4 Indian Eco-friendly Brands that will Up your Fashion Game

Dispatches from Lakme Fashion Week 2020

Marcellus Baptista

The year 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of one of India’s biggest fashion extravaganza, Lakme Fashion Week. Over the two decades, the week-long event has given a platform to pioneers in the fashion space. A lot of them found their footing in the Sustainable Fashion Day.


Sustainable Fashion Day started out as Indian Textile Day in 2009, in an effort to showcase and sustain India’s extensive handloom and textile industry. But with fickle and ever-changing fashion trends and a world on the brink of an environmental collapse, focusing on sustainability became a need of the hour. Brands such as Anavila, Raw Mango, Runway Bicycle and more have become a common name after their show case at LFW.


In 2019, Ministry of Textile Government of India, in a step to acknowledge LFW’s pioneering work in sustainable fashion, launched Project SU.RE. The project SU.RE stands for ‘Sustainable Resolution’ and warrants a commitment from the industry to move towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment. A total of 16 of the biggest brands in India come together to save the earth. The combined industry value of the 16 signatories to the resolution is around 30,000 crore rupees.


Sustainable Fashion Day at Lakmé Fashion Week has always been a much-awaited day of the five-day fashion feast. The Summer/Resort 2020 edition at Mumbai’s JioWorld Garden saw a stylish sustainable story, featuring designers and brands that care for the environment and Mother Earth.

Ritu Kumar


The finale of Sustainable Fashion Day saw veteran designer and textile expert Ritu Kumar unveil her environmentally friendly collection called Nature’s Origami in collaboration with Austrian fibre brand Lenzing Ecovero known for its highest sustainability standards globally. Actor Aditi Rao Hyadri was the shining showstopper in a hand-embroidered silk organza asymmetric hem black and indigo dress, inspired by appliqué work of Orissa. 


Kumar’s show-stopping piece was an amalgamation of sustainable fabrics in vibrant and offbeat hues and incorporation of vintage prints into modern silhouettes that gave the ensemble an organic look. Lenzing Ecovero’s sustainable fabrics formed the base of Ritu Kumar’s collection and complemented the aesthetics through the amazing drape, lustre, colour vibrancy, exquisite softness and overall visual appeal.

Eka

Eka by designer Rina Singh presented an unconventional take on textiles from Telangana in collaboration with the Telangana State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society Ltd (TSCO). Stirred by the modern spirit of author Louisa May Alcott’s character Jo March from the 19th century classic The Little Women, Eka’s collection explored different paths to a woman’s self-actualisation with a romantic aesthetic.

TSCO’s main motto is to uplift the handloom sector by providing continuous employment and market access to handloom weavers. The state government extends support to TSCO by directing all its departments’ requirement to TSCO only. TSCO also provides requisite training including development of new designs, to the weavers to revive the languishing handloom weaves such as Gollabhama saris, Pitambari saris, Armoor saris and Himroo fabric. Additionally, with the introduction of 20 Buniyaad Reeling Machines, given out by the Ministry of Textiles, to the Telegana cluster, an increase in productivity, as well as quality, is expected.

Shades of India


The Crafted in Crochet show by Mandeep Nagi for her Shades of India label offered a fresh approach to crochet with her collection called ‘A Summer Poem.’ The show opened with pairs of craftswomen sitting on raised platforms, while long panels of organza with 3D embellishments hung from the ceiling and lined the ramp. Models looked resplendent in crochet lace. The beautiful intricate crochet was crafted in Saharanpur and woven with shimmering Zari threads and the glitter of Mukaish, which are dual crafts of Lucknow. The hard work put in by 200 craftswomen of Saharanpur in Utter Pradesh, who created 5000 metres of crochet lace and 50,000 crochet flowers in Nagi’s chosen colour palette.

House of Three


The House of Three that stands for mind, body and soul, has followed a philosophy of western fashion with an Indian soul. The brand is the brainchild of Sunak Sen Barat and Anu Shyamsunder, both graduates of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi. Their vision was to present a marriage of contrasts to the contemporary Indian, and their collection called ‘Kumarikandam’ brought this alive.

The designer duo brought on the ramp the glorious textiles from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu to display the expert weaves of three master weavers—Rajib Debnath from West Bengal, Satya from Kanchipur and Santaanam from Kumbakoram, Tamil Nadu.

Debnath’s label Tantajo, which supports the livelihood of 450 families of master weavers, dyers and spinners, is known for his superfine Jamdaani muslin, used by the House of Three in 100 to 300 counts and reinvented with indigo and yarn dyes. The muslin came in printed Khadi versions, some with Jamdaani, jacquard weaves and check patterns.

R|Elan


A mention must be made of R|Elan despite not being part of the Sustainability Fashion Day. The fashion brand teamed with designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi to create the elegant ‘ArtFluence’ collection. The highlight of the collection was sustainability, performance enhancement and versatility of the fabric. 

‘ArtFluence’ collection attracted performance and sustainable fashion enthusiasts as it provided further impetus to the ‘green fashion’ movement. Infused in the designs was new-age functionality and technology such as GreenGold, Kooltex, FeelFresh, SuperFeel and FreeFlow within its innovative fabric range to meet the growing demand for modern consumers, promising comfort with an aesthetic fashion statement. The various technologies that power the fabric impart several attributes such as moisture management, odour-free and thermal insulation while ensuring that they contribute something back to Mother Earth.

Images: Courtesy Lakme Fashion Week




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