Péro’s Aneeth Arora has found a sustainable way to revamp your wardrobe
Old is gold
Fashion designer Aneeth Arora is a DIY ninja and ecological warrior rolled into one. A pioneer of garment upcycling in India, she stumbled upon the craft while trying to preserve her worn-out Ralph Lauren denim jacket about eight years ago. “I loved the way it began looking over time. I started adding little bits to it, almost like memories. A badge I found on one of my travels, a trim I discovered in a village in India, and floral embroidery by different craftsmenI would interact with for work,”
Having realised that many of us have old pieces in our wardrobe that we still love and are emotionally attached to, Arora launched ‘Upcycled by péro’, a sub-brand to help people reinvent these items. After the launch of the line, she was inundated with requests to revamp people’s garments. But she was very clear that she only wanted to take up projects that she could connect with emotionally, as she is personally involved in the making of every piece. “I am unable to quote a price or completion time while taking on an assignment like that, because I don’t know what I will end up doing with it,” she says.
S/S 2017 collaboration with adidas Originals
Upcycling of a trench coat for F/W 2018-19
Arora makes it a point to include upcycled pieces in all of péro’s collections. These garments find their way to her studio from all over the world, before getting a stamp in the form of brand’s signature vivid-hued embroidery, pom poms, tassels or crochet buttons. “They’rev all primary pieces for us, and get the same kind of attention as any other piece from the season,” she says.
Her Fall/Winter 2015-16 collection featured discarded military jackets, upcycled with patchwork and medallions, and wool hats, which she had procured from a brand in Italy and later embroidered with signs for peace and love, in keeping with the theme of the collection. In fact, Arora’s favourite silhouette to upcycle seems to be the jacket, as seen in her Spring/ Summer 2013 range; with huge, hand-embroidered poppy flowers in F/W 2016-17; and most recently, on floral trench coats in F/W
2018-19. “A clothing company in New York was shutting down. So, we took its entire stock of trench coats in order to reinvent them in our own way, and that is what you will see in the upcoming collection as well,” she says.
Arora also gave her own spin to Nike sneakers for her S/S 2015 line, and collaborated with adidas Originals for the S/S 2017 collection, to create limited-edition pieces.
The designer wants people to look at upcycling as something they can do at home. “It’s a key philosophy in slow fashion, and prevents temptation to buy new pieces when you know you can repurpose the old ones,” she says.