Green Fashion Ninjas
BlackBook — India's Luxury Insider|February 2019

These enterprising fashion designers are changing the way fashion is created. It’s not just about glitz, glamour and oomph, but also about green, conscious and responsible

Kanika Sharma

The global luxury fashion market, the second-largest source of pollution on Earth, is consciously trying to become environment-friendly. In India, as a leap towards sustainable fashion, Fashion for Earth initiative, Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) and the United Nations (UN) jointly organised the Circular Design Challenge in November 2018, inviting fashion and product designers to design sustainable fashion collections.

Eight participants that scored the highest on circularity, sustainability, aesthetics and scalability, were shortlisted from 900 applications. The finalists from New Delhi, Ludhiana, Mumbai and Jaipur, are threading eco-conscious fabrics, unearthing forgotten ways of making clothes, and upcycling discarded apparel into modish clothing.

Altering designs for multiple looks

Seerat Virdi, Miesu, Ludhiana

The 27-year-old Ludhiana designer Seerat Virdi creates modern contemporary fashion with an accent on traditional embroideries. By upcycling waste cotton, organic silks, and polyester, her aim is to create smart fashion under her label Miesu. Virdi designs zero-waste pattern cuts, upcycles cotton and discarded threads, and uses organic materials such as hemp, organic cotton and recycled cotton.

In her book, more than 80 per cent of any garment waste can be eliminated at the design stage. “As long as my cutting room floor is clean, I know I’ve done a good job. There are no excess trims or fabrics. Every inch of the fabric is utilised.”

The best part is that parts of her designs can be changed to alter the overall look, providing her clients with different ways of wearing the designs. For instance, the sleeves of the top can be disassembled and the tussles can be either attached or taken offfrom the skirt.

Uses recycled PET bottle yarn

Aman Singh, Bareek, New Delhi

New Delhi-based Aman Singh, 28, designs khadi and handloom shirts under the brand name Bareek. The label uses natural dyes, GOTS certified organic cotton and a yarn made from recycled PET bottles. The third collection was showcased at the Circular Design Challenge.

“We are revivalists of loom towns across India, of breathability and comfort, of unstinting quality and heritage patterns. Our patrons count on us for classics, made like they used to be. We are working towards Weaving 2.0, a world which goes beyond the confines of handlooms and focuses on a new wave of textile production that increasingly leans towards sustainability,” says Aman.

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