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SUSTAINABILITY IS SEXY WITH ANITA GREY

Anita Grey

Through the genesis of powerful and evocative performative storytelling, fashion designer Anita Grey captivates her audiences with her statement pieces. Here, she shares an exclusive look into her revolutionary and positively disruptive apparel, and reveals the truth behind the fashion industry.

Words By Alessandra Di Perna

December, 7th 2020

Dedicated, focused and inspirational, the voice of Anita Grey carries us along her journey in the fashion industry – and the darker sides of it. With Russian blood, statement hair and a mesmerizing charm, Grey travels the world showcasing her fashion collections and inspiring people on the intrinsic value of apparel with the evocative performances intrinsic to her exhibitions. As a designer, her mission is to create a fully circular production cycle by creating unique pieces to spotlight the issues of our contemporary society.

Among these, addressing sustainability comes out on top. To Grey, “sustainability should be sexy”. And she certainly stands by that. “During one of my exhibitions in Milan, I was wearing a pair of earrings that I created out of plastic bottles lids; a dress that I used for my previous performance; and a pair of heels,” she says, recounting a pleasant encounter from back in April 2019. “A guy approached me and said: ‘you are the first woman I have ever seen in my life to wear trash and still look sexy’.” Through her Instagram profile (@mo.e.concept), the designer is constantly sharing her latest work, entertaining followers with her innovative designs and enlightening discoveries from within the fashion industry.

PLASTIC OCEAN

Domestic plastic ending up in the ocean seems absurd to me as I don’t throw it there. I responsibly throw all the packaging into the dust bin at home to never investigate what happens to it, once off the sight it is none of my issues. Not sure I even have time to be educated how my sanitising pads, plastic bags and bottles reach the sea. Will you give up on the rainbow straws in order to make a change, as on my own the battle is not worth fighting even.

Last year, Grey challenged herself by living fifty-seven days plastic free. To many, this may seem like an impossible task, but Grey found ways to keep it simple. “I was not struggling that much. I avoided buying items that were wrapped or made of plastic. Any plastic I did use, I collected it on my balcony,” she tells us. “I would buy take-away meals in glass jars. Unfortunately, I only lasted fifty-seven days because I am Russian and I cannot live without sour cream! And since sour cream is only available in a plastic pot, I gave up.” From the plastic waste she had accumulated, she created her Plastic Ocean collection. The collection denounces the negative impact of human behavior on the seas and all the plastic bags, straws and packaging that finds its way there. We hear stories of the tons of debris in our oceans, but where is it coming from? Rainbow straws and sanitary pads with painted smiles are the kind of eccentric accessories Grey uses as tools to raise awareness on the topic.

PLASTIC OCEAN

PLASTIC OCEAN

CREDITS
Photographer: Anastasiya Romanova
Makeup: Oksana Kosacheva
Accessory: Julia Khramikhina
Fashion Designer: Anita Grey
Location: Media Port

Grey admits to still using plastic, acknowledging that it has become deeply rooted in our society. However, she stresses that consciousness is key. According to National Geographic, plastic production has seen a radical increase from 2.3 million tons in 1950, to 448 million tons in 2015, with current production expected to double by 2050. Purchasing plastic items sometimes is unavoidable, but choosing items that can be reused is a good way to start gradually reducing its production.

From Digital Camouflage and Plastic Ocean, to Bratz and Lost in the Woods, Grey conveys her philosophy through visual interpretation by designing and modeling her own collections. Since deciding that she wanted to create her own label seven years ago, Grey has not bought a single new piece of clothing to put every single cent she had towards realising it. After writing her brand’s manifesto, she went to London to start unearthing the truth behind the industry’s polluting landfills and manufacturers. Enlightened by her discoveries, she realized she did not want to create garments that would be worn once and then forgotten: “You want to make more than a product with a six-month fashion expiration date. You want your garments to be worn time and time again; to be appreciated; to be displayed in design books. People should feel love for their garments.”

www.anitagrey.com

Everyone has that lucky sweater or piece that they would never throw away. Drawing on this presumption, the Russian designer researched and collected various stories around people’s favorite pieces, wanting to create a single garment that could be worn by everyone. “It was a mission impossible,” Grey tells us. She came to realise that it was not the items themselves that created this bond between human and apparel, but the emotional connection to them, the feelings and memories that the owners hold towards them.

Grey’s exhibitions are not merely art, they reflect her own lifestyle. It’s the little issues in her day-to-day life, like using endless sanitary pads, that trigger her creativity to address the problem and find a solution in a sexy way. The bold and quirky aesthetics of her collections challenge people to think beyond the outfit, to the issue that it actually relates to. She tries to dismantle common beliefs and create a new way of interaction between the planet and its inhabitants. But what lies ahead for this vibrant and fiery artist? “I would like to tackle the issue of women’s hygiene and the taboo associated with menstruation,” she says. “Our grandparents taught us to keep it a secret, that it represents uncleanliness. Since then, sanitary pads and tampons have become common essentials when they are not even good for the environment. So there is definitely work to be done in that area.”

Article cover image: from the designer’s TRASHED collection

Mountains of rubbish and hills of plastic are about to invade concrete jungles changing the landscape as we knew it. As landfills are entering the city don’t forget to wear a facial mask, as you know that the smell signifies that toxins were released to poison you. The amount of trash generated came out of control, and the control over that we lost forever. We should rewrite maps to be able to operate in that new space.
CREDITS
Photographer: Anastasiya Romanova
Makeup: Aigul Mustafina
Model: Kolobanova Elina
Fashion Designer: Anita Grey
Location: Recycle Plant