Today we are talking to Chelsea from ANIMA ANIMUS - a streetwear brand and a podcast. She tells us an inspiring story about wanting to make a positive difference to the world we live in. Chelsea approaches the young generation and brings them important information about the fashion industry in a fun manner. To find out how, read on below!
Hello Chelsea! I’m so happy to have you on our interview series. Please could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Hey Radina and readers! Thanks so much for allowing me to be a part of this!
So, to quickly introduce myself, I’m Chelsea, founder of sustainably-driven streetwear brand ANIMA ANIMUS (AA), and podcast host for The ANIMA ANIMUS Podcast, which is a safe space where I sit down each week and connect with other like-minded designers/ brands/ and all sorts of other creatives within the sustainable fashion world.
The mission of AA is to drive open and chilled conversations about fashion sustainability, inviting anyone and everyone to be a part of the conversation. I hope the listeners of my podcast feel inspired and empowered in some way, to continue the conversation within their own circles. It’s a team effort to drive global change!
How did you start being interested in sustainability?
At the end of college, trying to figure out what I wanted to study at university, I came across this book called “To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?” by Lucy Seigle. I had always loved the creativity, theatre and expressionism that the fashion industry represented, but this book made me realise that if I wanted to pursue fashion further, I couldn’t in good conscience turn a blind eye to the devastating impacts that the industry is currently causing, to our planet and our people. From then, I was fortunate to be accepted at UAL’s London College of Fashion to study Fashion Buying & Merchandising, where I was really immersed in discovering the depths of fashion’s supply chain dynamics. I’m always down for all things learning and growing, so I’m really happy that the brand and podcast allows me and my incredible community (the AA Family!) to continue to do so.
What is the main inspiration and purpose of your podcast?
Sometimes within the depths of research, or when you’re in a completely new field, an overload of information can be very daunting and overwhelming! So, the podcast was a way to learn new things in a relaxed, open and safe environment. Especially as my audience are predominately Gen Z and young Millennials, they much prefer learning in an informal way, and not to feel like they’re being lectured in a classroom. Also, sustainable fashion can easily feel like doom and gloom, amongst such issues that we’re trying to tackle, so the podcast is also a way to find a middle grounding; to be informative and engaging at the same time. It’s almost like bringing back some hope and fun into sustainable fashion.
What does sustainability mean to you and what’s your take on it?
To me, sustainability means a lot of things as I wear both the hats of a consumer and a business owner. Although it isn’t to say the values are altered, as ultimately as a global citizen, I feel that I have a duty in caring and preserving our scarce natural resources and being compassionate to our fellow humans and wildlife across the supply chain.
Specifically, as a business owner, the Triple Bottom Line is an integral part to my fashion brand, ensuring that equal efforts are taking into consideration for all people, planet and profit. I think it’s truly amazing that we have so many charities, non-profits and NGOs fighting for this change, but I believe this cannot be left to them alone. We should harness the power of business, using growth and profits to invest back into a more sustainable future. There’s definitely better ways to operate businesses.
Could you tell us where the name of the podcast and brand comes from?
From Latin origins, I was deeply inspired by the concepts of balance and inclusivity that the definition holds. The definition of ANIMA ANIMUS is as follows, and I thought it was perfect in representing AA’s concepts and values: ANIMA; the unconscious inner feminine of a man. Equivalently, the unconscious masculine inner personality of a woman: ANIMUS.
I know you’re working on an exciting clothing range. Could you tell us a bit more about that?
Ah, it’s a long time coming!! But hopefully I can share the collection with you all this summer! AA adopts a streetwear aesthetic, as my personal style has always been revolved around casualwear and youthful fashion, but I found it really difficult to find sustainably-made options. The Streetwear market itself is actually a very unsustainable one, so building AA just felt like the right thing to do. Also, I wanted to break the stigmas of sustainable fashion, bridging the gap between streetwear fashion and sustainability; it’s not just for hippies or about basic linen clothing!
For our launch collection, be sure to expect unisex, comfy, and functional pieces…I partnered up with an awesome high-tech supplier whom helps me track each stage of the supply chain, from sourcing fabrics to engaging with the talented garment workers who bring my sketches to life. In terms of transparency, we’re looking to embed a QR code into our garment labels, to share this process with our amazing AA Family! ANIMA ANIMUS is not a sustainable brand, but I hope you will enjoy this journey of learning with me. Be sure to sign up to our email list on our website to stay in touch!