The hedonistic wind-up clock of contemporary couture resets itself almost overnight in the pursuit of fickle trends. To deliver a single T-shirt at your doorstep, the industrial supply chain consumes a profusion of fossil fuels, water and crops only to have a meagre 12 per cent of the used clothing end up in recycling. The rest of course, an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile wastes, dribbles into landfill sites every year.
In response to the deplorable carbon footprint, next-generation retailers who were used to churning out more than 600 new styles per week, are now pulling the emergency brakes on the fever dream of fast fashion. In the domino effect ensuing from the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh more than 10 years ago — a tragedy that killed more than 1,100 garment workers — modern day consumers are gradually demanding heightened transparency in regards to safe labour practices and raw material sourcing.
Let's dive into the stories of 5 such trailblazing brands that are making waves in India's ethical fashion landscape with their closed-loop fabrics and responsible design sensibilities.
I. A Big Indian Story
This PETA approved lifestyle brand spearheaded a cutting edge line of bags, wallets and footwear crafted from plant based vegan fibres such as Piñatex (derived from up-cycled pineapple leaves). Pune-based D2C startup, A Big Indian Story has also delved into other sustainable textiles including cactus leather, apple skin leather, hemp and Texon (made from cellulose wood-pulp). Assuring fair trade wages and safe working conditions, this company engages with local artisans to reinterpret traditional kilim embroidery in its bespoke accessories.
You can check out their complete collection here.
II. The Summer House
Successfully blending tradition with sustainability, Bengaluru-based The Summer House is committed to using resources like khadi, Tencel and other handwoven fabrics to create their unique garments.
What makes The Summer House truly special is their partnership with 17 craft clusters across India. The brand collaborates with embroidery units like Swavlambi, which are dedicated to empowering women from rural backgrounds. A special callout to their iconic swimwear collection manufactured from Econyl, a regenerated nylon yarn spun from fishing nets left floating in the oceans.
You can view their latest drops here.
III. The Terra Tribe
This brand embodies the essence of slow fashion and quality craftsmanship. Their focus on short production runs ensures that each piece is meticulously tailored. One of Terra Tribe's standout features is its use of Tencel, not only reducing its carbon footprint but also supporting domestic industries. In a bid to further reduce their environmental impact, their apparel incorporates recycled metal trims into their designs. Whether you're seeking casual elegance for daily wear or sophisticated attire for special occasions, Terra Tribe has you covered. Their garments are designed to transcend fleeting trends, ensuring that they remain relevant and stylish for years to come.
Browse through their newest offerings here.
IV. B Label
An extension of the enterprising Bombay Hemp Company, B Label is on a mission to change the perception of hemp in India. Hemp fabric, stronger and more durable than conventional cotton, boasts the impressive ability to resist UV rays and is known to replenish the soil. From casual wear to formal attire, B Label has embraced hemp's potential to create clothing that appeals to modern tastes.
Often confused with its psychoactive cousin, marijuana, hemp has faced a negative stigma that has hindered its growth as a sustainable textile. However, B Label is determined to change this narrative.
You can shop for more here.
Nicobar is a mindful brand that conjures up timeless clothing from organic cotton, recycled wool and cupro modal. By availing of these eco-friendly materials, this organic label prioritises responsible manufacturing, reducing waste and minimising their carbon footprint. Whether it's the perfect white shirt, a versatile dress, or impeccably tailored separates, Nicobar ensures that their garments are not just fashion items but the inception of a lifestyle overhaul.
From tableware to bedding and travel essentials, Nicobar offers a complete experience of mindful living that extends beyond the closet.
You can view their complete line here.
With their commitment to reducing waste, supporting local artisans and promoting environmentally friendly textiles, these brands are paving the way for a greener and more conscious fashion industry in India.
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