While fast fashion has taken the front row and everyone is busy hoarding on one trend after another, there are a few sustainable fashion brands trying to play the game differently. According to Green Strategy, sustainable fashion is a movement that promotes the production, manufacturing and sale of clothes, shoes and accessories in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects. However, sustainable fashion is not just limited to the producers of fashion but also sustainable patterns of consumption and use, which necessitates shifts in individual attitudes and behaviour.
The fashion industry today is a booming multi-million dollar global industry, which effects every human being in either direct or indirect ways. While fashion brands are building their empires, it often comes at a heavy cost. Owing to speedy production and over consumption, the fashion industry has landed itself on an environmentally damaging path, much different than what it was 100 years ago. Hence, the practice of sustainable fashion is extremely essential in order to minimise and make up for the rampant environmental damage caused by the fashion industry before it is too late.
True Cost, a documentary highlighting the shocking reality of the fashion industry, states that an average person in the United States disposes off 37 kg of clothes, accessories and shoes every year. This is this further triggered by the trend of the demand and manufacture of cheap trendy collections, known as fast fashion. Fast fashion bases its business model on high volume collections and speedy production of products. Because production is so fast and the clothing is right on ‘trend’ that changes every season or even every month, consumers cannot help but be constantly bombarded with the latest item they feel that they ‘must’ have, as every thing else is now ‘out of fashion’. However, the truth of the matter is that we really do not need this much clothing in our lives. According to the documentary, worldwide, we consume 80 billion pieces of clothing a month; which is a 400% increase from two decades ago.
This clothing, unless specified as fair trade or organic, also contains harmful dyes, toxins and pesticides that seep into the Earth’s system when thrown away. The toxins also carry on into the garments as we wear them.
Besides the usage of chemicals, the fashion industry also uses an intense amount of water, from the start of the process to even the stages of home washing. Let us give you an example: to make one cotton t-shirt today, you need 10,000 litres of fresh water. Alarming, isn’t it?
Here are 12 designers and their disruptive labels that allow you to shop guilt-free.
Ka Sha by Karishma Shahani reinterprets fabric by blending an urban style with handicraft talent in India. The label is inspired by our multilayered culture and creates collections that are trendy, earthy and relevant. Think beautiful mul cotton with tassles made by craftswomen using thread on a clattering handloom. You can shop Ka Sha at Pernia’s Pop Up Shop and Ogaan.
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A full moon, a lunar eclipse, and a new Nicotides all washed in today. Our latest edit takes you on a journey along the silk route, deep into the heart of the orient complete with pagodas, palms, peaches and peonies. Whether it’s classic chinoiserie, ruby red and jade hues, or lots of gorgeous grays ranging from slate to thundercloud, and (of course) dragons, our edit is dotted with eastern influences married with our very own classic tropical motifs—hello palm trees and pineapples. Modern and playful, there’s lots here to fit beautifully into your home and your wardrobes. Nicobar’s new season might be rooted in China’s vastly inspiring history, but extends all the way up into the cosmos, and to the moon and stars. We’re merging historicist inspirations with modern styling, borrowing from chinoiserie traditions as much as the constellations and punctuating journeys to East Asia with stargazing. Our palette is darker and suited to a season that spans the sun, celebrations, midwinter, and the seaside; find shiny licorice black, inky navy, and rich crimson as well as graphic checks and dramatic florals, all in our signature fabrics, from featherlight chanderi and silky mashru through to silk-cotton, poplin, and knit. Nicobar’s new season launches today, and we’re off to China. www.nicobar.com
Nicobar, by Good Earth, is a premium clothing and home decor brand. It is so much more than just fabric and prints. We like how they blend culture and craft. In a world of fast fashion, Nicobar breaks the norm and emerges as a brand that is stylish yet whimsical.
Shift’s brand rationale comes from a passion for conservation and an eco-friendly approach to business. Nimish Shah, the genius behind Shift, uses a variety of sustainable materials, end-of-line fabrics and conscious pattern cutting to reduce factory waste. The collections at Shift are fashion-forward and have already been sported by celebrities like Sonam Kapoor and Kriti Sanon!
Kriti Tula founded Doodlage after graduating from NIFT. Doodlage is known for upcycled clothing- making clothes from waste, factory waste in particular here. Their collections are designed based on the waste that they collect from all these factories--which is why every garment is unique in its design and function. Doodlage believes in a zero-waste policy and hence their leftover fabric is often used to make fringes, buttons or beads.
