Globally local: Sustainable fashion labels from Tamil NaduApr 25, 2019
The fashion industry is a billion dollar industry. Clothes have evolved from being basic necessities to luxury items today. India has a long-standing history of being the textile hub of the world and hence it is natural for our country to be a major player when it comes to fashion and textiles in the present day. However, today the fashion industry is known world-over to be a major reason for the pollution of our natural resources. The various phases of textile production and manufacturing pollute air, water and land. They also add to disposal issues after use.
While different parts of the world are dealing with this in different ways, in India, we already have a traditional way to deal with this. Most of our traditional weaves have been eco-friendly and sustainable. With this in mind, many brands are using these traditional techniques and local weavers to create fashionable clothes that are sustainable as well. Among all the states, Tamil Nadu is one that has a rich weaving tradition and has seen many sustainable brands in the last two or three decades.
Let us take a look at some such brands that are making waves in the area of sustainable fashion.
Varnuyathe is the brain-child of a Chennai-based designer. This brand mainly stands for natural fabric, hand-printed designs and hand-embroidered work. On the whole, the clothes from this brand are based on a very sustainable process of making. It is interesting to note that the fabrics for their clothes are even made of aloe-vera, pineapple, banana and gongura fibres! They have a wide range of clothes manly for women and children. They even have a line of kurthas and shirts for men.
Upasana – The Conscious Fashion Hub is a brand that focuses on natural fabrics, community-centric designs and responsible fashion. They put the focus on the people who make the clothes. They also provide a platform for discussions on various community issues relating to farmers, plastic pollution, fair trade, etc. Located in Auroville, the collection from this brand is earthy, fashionable and beautiful.
The Blossoms Organic Clothing Company was established in 2014 in the South of Tamil Nadu. This brand offers woven and knit clothing for kids, infants, men and women. They boast of state-of-the-art technology, innovative solutions and great apparel. Their products are made of organic fibres and are offered after thorough quality inspections and are known for their great quality. Amidst commercial clothing lines, this brand offers exclusively organic clothes at apt prices and with attractive designs.
Rooted in traditional Indian weaves, Ethicus is a brand that makes sarees and stoles in organic cotton. The brand is based out of Pollachi and was established in 2009 to revive our country’s rich weaving and textile traditions. The sarees and stoles are canvases for Ajrakh, Bandhani, Gond and many such traditional designs while also having a very modern sensibility that will entice the women of today. The brand also closely connects the end-user and the weaver by providing details of the workmanship and the efforts of weavers behind each saree.
Jullaha is a brand that supports the traditional crafts and weaves of India while empowering craftsmen, specifically under-privileged women. They have a range of sarees and personal care products that are handcrafted and made using traditional processes. Jullaha is a platform for artisans practicing various art forms to find their market through rich designs.
Thuvam is a unique brand that is based out of a small village called Puliyanoor in Tamil Nadu. This brand offers unbleached, fully cotton underwear for women that is made by the talented women of the village. The underwear is known for its comfort and convenience over synthetic panties that irritate the skin and also cause environmental pollution. The all-cotton Thuvam panty is quite a hit with women in the state.