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Sustainability, Organic, eco-friendly, conscious wardrobe, ethical and minimal lifestyle, Slow Fashion
All these terms have become a regular part of our vocabulary. Due to this paradigm shift that has taken place in the minds of the consumer, brands are also forced to implement these facets in their branding.
This is a game-changing step that is taking place in our industry because there will come a point in the future where there will be no turning back. The damage would be irreversible. This is the case already. So, it is important to start making the necessary changes now. Sustainability is not a concept. It should become a lifestyle to make a positive difference in our ecosystem.
This article will look at 8 homegrown brands that stand for organic cotton. But before that, it is important to address what is organic cotton.
Cotton is a very in-demand fabric throughout the world. Because of this demand, cotton is being grown everywhere without proper sustainable practices, to yield maximum output and profit. The cotton shrub is very prone to insects due to which a very quantity of pesticides are used for the growth of cotton. It is also said that 16% of the world's pesticide production goes into cotton.
Now, this explains why the word “organic” has become a prefix to cotton. Organic cotton is the cultivation of cotton without using synthetic chemicals which will create sustainable and ecological biodiversity. Production of organic cotton has increased worldwide and certifications such as BETTER COTTON INITIATIVE (BCI) and many other parameters have been set to ensure that industries do follow all the necessary norms for the production of organic cotton. We will look at the brands which stand for organic cotton.
Nicobar is an Indian sustainable fashion brand that is inspired by nature. There has always been a talk regarding how sustainable fashion is expensive and people find it difficult to afford. That’s why Nicobar came up with this motto which is, to create products that can last for a long time. They want their customers to have a conscious wardrobe where the impulse to buy reduces and more conscious buying increases.
The core collection of Nicobar is made using Organic cotton. They are made from non-GMO seeds (Non-genetically modified seeds) which don’t affect the skin and are also good for the farmers and ecosystem because they don’t have to use any pesticides.
Adding to the list of sustainable fabrics, they also use Modal, TENCEL, Cupro, and Bamboo fabrics.
Based in Auroville, Upasana was established in the year 1997. The primary philosophy of the brand is “DISCOVERING INDIA THROUGH TEXTILES”. How a person feels when wearing a garment is given prime importance and they are trying to bring conscious clothing as an option to everyone to make the dream of a sustainable future into reality.
Upasana is a very mindful brand that wants to truly create a sustainable future. Their motto of making a garment from the ‘source to a store’ is very important and valuable and it revolves around using sustainable fabric such as organic cotton, which they use extensively, and handloom processes, artisanal techniques such as block printing, natural dyeing of the fabrics, ensures that they are moving into conscious and ethical consumption and production of the garments.
No Nasties brand gives themselves a very appropriate tagline that is “PLANET POSITIVE CLOTHING”. The brand also speaks about saving water, planting trees, and eliminating more CO2 emissions. This brand openly articulates how fashion is the most polluting industry in the world and how they are trying to address that issue.
For more than a decade now, they are producing garments using Organic cotton.
Their main aim is to reduce carbon footprint by using organic cotton, which helps in saving water and less energy consumption. Then to neutralize the remaining carbon footprint they invest in carbon offset projects such as solar and wind energy and reforestation. On top of all that, they also plant 3 trees for every product that customers buy.
This is such an inspiring effort taken by a fashion brand to create more awareness.
Craftmanship is the core of the brand Eleven.Eleven.
There are very interesting Behind The Scenes videos of the brand where they are spinning and dyeing yarns using traditional methods and natural dyes.
Hand spinning, handloom weaving, Indigenous cotton, and natural dyes are all the standard recipe that makes this brand authentically sustainable.
The brand also very eloquently speaks about the connection between clothing and society. They mention how a particular garment when worn, makes us feel interconnected to a particular society and make us feel involved in the group.
11.11 is building a brand image wherein a cloth can be used as a medium to tell a bigger story. To shift the exploitative nature of the industry to regenerate awareness and potential empowerment of the skills and cultural background that we already have as a nation.
The brand Refash describes itself as a brand, which takes in old and discarded products, and upcycles and makes them modern. Their collection is full of upcycled and organic products. Refash is making sure there is less or no wastage at all in the production process of fashion.
Any product that had reached the end of its life cycle can still be transformed into something wonderful and contemporary. They use organic cotton in both their apparel and accessories line making it very versatile and creative in their design approach.
Upcycling and using organic raw materials are the main focus of the brand Refash and they have many influencers promoting their products. This nowadays is a very effective marketing strategy that can reach a large number of people and create the necessary awareness of leading a minimal and sustainable lifestyle.
THE SUMMER HOUSE
The Summer House is a sustainable fashion brand that focuses on traditional handicrafts. They have partnered with many NGOs throughout India and at present, they have 17 craft clusters where artisans are supported and given job opportunities to make sustainable hand-made garments. The fabrics they use are also very forward in terms of their function and sustainability standards.
The Summer House uses fabrics like ECONYL, organic cotton, Regenerated nylon, and ethical TENCEL. The organic cotton that they use is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. They have weavers all around India, where many families work together to make a product.
“We are what we choose” and “We have made a choice to be inclusive, fair, and responsible”
These mottos you don't generally associate with a fashion brand. Now, this is very progressive that brands are thinking along these terms to create a positive impact on our environment.
In Hindi, SUI means Needle. The needle is the one that connects a thread to make fabric. So, Sui is basically connecting nature with fashion. A thoughtful and conscious journey as a brand defines SUI.
For the part of the fabric, they use Handspun, handwoven organic cotton. They also focus on women's empowerment. Partnering up with NGOs and employing women is a very genuine effort not only to help but also to revive the lost crafts. The brand also uses Tencel, hemp, and other recycled fabrics for its collections. The manifestos are very inspiring and inclusive to every life form around us.
The promise that they are making is a positive contribution to the betterment of our planet. Nature, is their first love. Fashion is their second love. Combining and caring for both is their way of sustainable progression.
When we speak to someone and ask them how the fashion industry is doing right now?
The reply from them most probably will be in terms of economy. The general mindset now for most of us is if it's a trillion-dollar industry it must be very good. But when we dig deeper, we see that there are many loopholes. The fashion industry is taking our planet to a place where coming back to normal sustainable ways of living would almost be irreversible.
When you look at the brands we saw in this article, you can clearly see that Fashion brands are taking this extra step of conscious thinking. They are not just another fast fashion brand that wants to produce tonnes of clothes and sell them, or in any case, create huge wastages and dump them in landfills.
The trend now for fashion is sustainability. Green marketing has risen for several brands because they are noticing customers are becoming more aware. While many speculate and say it's just a PR stunt and Greenwashing, it may be true in some cases, but there are genuine homegrown brands that are genuinely taking this important step in the right direction. We also saw how fabrics, in this case, “organic cotton”, play a vital role as it is eco-friendly. This is very inspiring and informative for future entrepreneurs.
Let’s be a part of the solution!
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