I am an avid supporter of sustainable fashion – Adhisha Dahanayaka | Sunday Observer

I am an avid supporter of sustainable fashion – Adhisha Dahanayaka

6 March, 2022

“When I’m designing clothing, I try to stretch the boundaries or the perception of boundaries that we give ourselves. I think that border for me can be very different than the border for someone else. I always try to see beyond the fashion stereotypes and democratise the concept of fashion for all size women and men”

These bold words are by Adisha Dahanayake who has been recognised recently as the ‘outstanding women entrepreneur 2021’ at the Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards Sri Lanka and Maldives organised by Women in Management. Adisha is the founder of the innovative fashion brand Double XL in Sri Lanka, a brand that challenged the fashion stereotypes in society.

This is an interview Youth Magazine had with this innovative young fashion designer and entrepreneur about her latest achievement and her future goals in the fashion industry.

Q: Congratulations! You have been recently recognised as the ‘outstanding women entrepreneur 2021’ at the Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards Sri Lanka and Maldives organised by Women in Management , IFC and Australian Aid. First of all, tell us how you feel about this achievement?

A: I feel so proud and so humble at this achievement. It feels amazing to be recognised for the hard work put into building this brand. And this by no way means my work is done, or that the brand’s journey is done, for us, this is a milestone achieved on our path to achieving and accomplishing so much more. This really is a nice pat on the back, which encourages my team, my partners, and myself to keep going. I appreciate the judges and the work they put into the whole process, their meticulous detail-driven process provides so much encouragement.  

Q: If you can recall, what was the first piece you ever designed?

A: I recall my first ever design being a caftan dress, the vibrant colours and carefree aesthetic was something that was fun to design.

Q: What does the word ‘fashion’ mean to you?

A. The word fashion has been on a journey with me, much like how I have been on a journey with my brand. At the inception of our brand, this word has held a somewhat negative tone. The types and styles available to people who were plus-sized were very limited, and so fashion was not a thing that was fun or enabled you to explore and showcase your personality. And over the years, in the fight again this stigma, we have achieved so much and helped so many find what fashion means to them, and showcase their personal style through the Double XL brand. And that to me is fashion, it evolves and changes, and helps you live your best life.

Q: Tell us more about your latest collection you are showcasing at your brand new venue in Thummulla. Where do you draw the inspiration from when creating a new collection?

A. The new store in Thummulla has been a dream come true, in terms of the scale of the project, I have my team to thank for the continuous hard work put into this

project. We draw inspiration from our customers the most, and we hope to keep inspiring and encouraging the men and women who look to our brand for comfort and style to be bold and look their best always.

Q: It is still the beginning of the year and what do you hope for the next couple of months to come.

A. As a creator, my vision for the Double XL Brand has no bounds, but we have a few new and exciting projects that we are finishing up that will hit the stores at OGF and Thummulla in the next few months.

Q: Describe a typical day in your life.

A. My typical day has so many variations, depending on if I’m prepping for a competition or meeting clients and customers, but one thing remains the same, and that is the focus of sport and the winding down of the day. These two cornerstones have kept me grounded in my work and my personal life.

Q: What city in the world inspires you the most?

A. Paris, it’s the center of fashion and inspiration for anyone who loves fashion and challenges the traditional.

Q: Where do you see fashion heading in the next 5 years?

A. I have always been an avid supporter of sustainable fashion, and have been providing pieces that are functional and versatile, and as the fashion industry makes that journey and pivots to sustainable fashion I hope to keep providing ethically made high-quality sustainable pieces for my clients. I also see a more data-driven future for the benefit of the brand.