Conrado: Bringing Deadstock Fabric to Life
From the bustling city life of Manila and the effortless vibrancy of San Francisco to the sophisticated structures of New England, designer Angela Sison has drawn inspiration from around the world to create Conrado, an ethical clothing line built around her travels, heritage, and life philosophies. Angela grew up in the Philippines where her parents ran a textile factory. Before she even went to school, she was sewing fabric and counting buttons.
“Looking back at my childhood, I felt like I was let loose to create anything. I would often tag along to the factory and there would be a pile of collected scrap materials that I would dig through”, Angela said. “At an early age, I always found joy in creating and I was always encouraged to play with the materials from the factory.”
Her love for fashion began, and certainly didn’t end, there.
Raised with a love for travel, she studied fashion design in San Francisco and eventually worked in New York City and Paris. Her experiences in the fashion industry not only cultivated her love for it, but introduced her to the inner workings of it, including production and the waste it generated.
The fashion industry generates quite a bit of waste. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space and that approximately only 15% of all post-consumer textile waste is recycled. Second to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world.
“I knew there was always excess materials in the industry. But the more experiences I had working in fashion, I really got to see how massive the amount of waste it contributes”, Angela said. “The industry thrives in being innovative and selling what’s the new and latest. With fast fashion at its peak, there is something new every day and it has become excessive."
Angela decided to do something by pledging to use deadstock fabric for all of Conrado’s clothing. Deadstock is fabric that goes unused by the company or brand that created it. Whether it’s the excess from production or styling, it is leftover fabric that can be given new purpose and opportunity, instead of ending up in a landfill.
Using deadstock fabric was a risky, yet deeply rewarding decision. Angela explains, “My work experiences in the industry always involved finding the new fabric to use. I feared I wouldn’t be able to provide enough inventory as deadstock is limited. The more I work with deadstock the more I am proud of my designs. Fashion thrives in innovation.”
All of Conrado’s designs are limited editions – fostering original, one of a kind style that tells a story.
In fact, every corner of Conrado is riddled with stories – from their business model to their designs. The name Conrado was Angela’s grandfather’s and his life and style inspires Angela and the clothing she creates today. As a world traveler, Conrado’s style was seamlessly laid back – chic, yet functional. Angela’s clothing line embodies the adventures and stories of a world traveler.
In addition, Conrado’s clothing is made in Angela’s mother’s small, textile factory in the Philippines – where stories meet sustainability.
“When I am in the workshop in the Philippines designing a new collection, I work closely with the artisans. I have known some of them since my childhood”, she said. “I’ve also met many people who are in full support of what I do with Conrado and who are always willing to help in hand in any way they can – from helping set-up at pop-ups, new marketing ideas, and for mentorship.”
Growing up in a textile factory to producing her own clothes in one, Angela’s journey and designs represent the freedom of travel and the dignity of human beings, while contributing positively to planet Earth. Not to mention that Conrado clothes are absolutely, jaw-dropping gorgeous.
Conrado pieces are chic, natural, and seamless. Inspired by the people in Manila who go from the city straight to the beach, Angela wanted to create transitional, yet sophisticated pieces with a touch of effortless California vibes. And indeed she has. Exploring Conrado’s lookbooks is an adventure on its own. From floral dresses to elegant jumpsuits, their pieces pair aesthetic with comfort . They represent a life of versatility, comfort, and simple beauty.
A whole world of limited edition designs is your oyster! If you would like to pop into their shop, they’re pieces are available at flea markets and trunk shows around the country!
P.S. Conrado’s Instagram is a gorgeous corner of the Internet! Follow them!
Want to get your hands on some of these beautiful, limited edition items?
Use the code: FEB18 for 15% off at check out.
* Offer good until February 28, 2018
About the Author
Torie Pfau is a tiny person with big dreams. She is finishing up her freshman year of college and is excited about where this new adventure will lead. She loves telling stories, trying new recipes, and exploring the world.