World Environment Day

Scripting sustainability...

Recreating narratives A model in a summer outfit created by Aneeth Arora

Recreating narratives A model in a summer outfit created by Aneeth Arora  

Three noted designersare demonstrating how there can be happy co-existence between fashion and environment

To make Earth Day impactful, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Aneeth Arora and Rakesh Thakore, presented their eco-friendly menswear collections at Sunil Sethi Design Alliance at Okhla Industrial Area, Phase III, New Delhi, over the weekend.

The triumvirate is demonstrating how fashionable attires can be created with recycled fabrics. By presenting outfits with multiple layering, intricate patterns and embellishments, they are showcasing that they are more than master of cutting and draping.

Rajesh is presenting how old textiles can be put together to create exquisite patchworks. Waste old pieces have been re-used in shirts, jackets as ornamentations. “Normally industrial waste is used to make cheap products; so we thought let us make them into something premium. So we converted torn, rejected T-shirts into shoes. Torn pieces are made into a collage and then pieces are separated to make patchwork.”

Indigo T-shirts and jackets have been made into a fashion statement. “This is my way of paying homage to the Indus Valley Civilisation. We get indigo in reduced form like powder. Fermentation is done in big underground tanks for a few days and then we start dyeing...almost like making wine. It’s a laborious process, with lot of wastage. Natural indigo has medicinal qualities. We are not using hard chemical agents which are used in making denims which are made in the most polluting industries. Natural indigo is good solution for us, ” says Rajesh.

Each outfit has divergent design which cannot be replicated. “Stainless steel yarn has been used inside the fabric with wool. Hemp plant has been used to make an androgynous tunic. Experimentation has been done like merging ikkat with hemp.”

Plastic bottles have been converted into showcasing craftsmanship on garments. “Plastic is cleaned, turned into small chips and melted in factory. It is made into yarn and after the fabric is created, I do ikkat on it through the tie and dye technique,” says Rajesh.

Foraying into menswear

For the first time, Aneeth is presenting menswear collection – all outfits handspun and handwoven– in Delhi. “Our label Pero has always been associated with sustainable fabric. We have been judiciously using recycled waste in make garments. The story continues with menswear also. Not only fabric has been created in an ethical way, we are treating our weavers with respect as well by creating sustainable livelihood. All these factors make it a perfect day to launch.”

She is showcasing a melange of all seasons. “We have used lot of khadi, natural indigo and a mix of diverse crafts. Our menswear has attention to detail but is not done to make men feel that they are standing in the crowd. We want men to wear them daily. Shirt has been embellished in a way that fabric gives them a feel good factor.”

Mud resist technique, done in Rajasthan and Gujarat has been used.. “It is called dabu in which printers print the pattern with the block. There is a gum paste which he makes with mud in it. Block is dipped in that paste and when it is transferred on the fabric it resist that area.”

This time round, Aneeth has shown how zardozi can be represented in a fun sort of way.

Motifs have been used in interesting ways. “Kites have been used on shirts in a subdued way Each motif has a story which would helps us narrate the India story to fashionistas abroad.”

Aneeth’s indigo shirts are a contrast to what Rajesh has made. While Rajesh is all about well tailored structured garment, Aneeth’s is about casual clothing. “Indigo shirts have unconventional looks; they are all about comfort fitting,” says Aneeth.

Rakesh Thakore of Abraham & Thakore, has created men’s handloom shirts, jackets in lightweight cotton, to convey the message that using cotton makes sense as it is in sync with the searing Indian summers. “On Earth Day we need to realise that it is our environment in which we live and breath. Saving water, not cutting trees cannot be done by one individual. For next generation to survive, we have to start saving the planet. We are telling that cotton is good breathable fabric which is ideal for our climate. Some people think cotton is not practical but then this is the nature of the fabric and you have to work around it.”

Wide legged pants are the centre of attraction here. “We are using the same fabric for kurta as for pants and that’s why they look like salwars. Embroidery is less; not jarring as it has to go with the sensibilities of our brand,” he says.

The exhibition is on till April 26.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 6:00:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/scripting-sustainability/article18198854.ece

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