A textile designer based in Athens, Greece, Christiana Vardakou’s journey is a testament to the power of slow design. Christiana’s path to textile design excellence began at the University of the Arts London (UAL), Chelsea College of Arts, where she specialized in Printing and Dyeing. She began a textile research through Southeast Asia after completing her studies. Her travels took her to seven countries, where she immersed herself in traditional practices, from natural dyeing to weaving, appliqué, embroidery, batik, and eco-printing. With her return to Greece, she opened her own studio, that stands out as the only one in Greece exclusively dedicated to the use of naturally dyed fabrics. The studio serves as both a working space and a showroom, offering visitors an opportunity to witness the entire production process. The studio embodies transparency and dedication from the natural dyeing of yarns to the intricate hand weaving on looms, from pattern-cutting garments to the careful sewing of clothing, homeware items, and accessories. The designer conducts various workshops, sharing her expertise in batik, bundle dyeing, and natural dyeing, aiming to preserve the tradition of natural dyeing in Greece.
A core principle guiding Christiana Vardakou’s brand is a commitment to avoiding excess stock. Her collections are limited, a conscious choice in support of sustainability. Christiana, inspired by the principles of Emotionally Durable Design, offers customers the chance to engage in the creative process. This means they can select materials and colors, forming a personal bond with the item. It encourages a sense of lasting value, turning these creations into cherished heirlooms to be treasured and passed down through generations. Her team exclusively uses biodegradable organic fabrics and hand-dyes them in the studio using plant-based materials like roots, flowers, leaves, and tree barks. Beyond her collections, Christiana collaborates with other fashion brands, architects, interior designers, event planners, museums, and hotels to create unique, sustainable items. Her outreach extends to organizations like Onassis Stegi, SNFCC, the British Council, the Benaki Museum, the Ethnological Museum of Thrace, and the Interactive European School, where she conducts talks, workshops, seminars, and other activities to promote sustainability.