The image of “warm sunshine, white sand beaches, and calm turquoise waters” barely begins to describe the tropical paradise island of Curaçao. With its wild nature and unique marine biodiversity, the island lures you in with some of the best beaches, diving and fishing that the Caribbean has to offer. So naturally, the preservation of Curaçao’s natural beauty is extremely important.

An innovative new designer has entered the local scene with a design initiative that focuses on the protection of Curaçao’s natural marine biodiversity and the preservation of the island’s natural beauty.  Leanna Griffith, has already established herself as a young tour-de-force in the design world on the island.  Born and bred here in Curaçao, she is making waves by creating a large variety of design elements for local and foreign companies.  But this project is one that is very close to her heart.  She has combined the things she loves and most cares about on her island, to create a brand encompassing them all. Lensu is a fashion brand that features beautiful silky scarves that capture many of the iconic images that symbolize the unique beauty of the island while simultaneously addressing the island’s need for sustainability.

She chose to create a clothing line that simultaneously helps Curaçao engage both its locals and visitors with bright tropical designs, while at the same time brings awareness to the urgent issue of ocean plastic pollution. Her goal was to create a sustainable fashion brand of scarves from 100% recycled materials.

Lensu focuses on engaging the new generations of Curaçao’s local community – the local trendsetters, and eventually will expand its scope to markets abroad. She hopes to give consumers a creative voice through fashion that would equip them with the tools to create meaningful change. By creating a unique fashion brand that appeals to everyone, this gives the community an easy and fun way to participate in cleaning up our oceans.

Numerous companies have been trying their hands at producing sustainable clothing out of recycled materials. Leanna used this as inspiration to do better. Instead of solely marketing her brand as a sustainable line, she chose to market the line of scarves primarily as a fashion brand with the goal of educating the community. Leanna designed one-of-a-kind prints that feature some of Curaçao’s most iconic imagery, that to are fun to wear in any number of creative ways. This allows the consumer to express his/her own originality and voice.  At the same time, environmental sustainability simply comes as an added bonus, making it easy for people to contribute to a worthy cause. For many people, the call-to-action on her packaging and marketing serves as a great educational resource, an instrument for community action, and a conduit for meaningful change to help this global initiative.

Leanna’s goal was to create a sustainable fashion brand made out of 100% recycled materials collected from our own beaches. The brand name Lensu, was inspired by the local language of Curaçao, (Papiamentu’s) word for scarf, and offers fashionable scarves that add an extra pop to our creative lifestyles. They can be worn in any number of distinctive ways to make a bold statement that proudly says, “We too, care about the oceans.”

Production of these scarves helps keep plastics out of the ocean. The plastics are sorted by color, sterilized, and processed for recycling to create a soft polyester yarn. The custom designs are digitally printed to make the flowing fabrics come to life. Every scarf is hand-illustrated and inspired by iconic imagery from our beautiful Island.

Website: https://leannagriffith.wixsite.com/lensu


In an effort to further engage the local community, Leanna created an interactive magazine. This magazine is stylized as a fashion lookbook, and features models showcasing the numerous creative ways in which the Lensu scarves can be worn. Alongside this fun engaging material, the Lensu lookbook has an infographic side to it, which features a scannable icon that leads you to a 3D infographic video with animation via the app ARTIVIVE. This dynamic infographic highlights the importance of ocean preservation and serves as a call-to-action for this important initiative. Leanna notes, “My goal was to feature short, engaging, and interactive content geared towards capturing the reader’s attention.”  

Leanna has successfully designed a uniquely creative project that she is truly passionate about. She looks back on the entire experience and says, “By making this project in the design styles I love, it became an extremely enriching process for me.” Working on this project inspired Leanna to seek out companies with similar goals and brand values. After finding the Boston-based running apparel company named Janji, Leanna knew this was the right fit for her and was the natural progression in her promising career as a designer. As a small company with a young dynamic team, Janji offered Leanna a unique position that allowed her to participate in multiple areas of the design process. After 7 months at the company, Leanna plays a pivotal role in the in’s and out’s of product development and what it takes to run a sustainable company. 


Janji does things differently as they make running apparel for everyday exploration. The company’s goal is to sustainably make high performance running apparel that lasts a lifetime, while at the same time ambitiously working toward manufacturing items in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. And to sweeten the deal, 2% of all Janji sales are donated to nonprofit partners working on viable clean water solutions in various communities around the world. Janji teams up with emerging artists each season to cultivate the global artistic community and infuse a runner’s next run with creative power and endurance.

Leanna’s full circle experience from working on her own project that encompasses key personal values, to working for an apparel company that does just that and more, has had a monumental impact on her outlook towards the design world. She now, more than ever before, paves the path of utilizing creative ability to make meaningful change.