Exclusive interview with fashion designer Cassandra Burrell, Founder of Cassandra Elizabeth

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Cassandra Elizabeth is a gender-neutral fashion line owned and operated by Canadian fashion designer, Cassandra Burrell, who we were lucky enough to interview recently.

What drives you to run a gender-fluid and sustainable clothing business in Canada?

I first started thinking about creating a genderless line when I discussed the possibility of a universal brand and clothing that fits in everyone’s wardrobe. I wanted to create basic staples that could work for anyone, no matter what age or gender. I began to focus on sustainable options right from the beginning in 2014. I soon realised that natural fibres not only feel better, but they also last longer, which also helps promote slow fashion.

What does the word ‘purpose’ mean to you?

I think purpose means something different to everyone. It focuses on your values and beliefs, what drives and motivates you, that is your purpose. I find motivation in educating people about slow fashion and ethics. I believe that I will always want to continue to educate myself and others on the importance of conscious consumerism.  

What kind of framework have you developed or adopted to help build a purpose-driven organisation?

The framework thus far has been my drive to learn as much as I can about ethics and sustainability. With the right education and understanding, I can hire the right employees and make sure everyone’s values align. When that happens, we have the drive to educate, and that is our purpose.

What would you say is the biggest lesson that you have learnt from running your business so far?

The biggest lesson I have learnt so far is that not everything goes as planned. There will be opportunities that come along that make you pivot in another direction, and you have to be open to that.

What short-term plans and/or long-term goals do you have in store for Cassandra Elizabeth?

I eventually want to create the toddler version of my clothing. I say it is for any age, so, I will see that through shortly. Long term, I would like to have a few showrooms across Canada.

What brands do you admire and why?

Eileen Fisher and Stella McCartney are my main inspiration. Eileen Fisher is, in my opinion, the leader in the sustainability movement, followed closely by Stella McCartney. They both have a clear vision about how they will make the world a better place, and I really admire that.

For your next product, service or project, who would you like to collaborate with and why?

I would not normally want to collaborate with anyone on a product, but I would pursue a collaboration to create a documentary vlog about sustainability. I am not sure who that would be with yet, but that would be amazing!

Fantastic, we hope you get the opportunity to co-create a documentary about sustainability! And thank you for sharing your insights with us, Cassandra!

If you would like to collaborate with Cassandra Burrell, contact her via email at cassandra@shopcassandraelizabeth.com. You can also follow her gender-neutral line, Cassandra Elizabeth, on Facebook and Instagram.