Textile industry has gained the pole position of polluting the environment, which is only after oil industry. The recently released report by Yale Environment 360, further testifies the same and states that in the USA alone, people dispose of about 12.8 million tonnes of textiles annually — 80 pounds for each man, woman and child. India is one of the largest textile industries in the world today accounting for nearly 14 per cent of the total industrial production. In rescue to this, not only global brands but also homegrown brands are eyeing to capture the sustainable expanse. Brands such as Anamoly, Doodlage and Khara Kapaas are exploring new and revolutionary techniques and concepts which cater to and are benefiting the cause.
Founded by Medha Khosla, who has 14 years of heavy experience in technical design from New York, Anomaly is a versatile workwear brand, which seamlessly transitions from day to night by offering classic pieces created using natural and sustainable Indian textiles. The brand banks on limited production and wastage, made using only natural textiles with a strong emphasis on quality. It addresses the problem of overstocking by producing less and upcycling any leftover fabric into home textiles, which they sell under a different line. Leftover stock, if any, is donated on a yearly basis. Adopting a Lean production model, the brand operates from a single unit based in Shahpur Jat, which staffs 8 people who oversee everything from concept to finishing.
Taking the ethos forward, the brand plans on venturing into unisex lines that push the boundaries of dressing forward by including a wider gamut of classic pieces that stand the test of time. On the topic of all-inclusive fashion, the brand supports equal representation, and plans to take into consideration petite and plus-size lines in the future.
According to experts, just between India, China and Bangladesh, there are about 1.20 billion sqm of fabric that gets discarded every year. Finding ways to work with these fabrics instead of mass producing fresh ones, will massively contribute towards a more circular economy. Upcycling leftover scraps and recycling post-consumer waste, Doodlage works on the theory of ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. After having gained recognition in womenswear, the brand recently expanded into menswear as well. The brand sources 90 per cent of its fabrics from major exporters, printers and dyers, who are rejecting enormous amount of post-cutting scrapes, defective fabrics, and yarns and then work with those fabrics to create its own collections.
According to the founder, each garment is produced end-to-end by one particular person, so each piece is as distinct as the as the person who is wearing it. The brand now plans to expand in the kidswear and lifestyle products segment to ensure that the message of upcycling finds a permanent room in as many wardrobes as possible.
Shilpi Yadav, founder of Khara Kapaas, was born to an army officer, and has spent a lot of time travelling around the country experiencing different cultures and traditions. This made her a specialist of local crafts and locally sourced materials. Using natural dyes, azo-free block printing processes and blends, the brand enjoys a faithful clientele both in India and abroad. Tapping on the demand for her work, she identified the gap in the market for sustainable pregnancy and maternity ranges and fill it in. After experimenting with three different lines, the designer is looking into expanding in the bags and shoes categories.