With an increasing sense of responsibility towards the environment amongst the youth of today, one’s everyday lifestyle has changed considerably owing to the shift to more environmentally responsible and sustainable alternatives. Unlike some eco-friendly substitutes that fail to impress — lidless coffee cups and countless coffee spills or paper straws disintegrating into a pulpy mess even before you’re done sipping on your frothy milkshake — sustainability has seamlessly seeped into the fashion world with numerous environmentally conscious fashion labels cropping up. One such sustainable fashion initiative is Bareek, founded by a former creative supervisor and IIMC graduate, Aman Singh.
Aman Singh’s journey in the world of sustainable fashion had a humble beginning in the form of a student-driven self-sustaining collective that promoted Indian weavers’ craftsmanship and helped them navigate through the market in order to find a suitable platform. “The collective, under the name of ECHT (a German word for true, genuine and real) started to generate not only interest but also business overseas,” said Singh.
With his prior experience as a creative supervisor of a the leading creative agency, and involvement with the collective, Singh was well armed to kickstart a full-fledged sustainable fashion brand — Bareek. “Bareek believes the weaver is that rarest of things — a master crafter. Nothing short of fearless all-weather technicians, our weavers tirelessly work towards making finer-count khadi and handloom cotton that are unparalleled in terms of quality. Our endeavour is to give prominence to their creations, to sensitise them to the current needs of their patrons and in this process, bring mutual profit and progress,” said Singh explaining Bareek’s philosophy and purpose.
Bareek works towards striking a balance between collaborating with underutilised craft clusters and at the same time initiating global design trends. Bareek also works towards acquainting weavers with the current workings of the fashion world, subsequently helping them use their skills to create something that better caters to the market demands. “We are constructively working towards Weaving 2.0, a world which won’t be restricted to the confines of handlooms alone. That means it’s important for our master crafters to break away from their comfort zone, not only in terms of design but also in construction. By doing so they can be ready for the new wave of textiles production which increasingly leans towards sustainability,” explains Singh.
One thing that catches your attention as soon as you begin to browse through Bareek’s collection is their men’s shirts because well, this piece of clothing is all that this slow fashion brand tailors. When asked about why the brand is centred around producing this one specific item of clothing, Singh said, “Thanks to fast fashion, endless customisation options and a serious lack of good quality fabrics and fits, the exercise of something as simple as picking out a shirt has become nerve-racking. Our idea is to cut through the clutter, bring back classics, showcase more contemporary designs and seriously sort out a guy’s shirt department issues with a tightly edited set of wardrobe mainstays.” But why specifically the buttoned-down shirt? “A simple buttoned-down shirt may seem unassuming but getting it right in terms of fit, fall and comfort takes a lot. We put in hundreds of hours on sampling and prototypes so that we could get a size set that’s ideal for the Indian man,” explains Singh.
As for the future, Bareek is also working on a unique women’s collection along with their very own take on India’s growing street wear subculture, sometime in early 2019.
Visit Bareek’s website to view the fashion label’s creations.
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