Spruce up with these Indian Brands!
As the fashion industry is moving forward together to achieve future sustainable goals, the Swedish council believes that the traditional fashion week format faces major challenges to meet the demands for sustainability, innovation, relevance and timing’. There are many lessons that can be learned from this bold move, which comes a month in advance of a homegrown fashion week that also focuses extensively on sustainability. It is inspiring to see an international council being concerned about the lasting effects of the fashion industry on the environment. Closer to home, there are a few champions of change who don’t believe in contributing to the cluttered clothing industry, and want to highlight the importance of recreating from products that are already in the system.
When 29-year-old Akanksha Kaila Akashi stumbled upon the process of upcycling at a workshop, she realized how easy it was to re-love discarded garments and the concept of Refash was born. Akashi recalls, “After researching the brands and designers who are creating upcycled products, I realized that there already numerous brands that are creating products out of waste. What the upcycling industry lacked was a singular platform that brings all of them together and gives it the momentum of a movement.” Right from what the term means and the events centered on upcycling to brands that create such products and DIY videos to practice this at home, refash aims to upscale and recycle. “It is not just a brand, it is a movement – a movement that encourages people to change their consumption habits.”
Here are a few off-beat Indian labels that practice the art of upcycling.
A Bengaluru-based ethical fashion brand that focuses on creating garments for all body types. Just go to their website, and you see women and men on the streets – girls like you and me – wearing their clothes and accessories. Check out their line of upcycled kimonos made from patching together surplus fabric from Ants Crafts – a public charitable trust.
A Gujarat-based label that works with an all-women artisans team and uses kora cotton to create breathable, comfortable and timeless clothing. They aim to build on the concept of the Indian capsule wardrobe. Celebrating irregularities and imperfections, their 100 percent handstitched products use the smallest remnants from their atelier to the leftovers from stores and manufacturing units to leave no waste behind.
Project Swavlambi is a non-profit organisation that works with women of local communities in Vadodra, Gujarat. They create multifunctional bags and accessories out of fabric waste, as well as empower women by providing soft skills training such as speaking English, health and hygiene guidance and financial management knowledge.
The Second Life
The Second Life creates utility products that are made from discarded materials such as old newspapers, discarded tyre tubes, discarded paper margins from printing presses, film, and political posters, paper boards, waste coffee grounds and recycled felt.
Patch over Patch
A sustainable fashion brand based out of Surat that uses post-production waste to create upcycled clothing for women through different patchwork techniques.
Real State is a sustainable jewellery brand that uses discarded marble to create one-of-a-kind, artisanal jewellery pieces by combining them with precious metals such as silver.