If you’re choosing sustainability as a way of life, why not implement it in your clothing and fashion choices as well?
While fast fashion is all the rage these days, its detrimental effects are largely overlooked — not only is it a massively polluting industry, but it is also infamous for exploitative working conditions and a negative impact on land and marine life.
So if you want to make conscious choices and pay closer attention to how your clothes are made, here’s a list of 10 Indian clothing brands that are sustainable and ethical.
This unique eco-fashion brand was founded by Kriti Tula in 2012, and offers comfortable garments for men, women and kids with a high-style quotient.
The brand is known for making sustainable and ethical garments by upcycling left-over and discarded fabrics from large manufacturers. They also use other organic materials and natural fibres like cotton, corn, banana fibres etc.
Doodlage believes in zero waste and hence tries to minimise production waste. Whatever is left is reused to make bags and home furnishings. The brand also focuses on sustainable business practices at each stage of the fashion supply chain, from procurement of raw materials to the disposal of clothes by the consumers.
2. No Nasties
Founded by Apurva Kothari in Goa, No Nasties is an eco-friendly brand that makes fashionable as well as durable clothing. Their garments are made with 100 per cent organic material and come in mostly neutral shades with minimalist, nature-inspired prints and fresh silhouettes.
No Nasties claims to use only organic cotton sourced from farmers in fair trade. In fact, their entire supply chain is certified fair trade.
There are also no harmful chemicals or pesticides involved in the production of the cotton, and no genetically engineered seeds are used.
An Auroville-based clothing line, Upasana believes in creating conscious and sustainable garments.
This brand creates projects around real-world issues and causes to aid people most affected by them. They work with several artisan families from Madurai and Varanasi, and use only organic material for all steps — from manufacturing to packaging.
Their project Tsunamika was launched with an aim to provide livelihood to fisherwomen affected by the 2004 tsunami.
Noted for their exquisite range of cotton sarees, in varieties of jamdani weave, mulmul, malkesh, banarasi and so on, Suta is a clothing brand with a cause.
Founded by sisters Sujatha and Taniya Biswas in 2016, the brand aims to uplift the weaver and artisan communities by helping them thrive through their traditional crafts.
Suta mainly sells sarees and blouses, made out of eco-friendly fabrics like cotton and silk. Their packaging also involves cloth bags or reusing plastic packaging.
5. Maati by Neha Kabra
Founded by Neha Kabre, Maati is a sustainable clothing line based out of Udaipur in Rajasthan.
It is known for making eco-friendly, skin-friendly, and size-inclusive garments by following a zero-waste policy. Other than using natural raw materials, Maati also upcycles yarn and works with local craftsmen from different parts of the country.
This PETA-verified brand is plastic free even in its packaging.
Delhi-based sustainable clothing brand Dressfolk makes traditional Indian crafts and textiles in contemporary silhouettes. With a wide range of garments including both traditional clothing such as sarees as well as western casuals, the fabrics used by the brand are either handwoven, or are certified organic fabrics like Jamdani, Chanderi Silk, Mulmul, linens, organic cottons and bamboo.
They work with over 250 weavers and 40 artisans across six states by paying them fair prices, thereby providing them a better livelihood.
Set up by the Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD), Okhai is a rural women collective to empower the artisans of rural India. Though the brand came into existence in 2002, it was registered as a trust in 2008 — the Okhai Centre for Empowerment — with artisans as members.
At Okhai, rural artisans make handcrafted apparel and lifestyle products using traditional skills to craft designs that are unique to their culture and heritage. The brand offers contemporary designs through handlooms and eco-friendly materials.
Besides providing a better livelihood to rural artisans, the brand also spreads awareness about the traditional crafts of the region.
8. The Indian Ethnic Co
The Mumbai-based clothing brand, The Indian Ethnic Co was launched in 2016 by Hetal Desai and her daughters Lekhinee and Twaraa Desai. Started as a small Instagram business, it has now established itself as an ethnic brand that celebrates Indian weavers and artisans across the country.
They help hundreds of artisans and craftspeople across the country earn a good livelihood. They also promote sustainable fashion through their ethnic wear.
A sustainable fashion brand founded by husband & wife duo Mani Chinnaswamy and Vijayalakshmi Nachiar in 2009, Ethicus focuses on empowering cotton farmers and traditional artisans.
The sustainable fashion brand offers ethnic sarees enhanced by hand block printing, hand screen printing, hand painting, or hand embroidery using traditional Indian crafts & skills.
Each Ethicus product carries a tag with the name and picture of the weaver who made it, along with the number of days they took to finish the final product.
10. Eco Tasar
Launched by Khitish Pandya in 2007, Eco Tasar is a social enterprise that produces handmade artisanal textiles using natural fibers like Tasar silk, linen, cotton and wool. Their products are styled exquisitely and elegantly, and above all, are sustainable, involving almost zero carbon footprint production.
They create livelihoods for tribal producers of silk cocoons, women yarn makers, weavers, and artisans by following a sustainable and fair business model.
(Edited by Divya Sethu)
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