Think of the annual cleaning summits at an Indian household — bracing yourself to clean every nook and cranny of a room, whether by will or under the loving yet formidable governance of the matriarch. You stumble upon an old box of your parents' clothes. Feeling the the joy of sifting through wrinkled shirts, aged denim, and pre-loved pieces you would want to don in the present day is unmatched.
A similar concoction of sartorial nostalgia, intertwined with sustainability and circularity, is evident in the design house — Rkivecity. This label explores post-consumer textiles, fashioning them into coveted silhouettes that reimagine the natural oxidation and ageing of these materials. From tailored blazers to thoughtfully reworked Carhartt bags, each creation artfully harnesses the individual strength and patina of reclaimed denim; elevating them as one-of-a-kind pieces.
Rkivecity, the brainchild of Ritwik Khanna, is a New Delhi-based designer and an alumnus of the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. After graduating, Khanna delved deeper into his passion for second-hand fashion and his curiosity about the market's supply chain. This exploration led him to study the fate of post-consumer textiles, uncovering a world of untapped potential and a captivating business opportunity for his circular label.
The textile of focus — denim — beckons for compelling reasons, as its allure lies not only in its stylish embrace but also in its recognition of significant environmental and social impacts, such as energy consumption, water consumption, and chemical pollution accompanying its processing. This makes it an ideal candidate for repurposing. With its all-pervading quality, denim captivates every age group, firmly establishing itself as a timeless and ubiquitous textile.
Beyond its sartorial prowess, Rkivecity offers an interactive shopping adventure. Nestled within shed number 7 of New Delhi’s famed Dhan Mill compound, the establishment reminds one of Brooklyn, New York, with its exposed brick walls — an ode to the place that remains a state-of-mind inspiration for the founder. Here, customers can engage in dialogues with Khanna and witness the creative process behind their clothes.
In addition to providing unique designs and custom-made outfits, Rkivecity also serves as a research house, exploring multiple verticals anchored in the idea of using post-consumer textile waste as raw material to remake new products. This vision fuels the founder's workshops, where he teaches the art of repurposing denim garments into stylish upcycled pieces using patchwork techniques.
Ushering in a new era of visionary and sustainable fashion, Rkivecity now readies to make a captivating appearance at Men's Fashion Week in Paris with a guerilla-style pop-up. Their innovative recycling and repurposing methods are paving the way for a greener, more conscientious future in the world of style.
You can follow the brand here.