The sustainable fashion movement is inching its way into the masses’ consciousness and lives.
People say fashion is all about comfort, but without a touch of glitter and a sprinkle of glamour, it’s hard to make heads turn. Unfortunately, in our eagerness to stay fashionably forward, we indulge in actions that cause serious setbacks to the environment.
But good sense has started to prevail for organic fashion is now becoming a talked-about fashion movement. One might argue that the roots of the movement exist in Mahatma Gandhi’s Khadi movement, which started in 1920, but a much larger environmentally conscious fashion movement is currently underway. Big brands and designers are eager to produce garments that are eco-friendly and long lasting, thereby introducing the idea of sustainability to the fashion industry.
The sustainable fashion movement focuses on producing garments using organic materials, like cotton, jute and wool. If made from plants, then the soil should contain no fertilizers or chemicals. In a nutshell, garments made from yarns that are grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards. Not only this, but the intention is also to create garments that last, so that the amount of waste generated can be reduced.
Elaborating on the growing interest in the trend, Archana Manchala, founder of the brand Archana & Puneeth, says, “In the present scenario, there are a large number of consumers who are conscious about their health, lifestyle and the environment. So, the demand for organic clothing is rising.” On the other hand, Jessie Sandhu, creative director and partner of the brand The Grey Heron, feels that the trend has a long way to go in India. She says, “In India, people are still not aware of organic clothing, but it is catching up. It is not a trend. It is a moral decision of being one with the environment and consciously making the right clothing choices.”
Designers also believe that the reach of organic clothing is restricted to the affluent in society. “Mass consciousness about organic clothing is still to develop,” asserts designer Nangalia Ruchira, founder of the Jaipur-based brand Nangalia Ruchira.
As far as the designs and look of organic clothes are concerned, one might wrongly think that they aren’t very fashionable. But that’s surely not the case. For, as Archana says, “We create interesting silhouettes that are also long-lasting. These timeless pieces allow you to create and discover your own style.” Jessie says that her brand experiments with colours and fabrics to infuse novelty in designs. “For us, aesthetics and the colour palette play an important role. We use fabrics like linen, cotton and hemp,” says the designer. Nangalia’s brand makes not only casual wear but attire fit for weddings as well. Gold and silk thread embellishments are added to jazz up garments while printing is done by hand using wooden blocks and vegetable dyes.
Since a considerable amount of work goes into manufacturing organic garments, they tend to be more expensive than regular clothing options. The price for a single garment can range from Rs 3,000 to well over Rs 50,000. Yet, designers are not shying away from creating organic apparel. “Designers and manufacturers have realised that consumers want clothes which not only look good but also have a positive impact on the environment. Eco-friendly, sustainable, organic clothing is the clothing of the future,” says Jessie. Designer Archana adds, “Eventually, people will come around to using organic clothing in their day-to-day lives, which will make this a lasting trend.” Nangalia agrees and says, “Consciousness about sustainable clothing is growing among every class, and organic clothes are becoming available at affordable prices. So the future seems bright.”