Sustainable Fashion Day

Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2020

by Meher Castelino

Sustainable fashion is the only kind of fashion that will soon prevail. However, as yet it remains a mere ‘buzzword’.  The recently held Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2020 in Mumbai dedicated a token one day to Sustainable Fashion Day when designers unveiled their versions of clothing that was mostly made using handloom weaves and natural dyes. A large discussion on ‘sustainable’ fashion is yet to dominate the creativity. Here are a few designers who showed their lines.

MEDIUM by Riddhi Jain

Riddhi Jain an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad who is an award-winning textile designer, started her label ‘Medium’ that offers apparel and home textiles with minimum waste but maximum creativity. Riddhi’s clothes are known for a combination of hand woven and resist dyeing techniques that are done in natural and Azo free dyes. Her collection primarily of saris was quaintly called “Out of the Blue Red Yellow” which was revisited and redefined from her earlier garment collection “Out of The Blue”. Synchronised with the dots was Shibori threads.

Sadhna Women’s Handicrafts Enterprise


Fifty trained artisan groups have been part of Sadhna for over 20 years and the 700 women involved make a sustainable living. The RAAB collection showcased the work of the highly skilled women who are experts in appliqué work hand embroidery, cutting and tailoring. The garments featured five different cotton fabrics along with Khadi. Simple geometrics like dots, dashes and lines were highlighted as embellishments and appliqués with zero-waste policy.

Ritu Kumar X Ecovero

Padma Shri Ritu Kumar, India’s most respected designer unveiled her environmental friendly collection “Nature’s Origami” with Austrian fibre brand LENZING™ ECOVERO™. For Ritu Kumar Sustainable Living is one of the core values that are the aim to provide trend-setting styles made of sustainable viscose fiber; which is a shift to responsible fashion.

Eka And Telangana State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society Ltd.

The Eka label by designer Rina Singh brought colourful, feminine, rebellious fashion in collaboration with the Telangana State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society Ltd (TSCO). Eka worked with weavers in Telangana under project Reweave. Reweave is Microsoft’s philanthropic initiative for reviving handloom ecosystems through providing digital skills, design interventions and market access. Weavers are able to create new designs through training in CAD and get access to newer markets. There were hand painted Chanderis, appliqués, Aari with dori work and hand painted florals on wool.

House Of 3 X Tantajo

West Bengal and Tamilnadu were presented by Rajib Debnath for the former and the master weavers of Kanchipur and Kumbakoram for the latter. In West Bengal the Tantajo label by Rajib Debnath offers livelihood to 450 families of weavers, spinners and dyers creating fabulous jamdaani muslin woven at times in checks. The Kanjivaram from Tamilnadu had a modern twist with geometrics, temple borders and embroidery.

Ashdeen Lilaowala

The name Ashdeen Lilaowala is renowned as a textile designer who creates beautiful paintings with a thread and needle. A Master at presenting the ParsiGara embroidery in all its colourful and creative glory, Ashdeen’s collection “Memories on Cloth” was not only an exquisite vision of embroidered beauty but excellent craftsmanship amalgamated with contemporary style. With 150 craftsmen Ashdeen’s studio in New Delhi is the hub for the gorgeous embroidery that he is known for. Ashdeen added another traditional embellishment, which is lace that was popular, as an edging for the sacred undergarment the ‘sudreh’ worn by the Parsis. The beauty of this lace was seen on the ensembles, which brought to the forefront, the message of celebrating sustainable development goals by combining craft with culture.

Pankaj & Nidhi

The designer duo presented the elegant ‘Art Fluence’ collection that brought out the salient features of sustainability, performance enhancement and versatility of R|Elan™. The next-gen fabric that has been created from specially engineered fibres and yarns using the cutting-edge technological expertise, state-of-the-art R&D and the robust testing systems. These smart fabrics have been designed to enhance comfort and aesthetics.

Gauri Gopal Agrawal, Founder – Skilled Samaritan

One of the finalists of the Circular Design Challenge, the brand used industrial plastic and textile scrap to make designer yet sustainable furniture and accessories using charpoy and macramé weaving techniques to promote the initiative #WastetoWow. The products were handmade and provided employment to hundreds of women from rural Western Uttar Pradesh. The brand used ethically sourced clean and treated ropes from local partner rope making units who are regular buyers of industrial plastic waste.

Mallika Reddy, Founder And Creative Director – Cancelled Plans

A finalist of the Circular Design Challenge, the brand made products from industrial waste collection from factories that go unused, like pharmaceutical industry, billboard printing, latex and sock factories. The products were handmade and generated livelihoods and revived Indian crafts. The brand loves to work with rejects to create new textiles and embellishments.

Esha Agarwal, Co Founder – Chambray & Co

The theme of the collection this finalist of the Circular Design Challenge was ABEYANCE, which was a state of temporary disuse or suspension. It was a philosophy to celebrate Indian textile craft techniques in its true maximalist glory with a sense of newness as opposed to its traditional versions or briefly popular trends. Surplus generated from textile production and waste was used as a canvas to paint stories. The theme of the brand is “Other People’s waste is our Resource”.

Susmith Chempodil & Zuzana Gombosova,Co Founders- Malai Biomaterials Design

The pair won the Rs 20 lakhs prize in the Circular Design Challenge contest and worked with waste coconut water as a vegan leather alternative. To make the products easy to recycle they used waste coconut water and banana fibre that will help the farmers and communities.

Varsha Rani Solanki, Founder – OFF-Grain

The theme of the show for this finalist of the Circular Design Challenge was “Once OFF to now OFF-Grain”. The brand showcased a collection from up-cycled shoddy blankets that are used for relief and military purposes and knitted the recycled yarn into a product, which was called “Off Grain”. It is a concept to use this recycled yarn to develop fashionable, sustainable and affordable products to create a positive social impact in the industry.

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