The ELLE Green List: 20 Eco-Conscious Fashion & Lifestyle Brands To Bookmark On Earth Day
From Fashion to Lifestyle we've covered it all!
This year’s theme for Earth Day is ‘Restore Our Earth’, and rightly so. The rate at which its resources are being depleted, the time to do something was YESTERDAY! The term sustainability is overused and abused like a trend, but only a few brands and individuals have approached it in a holistic way.
The one’s that have gotten the memo right are going above and beyond to create products that are not just green on paper but are carved out of meaningful stories. Small business owners are not just mindful of the environment but are taking active steps towards preserving it. Whether it’s in fashion or lifestyle, commodities are being regenerated out of waste and other discarded materials that end up in landfills. They are conserving energy, avoiding wastage, utilising at a minimal rate and reviving dying handcrafts by employing regional craft clusters. These homegrown labels build communities, provide livelihood, and make ethical fair-trade the only transparent business module to follow.
In honour of the 51st Earth Day celebrations, here are 20 homegrown ELLE-recommended labels that are pushing the boundaries
1. SAND By Shirin
The creative brainchild of Shirin Mann, SAND is a conscious luxury label that offers fluid fits at an affordable rate. Their USP is their fabric made out of aloe vera, eucalyptus, rose, soybean protein and banana, along with organic linens, cotton and luxe jerseys.
Founded by Rupanshi Agarwal, Qua’s sustainability module is all about taking the small essential steps. To reduce textile waste, the premium workwear label has downsized manufacturing by only making clothes in small batches instead of stocking up the warehouses. Their silhouettes come in biodegradable and breathable fabrics like Turkish cotton, viscose, linen, and wool blends. Even their packaging is eco-friendly as it comes in 100 per cent recyclable cardboard.
3. Studio Verandah
Studio Verandah is amongst the first few labels to have launched a sustainable swimwear line. Made out of econyl, a fabric made out of repurposed ocean waste, it is created in a mindfully run factory. The brand also actively works with non-profit animal reserves and promotes these organisations through their collection.
4. RaasLeela Textiles
RaasLeela Textiles believes in adapting sustainability as a lifestyle. They repair, conserve and consume less while following eco-friendly practices. Their silhouettes are 100% hand-stitched. Every garment is handsewn using an age-old technique from Gujarat. The label uses Kora (raw) cotton fabric in its authentic form, which is process free, bleach-free and dye-free. An all-women team makes the one-of-a-kind ensembles.
Rina Singh’s Eká is rooted in India’s indigenous regional craft belts. The fabric and craft used for its silhouettes are developed pan India. For instance, the cotton, linen and wool, and the special techniques of jamdani and tangail are from West Bengal. Block making, printing and indigo dyeing is procured from Gujrat. The label houses hundreds of weavers, spinners and dyers from craft clusters across India, creating a unified community of artisans.
Paaduks incorporates discarded rubber from old tyres, conveyor belts, and rubber mats that are upcycled to create soles for their footwear sans any chemical processes. The contemporary label uses ethically sourced raw materials like jute and cotton to make sustainable yet stylish shoes.
PAIO by Shweta Nimkar is a PETA-approved vegan brand. With a strict no-leather policy since its inception, they use materials like faux leather and silk, hemp, cotton and jute, while continuously experimenting with newer fabric. The cruelty-free brand manages to stay environmental-friendly without compromising on its designs.
8. A Big Indian Story
A Big Indian Story is a cruelty-free brand that merges traditional handcrafts like Kalamkari with materials vegan poly-urethane leather to create fusion footwear (and other accessories). They also infuse interesting components like cactus leather and canvas to create their shoes. The label collaborates with folk artists, karigars and cooperative societies from different parts of the country to develop products with natural fabrics, vegetable dyes and animal-friendly material. In return, they offer them fair trade and support their craft.
9. Real State Sustainable Jewellery
Following the slow-fashion ethos, label Real State innovates jewellery made out of waste marble. Each of their pieces come with its own special imperfections, which they proudly embrace. All products come in a handmade upcycled fabric pouch, scoring extra brownie points on the packaging.
10. Studio Love Letter
Studio Love Letter is a woman-owned brand catering to Gen-Z/millenial consumers who prefer eccentric and quirky jewellery. The trinket brand makes beaded jewellery out of recycled plastic. They also create necklaces and bracelets, which are handmade in silver and freshwater pearls. Each of their ornament is made out of recycled gold and responsibly sourced stones.
Raff is an ethical accessory label started by Rashi Agarwal. Their bags are structured, minimal-chic and are made out of durable, handpicked and chemical-free leather. They hire local women in South India through fair-wage employment for their production. Handcrafted paper and natural cotton are used for packaging, subtracting the use of plastic.
12. Chamar Studio
Chamar Studio represents talented craftspeople who belong to the Dalit community. The label hopes to get the crafts heritage of this community acknowledged. Cobblers, leather artisans, weavers, stitchers, young creatives and sales associates are brought together to work with durable recycled material to create eco-conscious vegan products. The bags are cruelty-free, long-lasting, waterproof, transeasonal and gender-neutral.
Kaiyaré utilises banana tree barks that are generally thrown away. They are upcycled, hand-twisted, knotted and then crocheted into vintage-looking bags and baskets. This brand employs women artisans from villages around Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh to make them financially more independent.
Malai’s products are made from entirely organic and sustainable bacterial cellulose grown on agricultural waste sourced from the coconut industry in Southern India. It is wholly vegan and cruelty-free. Malai is applauded for its intelligent use of not just coconut but coconut water that is thrown away when in surplus.
15. Mix Mitti
Mix Mitti is a lifestyle accessory brand that dedicatedly works towards animal conservation and welfare. Their products are vegan and PETA-approved, handcrafted by skilled rural artisans. The cruelty-free accessories have wildlife imagery hand-painted on the products to promote awareness about the same.
16. Mishcat Co
Mishcat Co designs carpets are created with leftover sari yarn. They upcycle it by repurposing it into intricately woven carpets. The handcrafted carpets are made in collaboration with artisans in small villages in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Differniture uses wood from shipping crates, old floorboards, and salvaged fallen trees. They cut down wastage by sculpting layered designs that utilise all the material or work with scrap to create new pieces. They use natural polishes, oils, and waxes that have a low impact on the environment and enhances the wood grain. Their designs are inspired by nature, landscapes and waterfalls, which adds a sense of movement and fluidity to their sculptural appeal.
18. The Retyrement Plan
The Retyrement Plan makes handwoven furniture, and it’s upcycled too. The furniture is made from the unlikeliest of materials which include used tyres and industrial discards. They also hire migrant workers and weavers and give them employment through this venture. Everything from little stools, loungers, larger seating tools, charpais and even chair swings are handmade.
19. Sylvn Studio
Sylvn Studio manufactures eco-friendly, handcrafted lamps and furniture. The products are made from imported corrugated cardboard (used to making shipping boxes), burlap and other recycled materials. They employ rural women residing on the outskirts of Mumbai to generate employment and make them financially independent.
20. Brown Living
Brown Living has a strict plastic-free shipping policy. They ship everything in an upcycled or post-consumer box with paper wrapping and a water-activated paper tape made with paper and plant-based starch glue.