Ethically conscious label LOTA exclusively recycles scraps for their line of 'wasteful' shirts
When we spotted Hollywood sensation Riz Ahmed sporting an ethically conscious shirt by a desi label, we naturally dug up all that we could about the brand. Sustainable fashion label LOTA’s ‘wasteful shirts’ are the epitome of the zero-waste model which could save the fashion industry from itself. LOTA, created by Adhiraj Singh, a 3D motion designer and visual artist and Shradha Kochhar, a knitwear designer and fibre artist, aims to execute a vision of relevant but consciously created experiences. We got the innovators to share their process with us. Excerpts:
Tell us how LOTA was conceived
LOTA started with conversations around the current state of fashion, how guilty we felt being a part of the cycle and it shaped into an art project between the two of us. A mainstream fashion model focuses on making, we focus on taking care of what they don't think of, the waste from millions of pieces used every week. We allocate a new home to resources that are not of any use to one party. We imagine a reality where whatever you wore was made out of fabric scrap or second-hand resources.
You work exclusively with industrial waste and fabric scraps. Tell us how you source them?
We work with fabric scraps as small as the size of a fist to as big as a metre of reject fabric. It’s such an amazing experience to hunt for the scrap. We procure them from export houses and some come in as donations from fashion students and organisations. We essentially segregate scraps on the basis of the weight and then try to collage them into interesting illustrations on textiles.
We are unbiased with where our scrap comes from, we got scraps donated by British designers ASHISH and BOHECO amongst others. But most of our scrap is from export houses who generate textile waste in an exponentially larger amount.
Tell us a little about your line of ‘wasteful’ shirts
We went live with 16 unique ‘wasteful’ shirts that were sold over an auction and the second drop had a collection of limited pieces collaged into new stories. No two pieces are ever the same due to the limited and uncertain nature of the scrap availability. The scraps are sewn meticulously and finished with recycled wooden and mother of pearl buttons.
The shirts were meant to illustrate an utopia, one inspired by true South Asian street style like the clash of prints over the saris and the juxtaposition of shapes and textures in textiles you observe in the country. They were meant to represent a sense of chaos and order.
Where do you think slow fashion stands in India today?
We are fortunate to be living in a time where people want to be the change, the youth of our time is driving change and you can see that in the consumer behaviour to some extent. Consumers want to know how their garments are made, what is the craftsmanship that goes into making those pieces, what do brands like us want to do with their investment in the future.
There’s an absolute call for transparency in fashion, which is so amazing. With our growing community and the conversations we have with them, make us feel extremely positive about the future of slow fashion in India.