Cassandra Pons, Founder of Make Amend, graduated high school in 2011 and since then she has worked hard to create an amazing ecochic label that blends vintage aesthetic with a femininity and boldness that caught my eye. Come and let me introduce you to this amazingly vivid and inspiring designer who is committed to making gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces that are kind to the planet!
Q. What drove you to branch out and create your own fashion label at such a young age?
For as long as I can remember I have been a very creative person and always very ‘artsy’. When I started high school I was encouraged to pursue my creativity more through my studies of Home Economics and Art, and this really got me going. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished school, but I knew it had to be something that fed my creative spirit. I didn’t want to fit into the mould of what everyone else was trying to make me.
Being the typical girl that I am, fashion was always something that I loved but I never knew I had a talent for sewing. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school where I went through a somewhat obsessive stage of op-shopping that I discovered my love for redesigned and handmade fashion. Once I started I couldn’t stop! It all happened so naturally and it brought me so much happiness that I knew that this was what I am meant to do. I’m a very determined person so once I set my mind to having my own fashion label, I just worked and worked and worked to make it happen.
Q. How would you describe the design aesthetic of Make Amend in 10 words or less?
Quirky and cute inspired by the 50’s and fashion 60’s with a focus on sustainability.
Q. Can you tell us a little about what makes your label both ethical and eco-friendly?
Make Amend is a fashion label that encourages young ladies to adorn their bodies with unique designs that embrace femininity, support independent designers, and help our environment. My garments are hand crafted by me, and I think that this not only gives them a special personal touch, but also makes them ethical because they are not being manufactured by under-paid and probably under-age staff overseas!
They are eco-friendly in the sense that I work with recycled materials to ensure that Make Amend represents sustainable fashion. I have a selection of redesigned retro garments and handmade garments made from recycled materials. This is my small way of making a difference in the world, minimising waste and helping the environment.
Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?
Not really a designer but more an event for designers! A friend just recently introduced me to Undress Brisbane. It’s a festival for ethical designers held in Brisbane and I am totally in love with the concept, and the fact that ethical designers are being recognised and celebrated!
Q. I see that your designs are now available in Hiroshima – what makes Japanese fashionistas a great fit for your label?
Japanese fashion is crazy – they use it to express themselves and tell a story. They live and breathe fashion and elaborate fesitvals such as Harajuku show that fashion is something very special to them. Japanese girls are also very cute, and I think this is the design aspect they love about my label. I’ve never been into being ‘sexy’ or ‘hot’ but rather my emphasis is on cute. I want to create something that when a girl looks at it, it makes their heart smile.
Q. In your opinion what is the major challenge facing designers who want to be more sustainable?
The time, effort and resources that it takes to do so! It takes more effort to source sustainable materials, more financial resources to make them and lots and lots of time to ensure that they are produced using sustainable methods. I think it is important to make this effort though, and like they say ‘Anything worth having never comes easy’ so it’s just a matter of being determined to make it happen.
Q. Do you have a favourite item that you’ve created?
One of the first dresses I made was for a local fashion show and it was entered in the Apex Australian Teenage Fashion Awards. It was the first dress I sold on Etsy and while I was so happy to make my first sale, it was so sad too – the dress was like my baby! That dress would have to be my favourite, not only because the design was great but also because it symbolised the beginning of Make Amend.
Q. What does the future hold for Make Amend?
Big things. First I want to have my own retail store, a retro emporium where it feels like you are being taken back to the 1960’s. I then want to grow this to several stores nationally and internationally, showing that you can look cute and help the environment too. The sky’s the limit I guess!
You can follow Make Amend's journey via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and their Blog! Also stay tuned for an *exclusive* Kindness by Design + Make Amend photo shoot!