From Delhi witnessing a massive drop in pollution levels to dolphins reappearing in the canals of Venice, there are a number of signs to substantiate that our planet is currently taking the time to heal. And now that Earth Day is right around the corner, we have been blessed with an opportune time to invest in and expedite this healing process for the planet we call home.
Now, there are a number of ways to make a positive difference to the environment and our planet, but one of the most feasible strategies involve a simple shift in our fashion choices. By doing something as basic as stopping for a minute to consider how ethical or eco-friendly our preferred brands are, can go a long way in reducing some of the negative impact of mass production on our planet. Now, it's important to remember that all textile production has some detrimental effect on the environment, but there are certain sustainable fashion brands that strive towards minimising this damage.
But before we get into a discussion on the top sustainable brands, or the larger sustainable fashion industry, or even the underlying principle of slow fashion, we need to gain an understanding of what the alternative is, and why there's a need for a change at all. In other words, we need to understand the meaning of fast fashion, and it's impact on the environment.
So, What Is Fast Fashion?
The concept of fast fashion is pretty basic to understand, considering it's what most of us tend to prefer while shopping. Fast Fashion is the term used to describe inexpensive designs and outfit ideas that are in line with the current trends, and were quick to go from being showcased on the runway to being displaced on a store. It refers to clothes that were manufactured in a jiffy based on the latest fad or design and sold at extremely budget-friendly prices. Think brands like Forever 21, Zara and the Instagram famous Fashion Nova. Now while the prospect of fast fashion seems quite attractive in theory what with it being both trendy and affordable, what it leads to is a wardrobe you'd have no problems discarding after a few uses. Which brings us to the impact of Fast Fashion on the health of our planet.
Fast Fashion leads to the production of quick inexpensive clothing, that most people want to replace after a few uses with the next new trend. So naturally, it calls for a greater volume of garments to be mass-produced, and hence a greater negative impact on the planet. Furthermore, fast fashion brands tend to rely on transforming runway trends into affordable clothing by outsourcing production from countries with cheap labour, where the only two options for factory workers consist of either losing their contract or keeping up with the speed of manufacturing demanded by the brands. Lastly, fast fashion also tends to be riddled with issues related to the exploitation of the rights of workers and substandard working conditions for factory labourers.
What's The Alternative
Like we mentioned earlier, a simple way to make a difference is to evaluate our current preferred brands in relation to the points mentioned above. It's time to replace our urge to get the most trending pieces in our wardrobe ASAP, with meaningful, responsible and ethical fashion choices. We need to support brands that genuinely put an effort into being eco-friendly, and promoting sustainable fashion, when we are shopping for new apparel. A conscious effort to brace slow and sustainable fashion will not only leave you with higher-quality garments that last a long while but also reduce some of the havoc created by the textile industry on our planet and environment. And on that note, we have listed for you -
Top 10 Sustainable Fashion Brands In India
1. Fab India
FabIndia prides itself on being one of the leading sustainable fashion brands in India. And now they've further reiterated their focus on enhancing the relevance of traditional Indian crafts and skills, with their recent change of tagline from Celebrating India to Serving India. Through its efforts, FabIndia as a brand aims to empower the rural weavers and traditional artisans of the country, rekindle interest in traditional Indian textiles and designs, as well as make the notion of home-grown relevant in everyday fashion.
2. The Jodi Life
The Jodi Life is a common feature on a number of lists talking about the best sustainable fashion brands in India, that in addition to being good for the environment, are also immensely trendy. With their focused use of 100% natural Indian textiles, coupled with the traditional art of Indian hand-block printing, The Jodi Life has become a unanimous home-grown favourite for lovers of environmentally conscious brands in India.
The objective of promoting environmentally conscious fabrics in everyday wear, is what one of India's best sustainable fashion labels, Khadi Cult, is based on. The handspun fabric of Khadi happens to be one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics, and this brand adds quirky patterns and refreshing designs to the heritage fabric, to augment its appeal to the younger generation of fashion enthusiasts.
With a persistent focus on honouring Indian textile crafts and tradition, along with popularizing the use of organic cotton, the sustainable fashion brand of Pero aims to create garments that are handmade with love. This environmentally conscious brand is known for its careful attention to details and intricate embroidery patterns, that accurately convey the richness of Indian craftsmanship and traditional handlooms.
5. Chola The Label
Chola The Label's simple silhouettes, and easy to wear cuts support the sustainable fashion brand's efforts to reduce environmental damage as a consequence of garment manufacturing. They do so, by making all their apparel purely out of post-consumer waste fabrics and recycled cotton. Their fashion range is affordable and comfortable, in addition to also making a substantial contribution to the sustainable fashion movement in India.
Image Courtesy - Habba
This Jaipur based sustainable fashion label is known for its vibrant hand block printed ethnic clothes that come with beautiful designs and the touch of Indian tradition. Anokhi as a brand has devoted over 40 years to the production of eco-friendly textiles that support traditional Indian artisan techniques like hand printing.
7. No Nasties
No Nasties' brand philosophy is a simple one, they intend on making products that make a positive difference to the world. This brand boasts of a number of environment and eco-friendly methods, including the use of organic cotton, fair trade practices that provide farmers with a sustainable source of income, 100% vegan production and manufacturing of products, coupled with their dedication to zero plastic packaging.
From creating employment opportunities for India's rural artisans to helping underprivileged women build their skills and confidence by getting involved in the industry, Okhai as a brand has conceptualised multiple ways of giving back to the society, and the country at large. With the help of self-help groups, Okhai has managed to train and empower a significant number of rural women through their persistent efforts to bring Indian traditional handcraft techniques back into contemporary focus.
This contemporary lifestyle brand has been making the rounds for both its high-quality products and persistent focus on sustainability. Nicobar derives inspiration from our country's rich natural beauty and aims to make a difference by emphasising on the use of recycled materials, and organic fibres to reduce water and energy consumption, along with any negative impact on the environment. Nicobar's efforts are focused on bringing a sense of mindfulness and responsibility into our fashion choices.
Doodlage is a quirky and highly ethical fashion label that is wholly devoted to the mission of zero waste. By using scrap textiles and materials and incorporating ethical design and production, Doodlage has been reiterating the age-old Indian traditions of altering and fixing existing items with patchwork like details as opposed to the fast-fashion ideology of replacing your garments every 2nd week.
The latest fashion trend doesn't involve a hot new colour, or a quirky silhouette. Instead, it involves merging style, with responsibility, sustainability and conscientiousness.