For many of us, fashion is an integral part of our identities. However, the manufacturing of fashion products consumes resources, and the disposal pollutes the resources. So, it is like burning the candle from both sides. The silver lining here is the birth of a trend called ‘Upcycling’. In upcycling, just like recycling, the existing products are used to create a new product. But unlike recycling, a product of higher quality is crafted. Here we give you information about a few such companies that are built with upcycling as their raison d’etre.
Akanksha Kaila Akashi, the founder of Refash, when came across the idea of upcycling, she instantly fell in love with it, and thus Refash was born in 2018.
The motto of Refash is to provide the upcycling fashion industry the momentum it needs by bringing together the scattered brands and designers and unifying them under a single destination that allows people to know and explore sustainable fashion choices and change their consumption habits.
Refash is like a marketplace for upcycled products. It gives every brand, designer, and creative entrepreneur, who believes in sustainable fashion, a platform. For consumers, it is a one-stop solution for upcycled, unique, contemporary fashion pieces like bags, tops, shirts, dresses, scarves, etc.
Gujarat-born Hetal Shrivastav noticed that fast fashion not only has a bad impact on the natural resources but has also deprived scores of artisans of the employment. With these findings, she set out to build RaasLeela which utilizes the textile remnants as raw material; and employs a team of all-women artisans.
They are not only reducing their carbon footprint by cutting off machine-stitching and upcycling fabric remnants but also ensuring that women get the recognition and career boost they deserve.
From shirts, tops, dresses, blouses to bags and cushion covers, enter RaasLeela to find eco-friendly products that never go out of fashion.
Patch Over Patch
Founded by Kavisha Parikh, Patch Over Patch is into crafting contemporary apparel for women. Her work involves experimenting with the tailor-waste which she utilizes as a resource.
Being a graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, she always had a focus on working with elements of design like colour, shape, line, and form. And she, when came to know about upcycling, immediately fell in love with the concept because it would let her experiment with different colours. It has become her passion to make valuable garments while ensuring that a lot of waste doesn’t end up reaching landfill.
Her products are available at Refash: www.refash.in/collections/patch-over-patch
In this era of “fashion rules”, it is more about wearing what the trends dictate. So, apparels that are stylish and yet manufactured with kindness toward humanity and mother earth are almost impossible to find. It was to end this impossibility that Madhulikha Umpathy and Aiswarya S Kutty began Pomogrende, becoming the makers of ethical and comfortable fashion that is equal parts fun and function.
Pomogrenade also aims for inclusivity by creating garments for all body types. But at the centre of what they do is the aim of reducing the pile of waste the textile industry contributes to by upcycling and patching together surplus fabric.
The Real Taste
When it comes to owning the trendiest piece of jewelry, it’s hard to imagine the impact it will have on the environment. It is, thus, up to the manufacturer to ensure that their creations are both following trends and are environmentally-conscious of their carbon footprint. With this mission in heart, Simoni Bhansali came up with Real State Jewelry in 2019 to create artisanal jewelry out of discarded marble and precious metals such as silver.
Real State is devoted to its movement to “add value to waste”, to present a zero-waste method to create sustainable fashion that lasts. Its unique pieces come with their own special imperfections as they “revel in their differences”. Plus, the products come in upcycled-handmade pouches to keep them untarnished when not in use thus prolonging their lifecycle.
It offers a wide variety of trendy necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets that can silver or gold-plated as per your preference.
Kriti Tula, the creative director of Doodlage, has studied masters in design management from the London College of Fashion. And early on in her carrier, she realized that the fashion industry generates a huge amount of waste in the production processes. As much as 16.36 % of fabric is wasted during cutting, and 6.37% during stitching. This realization inspired her to create a company centred around Upcycling and thus came Doodlage.
Instead of beginning with designing, their process begins with collecting waste; scraps of fabric, end of the line fabrics, defected fabrics, and sampling waste. Once they have the raw material in their hands, they start creating designs based on what is available. The left-outs during the production are used for crafting accessories, and decor.
In their own words,” The label ‘Doodlage’ is a blend of sustainable and exclusive high street fashion. We aim to merge innovative designs with the sustainable techniques of clothing to make fashion not just chic, but also eco-friendly.”
House of Wandering Silk
Katherine, the founder of House of Wandering Silk, was a Humanitarian Aid Worker for over a decade. Her job took her to various nooks and corners of the world, especially the troubled ones. That brought her closer to the reality that how various communities are suffering and their arts are dying due to modern issues. To top it off, there is this fast fashion which is a tremendous burden on the planet.
So, in 2013 she left her job and got settled in Delhi so as to set up this business. The highlights of “The House of Wandering Silk” is that they use upcycled, handmade, and vintage materials. And they closely work with women artisans, since upliftment of women is one of the causes important to them.
They have a studio in Delhi where they display a small curation of their creations. However, their products can be bought online or from the stores, they’ve partnered with in several cities.