Behind the Seams with… Caterina Mazzotta

Welcome to Behind the Seams, where we chat with FTA designers to learn more about their business and views on sustainability.

Meet Caterina Mazzotta, the designer behind Kali Clothing.

FTA: What inspired you to start your line?

Caterina: I began making clothes for myself when I was in high school because I was unsatisfied with the conventional clothing I found in mass retailers and at the local mall. When I began to receive compliments and people started to ask me to make them items, I knew this was something I should hone my talent at. After high school, I earned a BA at York University in Environmental Politics and Sustainability, and realized it was possible to combine my two passions into one!

So in 2006, I began creating unique designs for women and men using sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and vintage fabrics. In recent years, I’ve begun working exclusively with lyocell and modal.

FTA: How do you incorporate sustainability into your business?

Caterina: It’s important for me to incorporate principles of sustainability into each of my business decisions. Each collection from Kali is produced using sustainable materials, and designed and manufactured in Toronto. Sustainable fabrics used in each collection include organic cotton, lyocell and modal. I try my best to extend sustainability practices at every level of the business; from using 100% post consumer recycled business cards and promotional postcards, as well as recyclable shipping labels and packaging.

Oftentimes I’ll even deliver online purchases by bike to local customers (saves them shipping fees too). Overall, with Kali I design in the hopes to create meaningful fashion that combines style and ethics motivated by social responsibility.

FTA: What has been your biggest success thus far?

Caterina: It’s difficult to pick something in particular since the brand is still young but being able to have the opportunity to work in a network like FTA with likeminded designers is a success of its own.

FTA: What is your favourite sustainable clothing piece?

Caterina: I am in love with the sustainable fabric Lyocell (Tencel®) that is a natural fibre derived from dissolving wood pulp cellulose from the eucalyptus tree.

My favourite Kali piece is the Lyocell hoodie top. It is soft and smooth on skin, breathable, naturally wrinkle-resistant and most importantly – environmentally sustainable.

Kali Clothing is available on Sustainable Style here.