Indie brand Subr's utilitarian line-up is all about new-age sustainability

Subr’s recycled accessories have us convinced: sustainability and quirk go hand-in-hand when it comes to Gen-Z’s sartorial needs

author_img Ujjainee Roy Published :  21st February 2020 12:18 AM   |   Published :   |  21st February 2020 12:18 AM

Subr's quirky line-up is exquisite

If you’ve been on indie fashion label Subr’s Instagram page lately, you already know what we’re going to talk about. The sustainable label based in Chennai and Bangalore is run by designers Susan John and Sudha Sekhar who are self-proclaimed hoarders but this is something that helps their responsible production process. On their way to a more ethically conscious sartorial route, they have opted for an utilitarian approach where they make what their clients need. Their recycled patchwork belts which have been taking Instagram by storm were suggested by their clients after they saw Subr's dog collars!

Sudha and Susan

But how does the brand stay focused on their quirky-yet-efficient zero-waste process? Sudha helps us figure out:

How was Subr conceived?

Susan and I had been running our independent labels for eight years, until we realised that it’d make more sense to join forces, since both of our works had such a strong focus on sustainability. We started Subr roughly a year-and-a-half back.

A bag by Subr made with recycled fabrics

What does Subr mean?

You know how we say ‘super’, so Subr is just like a South Indian take on that!

How do you stay committed to the sustainable production process?

We are very conscious about the fabrics we use, and we make it a point to use every piece of fabric or leftover scrap. We try to stick to the zero-waste goal, so we have been able to come up with really functional numbers which are also really cool. None of our pieces are actually purely for vanity, they are so versatile. Most of our products are born after thorough interactions with our clients.

Like your belts!

Yes, we had made some dog collars with some cotton fabrics and someone told us ‘why don’t you make camera straps, and belts which we can all use?’ That’s how it came about, purely out of communication. The belts are made of cotton and we have used some other leftover fabrics on them.


Your clients can also choose the fabrics for their bags…

Yes, so we have a catalogue so they get an idea about what’s on offer; some of our clients like to choose the fabric or the detailing or opt for some other customisation. We try to be really flexible about it, and it has served us well. 

Is it challenging to stay true to the zero-waste goal?

We’re emotional about our fabrics, we are like hoarders of fabrics and the craft. We try to re-create something using a single scrap. Like we made a belt with a patchwork of all the fabrics. It comes quite easy to us.

Is your clientele mostly youth-based?

No, actually it’s really a mixed crowd, but we have people buying our stuff from all over the country. We have so many clients from Kolkata!