It makes you look good, but the reality of the apparel business is ugly. It has turned into one of the world’s most polluting industries. Cotton cloth production requires thousands of liters of water and an equal number of chemicals to manufacture clothing dyes.
However, a growing consumer consciousness to go eco-friendly and the need for sustainability is slowly working towards changing the market dynamics of the fashion and apparel industry globally. In recent years, major global brands, retailers, and designers have gone eco-friendly, introducing exclusive collections to meet growing demands of environment-conscious consumers.
Big names like H&M, Zara, Wal-Mart, Nike, C&A, Levi’s have come up with organic garments to cater to the US and European markets, while international designers like Versace, Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs have dispelled the notion that eco-friendly means wearing hemp. They’ve added glamour and appeal to organic clothing, drawing in the masses as well as the classes.
As cries to save the environment get louder, ripples can be felt in India too. Indiaretailing Bureau brings you the lowdown on some Indian fashion brands that have come up with their own green collection:
11 Grassroot by Anita Dongre
India’s tryst with eco-friendly fashion started in 2007 when fashion designer Anita Dongre launched her Grassroot label. This sustainable luxury brand brings out the best of country’s village art, artisans, and craftsman and makes them global trendsetters. The label uses organic fabrics – which can be easily recycled. It uses natural and vegetable dyes, and reuses waste products so as to least impact the environment.
This award-winning label has been successfully promoting traditional Indian crafts, arts, and also at the same time, setting up an example of a luxury eco-friendly garment brand.
22 Woodland Proplanet
Woodland’s Proplanet is an initiative that is not just about a product line, but also encourages active involvement of individuals to make Planet Earth a better place to live in.
In terms of manufacturing, Woodland uses eco-friendly raw materials, packaging, processes to manufacture sandals and slippers made from vegetable tanned leather as well as biodegradable shoes.
Woodland, with its green tree logo, bases its ranges and colours on the hues of nature. Reuse and recycle is the core of the company’s philosophy; for example the chemicals necessary for production are retrieved and re-used.
They have incorporated the Woodland Recycling Program for its recyclable products. Apart from this, Woodland also works with NGOs and supports communities and adopts eco-friendly measures within the organisation.
33 Levi’s Water<less & Waste<Less
Levi’s is known for its eco-friendly measures and different initiatives and efforts. The company earlier came up with an entire sustainable garment line titled Levi’s Eco in the US, which is widely popular and is currently in use in India.
The denims under this label are manufactured using 100 per cent cotton, coconut shell buttons, and sport an indigo finish produced using the mimosa flower, potato starch as well as marseille soap.
The brand has also introduced Levi’s Waterless, a line of clothing that promotes water conservation. The jeans manufactured under the Waterless collection need 96 per cent less water as compared to the manufacturing of regular jeans.
Levi’s also advocates re-cycle and re-use to create better awareness about the environment among masses.
The company also has a Waste<Less™ collection of products that are made of 20 per cent post-consumer waste- specifically, recycled plastic bottles. That works out to an average of three to eight plastic bottles per pair.
To date (since the collection launched in Spring 2013), Levi’s as used 11.9 million recycled bottles for products such as Levi’s® 511™ Skinny jeans, Levi’s®Trucker jackets and the women’s Levi’s® Boyfriend Skinny jeans.
44 Kewal Kiran Clothing
Mumbai-based Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited – the manufacturer of a number of clothing lines in India – has introduced water-saver jeans under their Killer Jeans brand.
The company claims to use 80 per cent less water in making each pair of jeans sold under this line. In fact, water-saver jeans have proved to be a major selling point for many brands across the world and in India.
Kewal Kiran Clothing is also the manufacturer of Easies, Lawman, Integriti, and the K-Lounge line of clothing, apart from Killer Jeans.
55 Numero Uno Clothing
Haryana-based Numero Uno Clothing is another popular name that has adopted various methods for water conservation. They have a water-saving line of jeans, use an eco-friendly manufacturing process, have adopted advanced air washing technology and recycles 100 per cent of the water used in the washing process.
Numero Uno also uses a G2 washing machine that needs 60 per cent lesser water as compared to the usual machines to wash their jeans to ensure that less water is wasted in manufacturing denims.
Anokhi is an ideal example of a brand that has adopted, sustained, and succeeded by producing and selling traditional and eco-friendly textile and products. This Jaipur based brand has reinvented art, craft, and traditional methods to create contemporary garments that are also organic and trendy.
Anokhi uses organic raw materials, vegetable colour dyes to create garments that are both suitable for the environment and loved by customers.