Welcome back to Daisie Question Time: an opportunity for Daisie creators to ask industry questions and learn from established creators that can help them further their careers.
We will be standing with #createandstrike and going on strike this Friday to fight our current climate emergency. As part of our fight for change, we will be inviting Mallika Reddy, founder of the sustainable fashion brand, Cancelled Plans, to be this week’s Question Time guest. Mallika is previewing her debut collection at London Design Festival. Her work is focused on creating high-fashion items from industrial waste. We met with Mallika at her Shoreditch based pop-up to find out a little bit more about her…
Could you tell us a bit about you and what you do?
I'm Mallika Reddy, the founder and creative director of Cancelled Plans. I'm from India, where I spent the majority of my life, before moving to California to study Architecture at university. Whilst at University, I decided I didn't want to become an architect and wanted to work in a similar creative field but with something less technical and more abstract and strategic. So, I started working in branding, travelling to Dubai, London and back to India to do so. I was working for a innovation agency for a healthcare company in Mumbai, when I decided I wanted to start something on my own. Design and sustainability have always been strong passions of mine - I did sustainable architecture at university - so I wanted to return to that.
Starting with the company I was working for, I went to look at how products were generated and collected a few samples from their waste and started experimenting with them. That was the birth of my brand, Cancelled Plans. We started last November and spent around 6 months playing around with waste materials and experimenting with designs. We wanted to create premium products from waste, because I think there’s this misconception that if it’s a waste product it’s no good. We wanted to make something high fashion from industrial waste [Mallika's garments and accessories are made from unused waste, such as cotton from sock factories and strips of aluminium from pharmaceutical packaging].
Could you tell us a bit more about your brand. Where did the name come from?
The name, Cancelled Plans, is easy for me to get behind because I make a lot of plans and flake and I think that's common in this generation. It's also linked to the design process - we are changing the journey of this waste, the brands identity is focused on changing plans laid out for waste products. A lot of this would have ended up in the ocean, but we’re going to cancel that and try doing things differently - there’s no planet B.
We want to be relatable and fresh and elevate the word "waste".
You collaborated with a graphic designer for your brand identity, as well as the look and feel of the shop space, could you talk a bit about that collaboration?
I think collaboration is something that is key to the way we work, from the factories to our craftsmen. We're a very lean team, there are only 3-4 of us, so we collaborate a lot.
We have a no-jerk policy, so we only work with nice people. I used to work with the graphic designer, so we get along great. This was important for me, to not only work together but to create something together. We're always evolving as a brand, working to do something different and the logo represents that.
Your previewing your collection as part of the LDF, why is it important for you to do that?
It’s a great exposure platform, people here are interested in finding new things and aren’t too worried about something having a big brand name. I’ve been to the London Design Festival a few times and have always been a fan. It’s been a dream to do something for this, so this was a no brainer for me. I was scared that we weren't going to be ready to open, but i got some great advice from a friend who said: we live in a world that isn’t ready. We want to establish ourselves in the market here and in India too.
Mallika's pop up is open on 81 Redchurch St, Shoreditch until 23rd September. Her full collection will launch in December 2019.
Find out more about Cancelled Plans here
Follow Mallika on Instagram
Follow Cancelled Plans on Instagram
Find out more about #createandstrike
See what else is happening as part of the London Design Festival
What is Daisie Question Time?
Daisie Question Time is a collaborative Q&A featuring different creators leading the way in their industries. It’s a chance for you to ask them your burning questions.
How do I get involved?
You have until 6pm London time on Friday 20th September to ask Mallika your industry questions on our QT Discussion here. Mallika will be online from then to respond.