When Carla struggled to find a pair of glasses she liked, she set about making her own. She launched her label, Carla Colour back in 2015 at precisely the same time her twins were born. Made from Zyl Acetate in small, limited edition runs her designs push the sustainable style boundaries, combining vintage shapes with vibrant chromatic frames.
After forging a career in television, what made you decide to break away and found Carla Colour?
I’m short-sighted and have worn optical frames since I was 20. I always struggled to find glasses I liked, so I dreamed of making my own for years. Then I fell pregnant with twins and realized if I didn’t launch my brand before they arrived I’d never do it! So I harnessed my second trimester hormones and made it happen. My husband also played a huge role, inspiring me to let go of my fear and take the leap.
Colour is intrinsic to your brand. Where do you get your chromatic and stylistic inspiration?
Everywhere. New York bridges. My kids meals. Vintage clothing. Art books. Fruit + vegetables. Faded socks. The list goes on! I like colours that have life in them. Complex, rich, mysterious colours.
Your glasses are made from Zyl Acetate, a high quality material originating from wood pulp and cotton fibre. Could you explain a bit more about what ‘fast fashion’ sunglasses might be made of, and why Carla Colour is more ethical?
All my factories operate under my code of conduct, promising ethical and responsible production methods. I try to embrace the slow-fashion movement in everything I do. We only produce limited edition runs of product, so we avoid waste.
Why does sustainability matter to you?
I aim to approach all facets of my life with responsibility and morality. Carla Colour is simply an extension of that! From being environmentally conscious to embracing diversity, I do my best to create responsibly.
Has it been a challenge to marry creative design with sustainable ethics?
Sustainabilty has often meant just “earthy” style/colour options and this is true of the eyewear market. I have been working with my factories to develop bespoke colours in eco-acetates to push these sustainable style boundaries. Style should not be sacrificed for sustainability - we can have it all with a little effort and passion!
How can modern women go about building a more sustainable wardrobe?
Choose items carefully. Be present in your purchasing. Buy less, but buy better. This really calls for self awareness in your shopping. Get to know what it is you love and find it. Quality matters!
Lately we’ve seen a shift towards unisex fashion more generally. All your sunglasses and optical frames are unisex; what was behind this decision?
Style transcends gender. I want to create so that individuals can enjoy self expression in style. Authenticity is everything and anything you want it to be!
Who is your style icon?
1980s Jenny Kee, the legendary Australian fashion designer
Has motherhood changed your approach to fashion, and if so, how?
I’ve certainly adopted a more streamlined approach to my life and style. Comfort is everything. I used to have lots of time to play around with outfits, but right now I just want to know what’s in my wardrobe that will make me feel good.
What can we expect from the Carla Colour in 2018?
COLOUR COLOUR COLOUR. Wild two-tone acetates and sharp futuristic styles!
Words by Daisy Allsup for Antibad.
Shop Carla Colour on Antibad here