AOD Fashion champions #NewLocal sustainable innovation

  • Key initiative at MBFWSL with Eco Spindles and Handloom Weaving collaboration

Sri Lanka has talent; Sri Lanka has creativity; Sri Lanka has sustainable materials, processes, and manufacturing power; Sri Lanka has the solutions the world is searching for. This is the inspiring and optimistic message behind the #NewLocal movement that is currently taking shape from the midst of Sri Lanka’s young creative community. 

At the very heart of this movement is AOD fashion—a centre for learning that is dedicated to the progression of fashion education in Sri Lanka. Embodying the #NewLocal vision which celebrates the creative and entrepreneurial strengths of Sri Lankans, AOD Fashion is hosted a groundbreaking fashion show and exhibition over the weekend alongside the global platforms of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka, the show and exhibition featured some of the most interesting and internationally relevant fashion propositions from the island. 

These events contribute to AOD’s macro vision to use the momentum of #NewLocal to spark a renaissance in Sri Lankan exports by connecting local talent to global markets. As a result, all featured collections have been curated through the lenses of pioneering material innovation with traditional crafts, and driving sustainability through conscious design. Upon the powerful international platform that MBFWSL provides, these collections will connect young Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to markets worldwide, fashion talent to industry employers here and abroad, and more opportunities for Sri Lankan exports to drive revenue back home. 

Eco spindle: Conscious innovation in material and process

A key AOD Fashion project that highlighted on the catwalks of MBFWSL this year is the Eco Spindle handloom collection. It is a groundbreaking collection and the first of its kind, utilising discarded plastic bottles to create yarn to hand weave textiles using the traditional handloom. This Eco Spindle handloom collection consists of seven resortwear looks and was designed by AOD’s Deanne Edirisuriya for Island Collection. The collection demonstrates how 20 plastic bottles can weave an entire dress, while 40 would create enough recycled thread to create an entire saree, highlighting how much of the world’s waste problems can be solved through conscious design. 

The AOD designer behind this collection, Deanne Edirisuriya, is an example of the kind of designer Sri Lanka can create by making education, exposure and opportunities available to young creators. AOD education, which constantly brings in art, craft and culture into the classroom, also directs students to understand international trends and market needs with a good sense of industry capabilities and technology. This has been the success underpinning AOD’s education and that of the designers that it creates.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka shows can be viewed on