A brand that has been on our radar for the past year is Cras, a Copenhagen based newcomer that works with sustainable materials only. The label’s collections are made using materials such as recycled polyester from plastic waste, biodegradable Lenzing Tencel™, ECOVERO™ viscose and ISKO Earth Fit™ denim… Did you get that down? 🙂 We talk to Christiane Hagger, co-founder of Copenhagen-based Cras, about the benefits of making glamorous, upbeat fashion with more sustainability in mind.

Cras means tomorrow in Latin. Why did you choose that name for your brand?
– We wanted to find a name that was unique and at the same time reflected the brand and our vision ‘to make fashion for a better tomorrow’. The word ‘tomorrow’ is a positive and forward-looking word and we work with the belief that everything great we do today we will benefit our tomorrow. So making great choices within fashion will have a positive effect in the long run.

You only use certified sustainable and recycled fabrics and seem to want to constantly evolve this tradition. What are the most exciting materials when it comes to sustainability right now?
– I can not single out one kind of fabric, but I find recycled polyester interesting since there is loads of way to make great structures l. Tencel and viscose from Lenzing are also exciting fabrics.

Some of your production is in China, where an in-house production company visits factories on a weekly basis to ensure all requirements set out by your code of conduct are met. Being based in Copenhagen, how is production in China a sustainably justifiable option?
– If you want to make sustainable fashion approachable 100% local production is not an option, the styles will simply become too expensive and not all countries can make everything.. One of our missions is to make sustainable fashion affordable and approachable for everybody. We ship all goods home with sea freight which is much more eco friendly than air freight. All our fabrics are produced exclusively to us so we can ensure to have certifications on everything. Our fabrics suppliers are located in China and the factories making the garment are as well, which eliminates the CO2 emission compared to shipping fabrics from one factory in one country to the garment supplier in another and afterwards back to Denmark.

– We have a longterm relationship with the factories in China because Anne Charlotte (Lembye, co-founder) have a production company and have been working with the factories for more than 10 years. The factories are located in travel distance from our Chinese office in that way we can visit the factories and ensure that everything is done the right way and the workers safety environment is taking care of. We are very fortunate that we have representatives in China who are in close dialogue not only with the factory managers but also the production workers in line.
You already work with some local manufacturers when it comes to your knits. Can you tell us about further plans to ‘localize’ production?
– We are planning on doing more locally produced knit from our Danish supplier and we will add more woolen styles in the collection we are working on now (AW21) which we are super thrilled about. We are also looking into other local manufactures to collaborate with on a smaller production scale.

Cras is available via Zalando. Why have you chosen Zalando as a retailer for your brand?
– Zalando is making a great effort and leading the way when it comes to pushing sustainable brands, and they are a great window to showcase our brand and make sure it is seen by fashion lovers from many different countries. So Zalando is a great platform for Cras to be represented on.

Zalando’s vision is to be a sustainable fashion platform with a net-positive impact for people and the planet. Why is it important for a major actor like Zalando to push this agenda?
– Zalando is a major player in the fields and can make real impact towards the consumers. They can set the standards for sustainable fashion among others and over time the rest of the business will follow along. We very much appreciate the work thy are doing in pushing the boundaries for sustainable fashion.

Zalando’s co-CEO Rubin Ritter recently wrote that the interest in sustainability among Zalando’s customers is evident. How do you notice the attitude towards questions of sustainability among Cras’ wearers?
– We only get positive reactions from consumers for the way they we have chosen to make sustainable fashion. We experience that many consumers sees it as a great add-on that they are not only buying a cool dress but also a sustainable dress. We also get a lot of questions from curious customers that are interested in the process of making sustainable fashion. For example, ’how to make fabrics from plastic waste’ an so on. We are delighted that the end consumers focus on buying with more perspectives than only looking good – and also keep our environment in mind.
The eagerness to wear clothes you look good in and feel sexy in will never go away, so for a brand like Cras our most important task is to fulfill that in a sustainable way.

Cras’ collections are available at Zalando. The garments in the images above will be available in January. 
This post is published in collaboration with Zalando.

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