Bodice explores the reinvention of classics through modern tailoring and Indian textiles. At Bodice, transitional wardrobe staples are developed through innovation and sustainability, automatically making them evergreen. After graduating from London College of Fashion, Ruchika Sachdeva founded Bodice in 2011 and has grown the brand consistently.
Eka in Sanskrit means ‘one’ and signifies the singular effort of many individuals. The brand wants to bring together eastern and western sensibilities by using in house-made textiles, favouring the beauty of natural fibres. The brand aims to create a timeless wardrobe that can be worn as separates or layers.
The fast-fashion brand H&M has its own line of sustainable clothing. The brand is working with a bunch of sustainable materials and embellishments for their conscious line. H&M made the Bionic dress from old plastic bottles, pushing the boundaries of sustainable fashion by using waste material as raw material. The collections have feminine silhouettes and a trendy touch that makes these clothes just the right kind to add to your closet!
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we ❤ @akanksharedhu wearing floral printed cotton dress with sequine embroidered yoke from péro forbidden garden spring-summer 2017 for @idiva feature '31 days of summer' styled by @hardlyevertranquil & @spill_the_sass, photographed by @anubhav_sood #peopleofpero #forbiddengarden #ss17 #31daysofsummer #handmadewithlove #floral
Pero, the label means ‘To Wear’ in Marwari is an Indian label started by designer Aneeth Arora. The label is for the bohemian, free and traveller soul who loves everything organic. The designer uses organic cotton and intricate embroidery techniques that define the aesthetic of Pero. They believe in creating garments with love and hence, the ‘handmade with love’ tagline! Even their workplace is green and rather eco-friendly. You can shop the collection here.
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Let your hair down in these comfy outfits!♥️ Choose from Nomad Dress Nyiri (handkerchief hem dress in classic checks), Boho Jumpsuit Playa (one size fits all with cozy inseam pockets) and Mirage Dress Verbana (a relaxed day dress with a loose fit style) Psst...we have *very* limited quantities in each style as all our clothes our made from surplus, unused fabrics at the factory that we reclaim and repurpose into our original styles. This is fantastic for the environment! So if you like something then get it soon! Shop : nonasties.in/women #fairtradefashion #ethical #fairtrade #organic #NoNasties #jumpsuit #dress #BohoLook
At its core, a No Nasties garment is a labour of love. Grown from organic seeds on fair trade farms where synthetic pesticides and GMOs are strict no, the garments are processed in factories that are governed by sustainability norms. Laden with offbeat nature-inspired prints and fresh silhouettes, this brand is a minimalist’s dream! Shop their entire collection here.
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Keep calm and go green with Upasana healing textile collection! #keepcalm #gogreen #greenpeace #citybycle #offroadbicycle #gogreen #greenery #greenhouse #green #environment #healing #organic #ecofriendly #ecofashion #electric #nature #naturelovers #cycle #savetheplanet #planetearth #cyclist #saynotoplastic #medicinalclothing #greenpeace #madeinindia #tulsi #ecodye #naturaldyes #auroville #upasana
A collection that speaks volumes about artistic depth, Upasana is a vision of conscious fashion. Involved in fabric and weaving projects with artisan families of Madurai and Varanasi, from garment to packaging, the brand uses all organic materials. Boasting a catalogue ranging from monochrome textures to bright colourful compositions, there is something for every woman here! Shop their entire collection here.
With the distinction of being ‘India’s first eco-friendly and sustainable fashion brand’, it was established in 2009 with the aim to revive the rich local hand-weaving traditions. The collections consist of saris, blouses, kurtas and dresses in subtle natural colours that are sure to catch a lot of attention! Shop the entire collection here.
Made completely out of post-consumer waste, this brand’s collection is a symphony of black, white and checks with draped elements on contemporary, asymmetrical garments. Comprising of Sonakshi Sinha’s favourite pair of trousers, this brand’s collection is a monochrome genius. Shop their entire collection here.
Besides Indian brands, plenty of international fashion brands are taking the sustainable fashion movement forward. Some of the most well-known international sustainable brands include shoe brand TOMS, beauty and wellness brand Lush and clothing brand H&M.
Eco-friendly clothing is still at a nascent stage and requires a considerable amount of money and time for the cotton cultivators to change from conventional to organic crop. Also, Eco clothing and accessories are of superior quality, but they are not mass-produced. When designers attempt to come up with a product that will benefit the environment and the living beings, the cost of organic and eco-friendly raw materials prove to be expensive.
Some of the most sustainable fabrics include organic recycled cotton, linen, hemp, lyocell/moda, pineapple leather and cork.
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