1. Aslee Zoya Wahi and Nitij Singh launched a sustainable fashion brand in 2019, producing garments from hemp, bamboo and Himalayan nettle.

This endeavour was their step toward finding substitutes for the widely used cotton, which often burdens farming communities due to its burgeoning demand.

While bamboo lends antimicrobial and absorbent qualities to the fabric, hemp’s thermosensitivity makes it a good choice of fabric for trekkers.

2. EcoLine A Tamil Nadu-based father-son duo, K Sankar and Senthil Sankar claim that their brand recycles 15 lakh PET bottles daily to create jackets, blazers, T-shirts, and more.

The brand gained impetus in February 2023 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore the company’s blue sadri jacket to the Parliament, which was a product of 25 PET bottles.

Their sustainability steps do not end at the stage of fabric production. They have eliminated the use of water from the process through the ‘dope dyeing’ technique.

3. Malawa Kela Resa Utpadan Laghu Udyog Kendra Ravi Prasad from Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, found a way to repurpose discarded banana stems from his native town by turning them into fabric.

Ravi earns lakhs per year by making sheets, carpets and hats made from banana fibres. His business also empowers 450 women who work at the processing unit and earn a living.

“The stems are cut and processed in a machine that converts them into sheets. The sheets are further turned into threads and weaved into products — such as slippers, hats, sanitary napkins, grow bags, carpets and other items,” he says.

4. MAYU Animal hide is a popular option to make leather. But in a bid to turn to sustainable accessories, Mayura was inspired to make products from salmon skin instead.

Her brand MAYU, started in 2018, uses discarded fish skin for its handbags, wallets, etc and is constantly experimenting to broaden the scope.

A supplier in Europe processes the fish skin into strips, while artisans from Chennai stitch these strips into panels and create the final product.

5. Canvaloop It takes about 2,700 litres of water to produce one T-shirt, while a pair of jeans requires anywhere between 7,500 to 10,000 litres. Shocking?

Surat-based Shreyans Kokra was appalled too. To counter this, he launched his brand Canvaloop in 2017, which converts pineapple, banana and hemp waste into textile-grade fibre.

The entire process requires only 10 litres of water for a kilo of fibre. “The by-product is biodegradable and the process generates zero waste,” he says.