From The Bay to The Big Apple, Chan + Krys Are Pioneering Sustainable Street Style
It's very rare that a long term friendship organically transitions into two women becoming business partners for a conscious fashion line. This is certainly the case with friends Chantale and Krystalrea who founded the new sustainable fashion brand, Chan + Krys. Both women come from big industry backgrounds and were so disgusted with the standard practices. So they did what any forward-thinking duo does – start a label.
Chan + Krys is a season-less curation of sustainable separates that focus on chic comfortability. Their fabric choices are comprised of organic cotton, hemp, soy and bamboo. Additionally, the young pioneers love to work with dead stock fabric as well. Chantale informs us that, “The sustainable market is still growing in terms of what’s available - in order to get some more interesting and novelty fabrics involved we try to buy mill end pieces that we can created limited runs of as well.”
Heritage is inconspicuously a big part of the brand. Both founders are first generation Americans, however Chantale’s father is Haitian and Krystalrae is Filipina. Before coming together to form Chan + Krys, both women had separate collections that were vibrant and colorful; reminiscent of their individual culture and heritage. As they grew together to create Chan + Krys, they became more focused on creating a base pallet that allows consumers to add cultural pieces to it.
Chantal and Krystalrae were very keen on changing perception of what it means to incorporate culture into fashion!
One of the beauties of Chan + Kyrs is location. Chantale is based in New York, which is the mecca of fashion, and Krystalrae is based in the Bay Area, which has a more centralized focus on sustainability and technology. The garments are sourced in California, and produced locally in New York. The majority of the organic fabrics come from San Francisco, which many designers in NY can attest to, such as MelaninASS Vanguard and luxe designer, Susana Colina.
A common theme amongst sustainable fashion brands is – screw traditional seasonality- because it’s very unsustainable. Chan + Krys most certainly falls into that category. They focus on Spring and Fall but overall push to make season-less pieces to release throughout the year as their creativity allows. This methodology helps to keep small batch production. Additionally, working in a women’s factory in Midtown allows flexibility to create their own slow fashion process.
The young brand is doing quite well from coast to coast. However, their biggest obstacle is resources. “We are being limited by what fabrics we have or what sustainable resources we have for trims. Resources that compliment our brand mission”, Chantale shares. This is a huge issue in the sustainable fashion industry and we are hoping more affordable resources become available over the next few years.
Overall Chan + Krys has been focusing on small markets and are proactively working to connect directly with customers. They are taking it ‘Little by Little’.