Kissin Cussin is a free-loving bohemian princess at heart. The label’s signature prints—rich florals, graphic patterns and feelgood colours—are showcased on their whimsical, vintage-inspired pieces. Their collections tend to conjure joyously lazy afternoons in the sun that switch spontaneously to al fresco evening cocktails. From romantic maxi dresses to form-fitting leotards, Kissin Cussin is always uplifting and playful. La vie boheme.
For many labels, the clothes happened first and the eco-ethical aspect has slowly become a greater focus. At Kissin Cussin it was kind of the other way around. Cousins Jess Brown and Hayley Maynard’s social conscience got the better of them when they volunteered to help rebuild the Sri Lankan fishing village of Talalla Bay in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami. They were so enamoured with the village and the people that they offered the local seamstresses work and Kissin Cussin was born. “The alternative is to work in the capital for a very low wage, away from their families and with very little to show for it,” the girls tell HowBigIsYourEco.
The workforce reached 15 in 2010 (with longer production cycles and more salary) but the label’s growth means new means of manufacture are needed. Kissin Cussin has found a like-minded factory elsewhere in Sri Lanka and hopes to share the love. Recycled packaging is used where possible and attention is paid to packing for freight.
At home the girls support Pink Ribbon but their most rewarding work is in Talalla Bay where they have helped build a community centre and conduct educational and artistic workshops for local kids who are “so gifted and hungry for opportunity and education.” Over the next two years, the pair are hoping to become as environmentally aware as they are socially aware. Reducing the carbon footprint and introducing sustainable fabrics are on the agenda.
Brand: Kissin Cussin
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