Kolkata-based designer Rini Seal is paving the way for ethical casual wear
If you’re looking for ready-to-wear sustainable clothing featuring unusual silhouettes, Rini Seal’s eponymous fashion label can really save your summer wardrobe. The Kolkata-based designer is using hand-woven, locally-sourced fabrics to create edgy contemporary wear. Seal found her brand in 2013, and has since then been working towards making sustainable clothing affordable.
“For the last three years, I’ve really been focusing my energy on handwoven and textured fabrics. Very few brands were using handloom fabrics to create modern wear back then. Our khadi dresses, for instance, which were an instant hit. We are also giving silhouettes a lot of attention, and experimenting with them,” says Seal, sitting at her cosy workshop on Ballygunge Road.
The designer is seriously venturing into quirky and stylish dressing, in case you’re looking for a more adventurous work wear or campus wardrobe. If you’ve seen her chanderi cold-shoulder tops, or her handloom tinkerbell skirts, you know what we mean. “We try to include really functional details in our creations, like pockets and convenient zip-fastenings, because everyone needs a place to stash a phone, at least,” laughs the young designer, who initially designed ethnic wear.
One of the most Gen-Z-approved numbers from Rini Seal would be the reversible dress, made with fabrics including okay and cotton. “It’s really versatile because you can turn it over and it’s a whole new number. If one side is a solid pastel colour, the other side is printed. We’re making a lot of reversible tops and jackets as well,” adds Seal, who confirms, she is always on the lookout for interesting textured fabrics.
When it comes to sustainable fashion, ready-to-wear, statement pieces are hard to come by. Especially, if you’re looking for budget-friendly options. “Younger people are really aware of what they’re wearing, and how it’s being made. The social responsibility and the need for ethical fashion is realized more and more. Our novelty is the diverse range of environmentally-sound fabrics. We try to work with Ikat, Kalamkari prints, and of course, khadi, which work great when it comes to creating contemporary wear,” adds Seal, whose clothes are available online, too.
Besides sorting out your wardrobe, Seal can also help you curate a sartorial aesthetic. The designer has started personal wardrobe styling for women and men, and the service is already in huge demand. “People come to me and tell me what they’re looking for. It does not just have to be an important occasion, but it can also be workwear-related. They might already own a shirt and are looking to pair it with something. A lot of my clients have concerns about sizes and are looking for better fits. They’d rather get it customised than buy off the rack,” Seal informs us.
The designer has a brand new collection in the works for summer, which will turn the spotlight on kantha work. “We’re talking quirky prints, maybe a little kitschy and unusual cuts for tops, skirts and separates,” says, Seal, who confirms that she is now, looking for her first flagship store.
Price starts at Rs 1,800