Sustainability encompasses three crucial areas — economic, social and environmental — that play a major role for designers who are creating eco-friendly collections. From sourcing natural fabrics to manufacturing them, every step taken must ensure minimal impact on the three sectors that, in turn, leads to a lower carbon footprint. Designers like Anita Dongre, Doodlage, Purvi Doshi and Ka Sha are some of the names that are focussing their energies on creating a system that supports eco fashion through their handwoven and handmade designs, use of organic fabrics, upcycling or recycling techniques and fair trade practices.
"Sustainability with sensibility is the motto. It is the need of the hour, not only for India but all across the world. Our eco-friendly collections try to eliminate the hazards caused by the fashion industry like the overuse of chemicals, animal cruelty, an absence of fair trade, imported fabrics/yarns that bring our economy down. Our aim is to make consumers self-conscious about what they're wearing and how it directly affects the world around them," says designer Purvi Doshi.
Now, these sustainably-produced collections are even easier to avail of, thanks to three new stores that have opened in Mumbai and Delhi that exclusively focus on ethical fashion.
Looking to buy eco-friendly fashion? This is where you need to head:
1. Anita Dongre Grassroot in Delhi
Anita Dongre Grassroot is known for its handwoven and handmade creations that use no fur, leather or animal skin products. Her Autumn/Winter '17 collection comprises of fabrics like handspun cotton, handwoven chanderi and a newly-introduced stretch textile that has been created using a handloom. Grassroot's brand philosophy is to revive and sustain old crafts while empowering women artisans in rural villages. Each ensemble is handcrafted and takes hours, sometimes even days to produce. This is Grassroot's first stand-alone store in the capital. Take a look below:
The Chanakya, Delhi
2. Purvi Doshi in Mumbai
Designer Purvi Doshi says her driving force behind creating eco-friendly collections is "the dire need to save resources to sustain our future generations." Purvi uses fabrics like handwoven cotton and ahimsa silk (produced by not killing any silkworms) that are sourced from remote villages and from the northeast regions respectively. Her collections also see intricate hand embroidery of aari and mirror work that is done by artisans based in Gujarat. Expect contemporary styles like gowns and capes as well as traditional wear like saris and kurtas at her first ever store in Mumbai.
Cambridge Court, Peddar Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400026
3. Toile in Mumbai
Toile is the city's first multi-designer store that houses a variety of Indian-based ethical fashion designers under one roof. "The concept behind our store is to support and promote sustainability while giving a platform to designers and artists who believe in the same ideology," say co-founders Farheen Rahman and Priti Jain. "By promoting handloom instead of power loom, we are not only saving the environment but also giving employment to weavers which helps in the upliftment and economic improvement of our country. We upcycle tons of discarded fabrics from the industry which would otherwise just end up in landfills." Doodlage, Soumitra Mondal, Mati, Farheen Rahman, Ek Katha, Naushad Ali, Kaveri, Ka Sha, Crow, Purvi Kabra, Amrich, Adheera are some of the ethical designers you will find at Toile. This is their first store in the country, and soon plan to open one in Kolkata and London.
Ground Floor, Samyakth Bliss Plot Mumbai 52, 764, 5th Rd, Ram Krishna Nagar, Khar West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400052