Here's all you need to know about Vandana Bhandare's sustainable label Vanaras

An ode to the forest and the moon, Vanaras' debut collection Forest Moon offers simple, minimalistic apparel that is unrestrained yet elegant

Rebecca Vargese Published :  02nd October 2020 10:11 AM   |   Published :   |  02nd October 2020 10:11 AM


Vandana Bhandare had a singular image in mind when she started sketching out ideas for what would become her brand, Vanaras’, debut collection. The visual was nothing out of the ordinary. After all, a full moon looming large over a lush green forest has been a commonplace theme for many a beginner landscape artist. But, the overwhelming feeling of joy — of watching the moon rise over the Nelamangala forest, made the 23-year-old want to capture the mood in something a lot more tangible than just a photograph. “I have always loved nature, and every time I look up at the sky and the moon, an unexplained feeling of happiness comes over me. With this collection, I hope to share some of that emotion with another,” offers the Bengaluru-based entrepreneur, talking about the camp out at Nelamangala that put her on the path to being a designer. Translating these unfettered emotions into silhouettes, Vanaras’ first collection, Forest Moon, which was unveiled last week, delivers what it promises — simple, minimalistic apparel that is unrestrained yet elegant.

All the little things

A monochrome collection, built on the colours of the forest and the full moon, solid shades of green and grey make up the entire palette. However, what elevates this otherwise straightforward and modest line is its use of detailing. The elegant full sleeves that gather at the cuff, the flirty deep-V necklines, top-notch collars, pleat detail and open pockets are welcome additions to the silhouettes that include A-lines dresses, peplum tops, straight-legged jumpsuits and relaxed pants.


What’s in a name?

Vanaras is a portmanteau of the words vana, which means forest in Kannada and ras, which translates to spirit or essence.

All names of the green-hued silhouettes translate to forest in six different languages — Hindi, Kannada, German, Italian, Romanian and Slovenian, while the ecru garments are named after the moon.


How green is your wardrobe?

As someone from within the garment manufacturing industry, Vandana tells us that sustainability is high-priority with her brand. “My father runs a silk sari manufacturing unit, and even when I was a child, he would take me to watch the weavers working on their looms.” Picking up on these lessons from her childhood, Vanaras uses GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) certified organic cotton that is handwoven at a cluster in Erode, Tamil Nadu. “It took me about a year and a half to zero in on the textiles, but it was worth the effort,” shares the fashion diploma graduate from KLE University, Bengaluru. Apart from the chemical-free fabrics, the brand’s zero-waste philosophy extends to using Azo-free dyes, coconut shell buttons and cloth-bag packaging. Also, keep an eye out for surprise gifts — scrunchies and straw holders — upcycled from the fabric waste of your garment.