the west coast of Canada in my camper van. This was an ideal way to get started; for me to get my brand out there and talk to people about my process. This was also very tiring and in the past has worn me thin. I thought this was “the dream” and in many ways it was but I turn 32 this year and feel as though i am ready to sink my roots and decrease my hours Moving forward i am stepping away from markets and festivals and am now ready to be getting my garments into select boutiques as well as focusing on online sales. I also want to begin collaborating with other designers, i am currently pairing up with my sisters brand KOOSHOO on a secret little project which is super exciting!
and lastly, What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
I am a yogi. Most of my designs come to me while Im practicing either in meditation or Shivassana.
It carries a feminine elegance within each piece, flowy, airy and translucent. Many of my pieces are shades of white which to me represents purity and spirituality, it can also be seen as a blank canvas waiting for its future goddess to being it to life with her own unique flair and energy
My current line is called Shivasanna Dreams.