Shivangi Bajpai’s MixMitti label is carrying a cause
Shivangi Bajpai, a Delhi-based designer, aims to raise awareness about wildlife conservation through capsule edits of bags, and accessories.
Year after year, a fresh batch of emerging labels with an ethical mindset are trying to inhabit the homegrown fashion space. Shivangi Bajpai’s MixMitti is one such lifestyle and accessories brand. Though a textile design graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kangra, the Kalkaji-based designer and hobbyist wildlife photographer says that her idea to launch a sustainable brand—one with a focus on animal welfare and conversation—was certainly not fortuitous.
“I was born and brought up in Kenya. I have been photographing animals, and been involved in wildlife conservation, for a while now,” says the 28-year-old. She continues, “When I got into the fashion industry professionally, I knew I had to come up with the idea to mix my passions [wildlife conservation and fashion] together and try my hand at something new that can use fashion as a language to spread awareness about animals and their conditions. That is how MixMitti was born.”
The genesis of a brand
One of the first questions that come to mind a few minutes into the conversation with Bajpai is, why start an accessories label after a textile design degree? Giving us an idea about what led to the inception of the brand, she shares that after graduating from college in 2016, she was a project associate on the USTTAD scheme by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, which aims to build the capacity of traditional artisans. Bajpai says, “In time, I realised that producing clothes is not what I want to be doing—it produces a lot of waste and does not adhere to my sustainability values.” As someone who has been fond of lifestyle accessories, she perceived she could “launch an accessories label”.
For the love of fauna
Bajpai’s PETA-approved vegan brand focuses on animals—endangered, least-concern, as well as burgeoning species—through a range of handbag styles such as duffels, slings, satchels, totes, as well as smaller accessories like envelope clutches, laptop sleeves, notebooks, etc. These accessories are made using natural and biodegradable materials such as cork, coconut leather, or even plant-based materials.
Giving us an insight into each collection, Bajpai says, “Initially, we focused on endangered species and used photographs—images clicked by her and other photographers such as Trikansh Sharma, Siddharth Patel, Harman Singh Heer, etc.,—in our first collection. Then, we moved towards composition artworks on bags [with interesting tidbits about animals printed on them].” In MixMitti’s latest collection, they have used traditional Indian folk arts such as Madhubani, which often features animal motifs.
All about a simple message
Entrepreneurial ideas featuring sustainability often have a multi-pronged approach. Bajpai explains her brand’s purpose with lucidity. “It’s about being conscious about your choices. If you are carrying something [a bag] with you, it should portray what you believe in. Our products make people aware of green living and, at the same time, slowly nudges them towards thinking that these animals are beautiful in their natural habitat,” she concludes.