This section on Ethical Fashion is made possible with the support of Bhu:Sattva
With more and more people understanding that a sustainable way of life is not only better but also a need, the fashion industry is not far. Anita Dongre started her own eco-friendly line, Grassroots back in 2007. FabIndia has maintained its tradition of products made with traditional techniques and natural materials. Brands and designers have realised the polluting and transient nature of fast fashion and switched over to the green side. Young designers are bringing out new ideas to minimize textile waste, maximize cloth production and achieve 100% sustainability across the value chain.
Necklaces made by upcycling saris, bamboo fibre crop tops, soy protein gowns, and the softest handwoven woollen stoles – 2015 has been a great year for eco-fashion, giving us much to look forward to!
Here are few game changing sustainable fashion and lifestyle brands in India:
India’s first certified organic designer apparel brand; Bhusattva products are directly sourced from organic cotton farmers. They believe in conserving the beauty of nature and using traditional techniques like hand-weaving, hand block printing, and indegenous art forms to adorn their creations. They use natural colours, vegetable and herbal dyes, and are known for their clothing in sustainable, innovative materials like bamboo, pina fibre, milk, and soy protein.
Doodlage designs quirky high street fashion with minimal wastage of material. The founder, Kriti Tula decided to start designing clothes when she witnessed how much waste textile industries generated. Doodlage takes good quality industrial fabric waste and re-designs it to look chic.
Who would have thought that sustainability could be luxurious too? The Summer House strives to do just that, along with reminding you of the lazy summer afternoons spent doing nothing. They use traditional craft techniques that make the fabric softer with each wash. Designed to last, their minimalist prints are created with utmost attention to detail and natural raw materials.
Aranya gathers natural plenty – leaves, seeds, flowers, and nuts and uses them to prepare natural dyes in various colours. They use traditional methods for extracting the dye from the raw material. But their higher aim is to provide sustainable livelihoods to the craftsmen and differently abled in Munnar through the sale of their natural dyed fabrics.
The name comes from the words ENvironment and WE, emphasizing that we should design for the environment. This quirky clothing brand uses only organic cotton, as it helps the farmers get a fairer price and saves them from exposure to pesticides. They feel that sustainable fashion in fun, young designs can go a long way in creating awareness about the environment around us.
A voluntary organisation based in Kumaon, Avani works with rural communities in the hills to renew traditional skills of hand spinning, weaving, and natural dyeing to build sustainable farm and craft based livelihood opportunities in situ. Under the brand name Avani, the organisation produces and sells a range of handcrafted woollens and naturally dyed fabrics.
A line of organic women’s and kids’ wear, handmade toys, upcycled lifestyle products, and handcrafted jewellery, Forty Red Bangles aims to be socially conscious and ecologically sensitive in its processes. The brand partners with development organisations working with disadvantaged communities who produce many of the items sold.
Born with the idea of using fashion design for change, Upasana ventured into the world of social development with a strong focus on application of design for social welfare after the tsunami in 2004. The brand has a number of projects through which it works with producers across the value chain – farmers, weavers, dyers, and others who are involved in creating a garment. Paruthi, a line of organic clothing was created following 7 years of working closely with farmers from Tamil Nadu. Recently, Upasana launched its ‘Art-to-Wear’ line of upcycled dresses, made of leftover fabric.
Launched in 2015, the brand is the latest addition to India’s sustainable fashion landscape. A range of GOTS certified options are available for men, women, children, and infants. The brand claims to be free of non-toxic dyes, heavy metals, and pesticides.
A New Delhi based brand, House of Wandering Silk is dedicated to producing clothing, accessories and items of home decor that are sustainable for the artisans crafting them, for communities the artisans belong to, for the environment, and for the consumer. The brand claims to use exclusively upcycled, organic and hand-made materials.
The Sustainable Fashion Hub is a series that examines shifts in the the global fashion industry to more sustainable and ethical practices and processes, with a special focus on India. It explores what goes into creating a just and sustainable fashion value chain – from the creation of garments and lifestyle accessories to making them available to consumers. All content on the hub is produced with 100% editorial independence by The Alternative.
The Hub is supported by , India’s first certified organic designer apparel brand. With products that are directly sourced from organic cotton farmers at fair trade terms. Bhu:Sattva® uses natural colours, vegetable and herb dyes and goes further to work on reviving various forms of traditional weaving and handloom. Information on its products and processes can be found at http://www.bhusattva.com