‘Why I created the #LoversUnite fashion range for Nacoa’ – Sam D’Cruze

Creator of the ‘Darkest Star’ design company and Nacoa volunteer, Sam D’Cruze, has launched her ‘Lovers Unite’ range of kimonos and oversized tees. Darkest Star’s sophisticated and chic capsule collection is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for COAs.

This is a wonderful gift opportunity to buy an eye-turning piece of high fashion and support our work with children affected by their parent’s drinking this festive season.

Every item is handmade in the U.K. Darkest Star believe in the power of creativity and slow, positive fashion: ‘Making a difference starts with making small changes.’

The collection is available on Amazon now—and you can boost your donation amount by choosing us as your Amazon Smile charity here.

This project is born from Sam’s own experiences as a COA, finding Nacoa after her father’s passing away in 2015.

This is her story of finding Nacoa and deciding to help others suffering in silence….


‘This is a shout out for support. I want us to support a charity that’s supporting the child.’

Sam D’Cruze, Director of Darkest Star


‘It was October 1st, 2015 when my brother and I walked into the small hallway to discover our dying Dad. His terrified frozen stare is a vision I’ll never forget, no matter how hard I try.

‘Still alive, he’d been on the floor undetected for three days…. unable to answer my phone calls.

‘I was devastated when he sadly passed away the following morning with my brother and I by his side, almost a year to the day after being told he had 12 months to live if he didn’t stop drinking.

‘Despite his drinking, he was a good man, he was articulate, intelligent and ridiculously good looking in his younger years. He was loving, fun and an entrepreneur at heart.

‘He wasn’t always a loser, Alcohol slowly stripped him of everything and he ‘lost’ at life.

‘Dad was a single parent,  fairly uncommon in the early 80’s. My grandparents lived with us through our primary school years … and then it was, apart from a few girlfriends here and there, just the three of us.

‘As a child you get on with your life, there’s no alternative, its the only life you know. You may have a sneak peek at others to compare but your heart belongs at home. Children are strong and resilient and will do their utmost to keep the family unit intact…. everything is ok, we’re fine, it’s us against the world.

‘We were lucky, on the surface we had a privileged life and our father was not a violent man. I never saw him raise a hand to anyone. My pain came from his tears, his lack of parenting, his slow demise. Others aren’t so lucky.

‘The children of alcoholics come in all different shapes and sizes, they can appear well rounded and beyond their years, emotional gravity keeping their feet firmly on the ground. They can be shy, angry, extrovert, sad, invisible. To the outside world there may seem nothing wrong … but the tangled web of emotions have already started to form, a web to trap them indefinitely if not navigated, pulled apart and dissolved.

‘With Dad’s small inheritance, in my 41st year I finally acknowledged I was worth it. I put the money into therapy, to untangle my web.

‘Children from families of addiction all too often suffer from low self esteem and mental health issues which can follow them into adulthood. Understanding it’s not their fault and valuing self worth, by getting support and talking to a professional, I believe we can give the child a fair chance at life and break the cycle of addiction.

‘If there’d been a charity such as Nacoa when I was a child or had known about it in my teens I may have shared my thoughts, lightened the load, made sense of the crazy, love, hate, despair I felt.

‘I may have felt that someone truly understood my world.

‘This is not a cry for sympathy, this is a shout out for support. I want us to support a charity that’s supporting the child.

‘With every sale of our ‘Lover’ t-shirt we’ll donate to Nacoa, this will contribute to the general running of the charity and phone lines.’

Sam D’Cruze

Director of Darkest Star