The gown created by KITX has a bodice and skirt made from lightweight GOTS certified organic crepe wool sourced from a Woolmark approved mill, overlaid with a traditional straw skirt from the Solomon Islands and embellished with trochus shell beads made by hand by a cooperative of women expert at this ancient craft.
Since 2015, Kit Willow and her eponymous label KITX has been at the forefront of sustainable, positive impact fashion. KITX consciously sources and produces luxury womenswear with an eye to ensuring supply chains are both ethical, and environmentally sound. KITX seeks to preserve and nurture artisanal tradition and protect our planet’s natural resources, through conscious sourcing of every material and component.
When Pacific islander Alfred Samasoni tried to buy arts and crafts from his homeland, he discovered it was quite hard to search and purchase these online. Knowing the quality and unique cultural crafts available from the island nations, Alfred set himself the task of connecting Pacific island artisans with consumers in the rest of the world. Pasifik Creations is a online marketplace, aiming to showcase and promote the art and craft produced by these unique artisans and connect them to buyers like himself who live overseas. Through Pasifik Creations, the Commonwealth Exchange discovered a group of artisans to help on this project: Chriscentia, a weaver, and Anna, who leads a team of ladies talented at creating these shell beads. Shell beads can be used for adornments but also certain shells are used as a form of currency. These beads have been made by hand for centuries. In Malaita Province (part of the Solomon Islands) shell money remains a fundamental part of their culture, used ceremonially in dispute resolution and weddings. The craft of making these beads is usually done by women, but you can find the men involved in collecting and polishing the shells as well. The colours are achieved through the type of shell being used and brought out further in a drying process where the most difficult colours to get (and therefore the most valuable) being red and orange.