We look at three city-based labels doing their bit to help lower our carbon footprint
Shreya Lohia, Rajas
SHREYA Lohia, 26, studied to be an architect but her expe-rience during her internship
at Auroville, Pondicherry, convinced her that she wasn’t quite cut out for a corporate job. “I met this cobbler, heard his story and wanted to collaborate with him, so I initially tied up with him to make fabric footwear,” says Shreya, who is a collector of interesting fabrics. “I think I’ve been collecting them since I was 10,” she reveals. Rajas, her three-year-old label, since earlier
this year, also includes handwoven garments. The Leelgar collection in particular is entirely hand-dyed by Shreya herself, using AZO-free vegetable dyes.
Even in Rajas’ silhouettes, which include dresses, trousers, jackets and tops, Shreya aims to send out a social message. “The fits are all flattering and fluid. Both skinny- and fat-shaming are equally unacceptable, and my garments aim to eliminate that, and enable women to feel comfortable,” she explains. Apart from using natural, handwoven fabrics and chemical-free dyes, the label also has a zero-wastage policy. Extra bits of cloth are fashioned into wallets, laptop sleeves, chokers and earrings.
The cuts of fabric that are too small to be turned into anything are collected and used as cushion fillers. “So there’s no question of discarding fabrics, whatsoever,” says Shreya of Rajas, which currently retails out of the Timri Store in Indira Nagar.
Namrata Shah, 2Up 2Down
ON A creamy white canvas, distinctive pear-shaped leaves with serrated edges serve as embellishment. “Hibiscus leaves,” says textile aficionado Namrata Shah with a smile, of a soft stole that we are marvelling at. The Bengaluru-based fabric expert is the first proponent of the fascinating eco-print. Namrata’s textile cluster, 2Up 2Down uses leaves and flowers to print fabrics. “This manner of design is extremely rare; each fabric piece is unique and a work of art. It’s a 100 per cent eco-friendly and organic process and a great way to utilise dried flowers and leaves. I was inspired by Yoshiko Wada — an expert on Japanese textiles, and Irit Dulman, a specialist in eco-printing,” she reveals.
Apart from continuing their work with exquisite handcrafted fabrics, Namrata and her team are currently experimenting with saris and home decor essentials among other things. “We use natural dyes and ensure there is zero wastage. But for me, it’s also about creating space and a platform for women who can make a living, enjoy their work and create an identity of their own through their work,” says Namrata, whose business is run mostly by women.
Deepa Choudhary and Madhurima Tongia, Moborr
LAUNCHED earlier this year, Moborr by Deepa and Madhurima takes its name from a beach called Mobor, in South Goa’s Salcette district. The duo seeks to infuse the vibe of the place into the garments they create by keeping it completely natural, with laidback, anti-fit silhouettes. “The cotton that we use requires much lesser water for production and the dyes that go into the fabrics are natural, ensuring the planet is not harmed,” shares Madhurima, a former marketing professional.
But the slow fashion brand is sustainable in a host of other ways as well. For instance, their carry bags are embedded with seeds that can be planted in your herb garden. Even the hangers they use are recycled and their stationery is made using recycled paper.
Moborr’s new collection, which includes dresses, tops, trousers and more, is heavy on stripes with a monochromatic colour scheme. “We’ve also brought back millennial pink, a colour that featured in our inaugural collection as well,” reveals Deepa, who has 15 years of experience in retail and merchandising with export houses.
Having held pop-ups in cities such as Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai, Moborr’s next step is
to reach out to the rest of the country.