British lifestyle brand Capri is rebranding as Capri London with a strong focus on sustainability. From SS22 its range will include more sustainable fabrics such as GOTS certified organic cotton and bamboo. The brand has also eliminated plastics entirely, switching to biodegradable bags for its packaging and swing tags made from recycled paper and unbleached natural twine. Meanwhile, its new logo now also includes a ‘conscious’ strapline to highlight its commitment to eco-friendly fashion.
“The process our cotton goes through is strictly regulated by an independent third party,” explains MD Hari Krishnadasan, who founded the brand with his wife Puja in 2010. “It avoids the use of toxic pesticides, uses 84 per cent less water than ordinary cotton and helps lock in CO2 into the soil, helping mitigate climate change. Plus, it’s also hypoallergenic and doesn’t cause any allergy or irritation to the wearer.
“We have also introduced bamboo, which doesn’t need pesticides and is harvested as opposed to dug up like trees and cotton, meaning carbon is stored in the soil and root system. It also stays fresher for longer and needs less washing.”
The addition of the word ‘London’ in its brand name highlights the brand’s British roots as it moves into international markets. Capri was founded in South London 12 years ago when fashion designer Puja Krishnadasan spotted a gap in the market for flattering tunics and maxi dresses for the 30-plus market. Joining forces with husband Hari, a former investment banker, the seized the opportunity to start a new brand just as the country was recovering from the 2008 recession.
“I think planning a new start-up with a different mindset to others already in the industry was one of our greatest strengths,” says Puja. “Hari wasn’t from a fashion background and his different way of thinking and planning helped propel Capri into the brand it is today.”
The duo planned for international growth to mark the brand’s 10-year anniversary in 2020, but the double impact of Brexit and then covid-19 meant they had to wait. “Our main focus is continued international growth and looking into overseas opportunities with similar demographics,” says Hari. “We continually listen to our customers’ feedback and try and visit them when we can to try and find out how we can improve. Also, if there are any products they feel we are lacking as a brand, we look to put these into our collections.”
Another reason for Capri London’s rebrand is down to the growing need for stylish and sustainable fashion. “The public has become more aware of environmental issues and the drain on the limited resources of our planet, and how this will affect future generations,” says Hari. “Customers want to know where their clothes are from and who made it. We are finally moving away from fast throwaway fashion and the demand for good quality, timeless pieces at affordable prices are what today’s consumers care about.”
Capri London is renowned for its signature prints, which are designed, painted and re-coloured in house. “We started off with simple two colour spots and stripes in sophisticated tonal colours and evolved into larger scale, bold, unique signature prints with an injection of colour,” say Puja. “We create contemporary, easy-to-wear, comfortable, timeless and quirky styles such as bubble hem dresses and uneven hem tunics. Our inspiration comes from our love of travel, which was reduced when our two daughters came along, and we are now influenced by family walks and holidays.”
For AW22, the collection highlights its love of natural fabrics and prints, with ethical materials and striking hand-drawn patterns. All of its prints are created in-house using primary shapes, which are manipulated to produce fresh abstract designs. Buyers can expect relaxed and timeless pieces featuring its new ethical bamboo elastane and rayon cotton. The collection encompasses bold colours to lift the winter mood with lime zest and cobalt, along with rich earthy shades.
To further improve its commitment to the environment, Capri London reuses boxes sent to its factory for sending orders to its customers. It is also using left-over fabrics from the production of its clothing to create scarves and bags.
The brand’s main focus this year is to go ahead with producing its collections while sowing the seeds for its long-term future. “The past two years has taught us many lessons and using these have helped plan and shape the future and longevity of Capri,” says Hari. “We are looking forward to trade shows starting again and having the physical interaction with our team and customers, which simply cannot be replicated over a Zoom call. Face-to-face human interaction is a primal instinct. We lose out on the ability to fully connect with others when sat behind a screen.”