The divine culture of India speaks volumes on fashion. Every state in this country has a different story about its ethnicity. At the grassroot level, many ethnic women used to practice ethical fashion earlier and many still do. Things had changed after heavy urbanization in the country. Many brands and labels have come up in the country. But, the natural curiosity of the country has forced us to go back to where we came from. The natural fabrics, old-age crafts of artisans and the inherent culture are all immensely valuable.
India being a third-world country has seen the advent and the ill-effects of fast fashion. Majorly this has been brought on by foreign corporations. Our country is often a dumping ground for this waste.
To counter this, Indian sustainable fashion brands have started making their mark in Indian society. Individual brands and labels by designers have taken upon themselves to bring a change in the Indian fashion industry. Let’s look at some of these brands from all over India that are winning the fashion game, ethically.
Indian Sustainable fashion brands:
Founded by a team of IITians, Suscin believes in the power of technology to bring a positive change in the fashion industry. Suscin is aiming at creating products using bamboo. They use the bamboo pulp to spin fabrics and make clothing. With their efforts, they aim to eliminate pollutants from fast fashion. Through the brand, Suscin is trying to initiate the concept of sustainable fashion for conscious minds. They also want to revolutionize the perception of sustainable fashion being costly. Not only clothing, but Suscin also provides other eco-friendly products like toothbrushes, cotton swabs, etc. by going the extra mile, they have also taken active efforts to create awareness among the people regarding sustainability in general.
2. B Label by BOHECO:
7 inquisitive minds found The Bombay Hemp Company that weaves the magic of hemp, a 9000-year-old wonder crop, into various kinds of products. Under this, they came up with an Indian sustainable fashion brand ‘B Label’. The brand has partnered with farmer groups in the Himalayas, generating livelihood for many. . They contribute not only to improvise the cultivation of the plant but also agricultural practices, farmer education and empowerment. The hemp they use has properties like being carbon-negative, using limited resources and being fast-growing. Talking about their fabric, it repels UV rays, resists mold and mildew and the fabric gets softer and better after every wash. This brand has gone all out to be inclusive of farmers, women and nature.
3. Ka-Sha by Karishma Shahani:
Set up in 2011, in Pune, Karishma Shahani through her label Ka-Sha, has modified the production system. This label has set the goal of upcycling materials at the forefront. Shahani, through this label, wants to uphold the zero-wastage policy. Through constant efforts, they have been able to develop ways to make jackets out of old vegetable sacks or plastic bags, reusing old saris or jeans. Their ultimate aim is that all pieces, fresh or leftovers are used at maximum capacity rather than being discarded. Local artisans take special efforts to make the pieces as naturally as possible. Through innovative skills, they hope to generate zero waste and create a sustainable community.
Founded by Kriti Tula and Paras Arora, Doodlage wants consumers to adopt conscious clothing. Through their brand, they want to encourage circular clothing. They upcycle factory waste, recycle post-consumer waste and even convert their waste. The scraps are not only used to make garments but also accessories and home products. Focus is also on zero-waste wrapping for delivering their products, while collaborating with various other brands to focus on sustainability.
5. Upasana by Uma Prajapati:
Upasana is one of the few Indian sustainable fashion brands that mix the local culture in their work. Situated in Auroville, this brand uses techniques of natural dyeing, upcycling, using organic cotton, etc. to make their pieces. The age-old technique of hand-looming and block-printing is used, which keeps the life of rural India intact through these clothes. Not only this, the textiles used by them, like Tulsi or Neem have healing abilities that make the clothes better for the skin. The brand aims at upholding the traditional values of textiles while also being environmentally conscious.
These are just a few of the many Indian sustainable fashion brands. So far, none of them has been successful to be 100% sustainable, but their efforts till now are commendable. We know that sustainable clothing can be a bit costly, but continuous efforts are being made to overturn this slight disadvantage. However, the true cost of our planet cannot be compared to it.