Greenwich Time (Sunday)

Stamford designer creates sustainabl­e clothes

- By Andrea Valluzzo

With travel restrictio­ns lifting in many parts of the world, people are booking summer vacations. A local company, CariCapri, has just dropped its resort collection of summer clothing that can take one from the plane to the piazza or from the bistro to the boardwalk.

Founder Romona Norton launched her Stamfordba­sed company in February with a line of activewear and plans to release a new fashion collection each quarter. Born and raised in Guyana, Norton settled in the United States in 2001. While raising her family, she continued a lifelong interest in helping others and philanthro­py that is at the heart of her company.

CariCapri is named for her two favorite places to travel: the Caribbean and the island of Capri. The new collection in particular, featuring linens, embraces the island aesthetic. “I just wanted to do something that meant a lot to me and when I think of Capri, I think of easy, breezy and colorful pieces, very flowy,” Norton said.

The company is focused on doing good all the while creating beautiful clothing, shoes and accessorie­s that are fashionabl­e and comfortabl­e. It not only uses recycled materials to make clothing that is eco-friendly and sustainabl­e but donates a portion of its profits to various non-profit organizati­ons. CariCapri also partners with local small businesses to host trunk shows where it donates some profits back to charity. And in October, the company will launch a featured collection of pink pieces to support breast cancer awareness.

Beginning with its first collection of athleticwe­ar and leisurewea­r from leggings and capris to sports bras, bike shorts and sneakers, CariCapri has a passion for using recycled materials. Plastic debris in the ocean is a huge problem. Referred to as ghost nets, abandoned fishing nets that are hard to see at night often ensnare marine life. These nets and plastic bottles are some of the plastics that get recycled and turned into fabric for

CariCapri. Sneakers are made from recycled wine corks, coffee grounds and rubber. Shipping and packaging materials are also chosen to be eco-friendly.

Besides recycled materials, the company also likes to use natural materials for its clothing. The new resort collection prominentl­y features European summer linens, including dresses, tops, skirts and shorts in a variety of sizes and colors and a summery floral print. With a sophistica­ted flair, these pieces are designed to be both simple yet luxurious. Each boasts deep lined pockets and the material is breathable and lightweigh­t.

“I wanted to work with natural fibers and that’s why I went with linen as my first resort collection. It’s made from the flax plant and doesn’t require water or pesticide,” she said. “I am now moving into using organic cotton and different fabrics that are all natural as an extension of using recycled material.”

This collection is made in the United States as will be CariCapri’s next line, a loungewear collection to drop later this year. The current athleisure wear line is sustainabl­y made in Indonesia and the shoes are made in Portugal.

Starting in her youth in Guyana, Norton was actively volunteeri­ng by working with her parents to support local orphanages. After moving to the United States, she continued her support of Guyanese children but expanded her efforts to include orphanages in Central and South America, Europe and Africa. She also heads up a new non-profit that works globally to improve children’s lives. CariCapri grew naturally out of her lifelong commitment to help the planet by transformi­ng resources to create new items. Norton describes the future of fashion as circular instead of linear. Fashion-forward brands like hers will take products that are already in existence but not being used and make something new from them.

For more informatio­n about CariCapri visit

 ?? Courtesy of CariCapri ?? CariCapri is a eco-friendly clothing company based in Fairfield County.
Courtesy of CariCapri CariCapri is a eco-friendly clothing company based in Fairfield County.
 ?? Courtesy of CariCapri ?? CariCapri is a eco-friendly clothing company based in Fairfield County.
Courtesy of CariCapri CariCapri is a eco-friendly clothing company based in Fairfield County.

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