Keeping an eye out for what’s in and what’s not, Ranjana Maria lists some brands that give you the choice of going the sustainable way
Sustainability is still not a strong word that comes to mind while discussing styles and trends in the mainstream fashion market. However, here are a few brands that practice ethical fashion, while combining style and sustainability.
Ethicus is a ‘farm to fashion’ brand and has, for the last seven years, been working with farmers who grow eco cotton in Karnataka’s Kabini region. They claim their two annual collections are produced with 100 per cent eco-friendly dyes from leaves and barks. The designs are an amalgamation of contemporary and traditional, depending on the trends of the season. The brand is based in Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, a region famous for hand woven Coimbatore cotton saris. Each home in this village has a loom.
“The cotton we grow is perfect for producing the finest of handmade textiles,” says 47-year-old Vijayalakshmi Nachiar, Ethicus co-founder and creative head. Clients will be able to access the brand via its website by May 2017. Their Western and traditional garments will range from `1,500 to`37,000.
The line of woven fine clothing features natural dyes and fibres. The Gujarat-based clothing fashion brand creates styles for men and women using fabrics made from organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, peace silk (ahimsa silk), modal (chiffon lookalike), aloe vera capsules as well as banana soy and pineapple fibres. The natural colour, is obtained from beetroot, pomegranate, turmeric, catechu, teak tree leaves, henna, kesu, haritaki and sewali flowers and indigo.
Garments are embellished with various hand-painting techniques such as kalamkari, brush strokes and finger imprints. The brand offers jackets, kurtas, sherwanis and shirts for men and saris, lehengas, kurtas, fusion wear, blouses, tops and shrugs for women.
No Nasties is a six-year-old, casual cotton clothing brand. “Sustainability to us is all about not harming the environment and working within our limits,” says Apurva Kothari, the founder of No Nasties. The brand uses organic cotton and has tied up with Chetna Organic, a farmer’s cooperative with more than 35,000 farmers from Orissa, Telangana and Maharashtra.
No Nasties keeps away from genetically modified seeds, artificial dyes, pesticides, fertilisers, carcinogens and price exploitation. They offer t-shirts, pants, tank tops, skirts, hoodies and tops; clothing that is casual and all-season. No Nasties products range from 600 to 3,000.
Liva is a relative newbie to the world of sustainable fashion. Launched in 2015, most of the fabric used is made from cellulose and wood pulp. Liva has seven cellulose fibre factories, four in India, and one each in Thailand, Indonesia and China. The brand offers both western and traditional wear, including kurtas, tunics, tops, leggings and palazzos.