Hyderabad's Mallika Reddy wants to break away from the boring and subtle fabrics, tones attached with green fashion
With the simple yet powerful idea of giving new life to waste, an entrepreneur from the city, Mallika Reddy, made baby steps in 2018 towards sustainable fashion. Four years later, her company, Cancelled Plans, stands tall as a guiding light to small businesses aiming to make a bigger impact on the planet.
Sharing what made her venture into a market that wasn’t well explored in Hyderabad until then, Mallika says, “I realised I could make use of what goes straight to the landfills, polluting the planet to irreparable damage. I wanted to create a new life of this waste material, but not something that looks and feels like it’s made of garbage. It’s not downcycling, where the waste is used to build roads and more. Our upcycled waste will actually serve as a resource.”
Cancelled Plans makes premium products, which include clothing, bags, belts, masks, wallets and other accessories. About the type of material they use to manufacture their products, Mallika says, “Our basic raw material comes from local factories, most of it consists of batches that get rejected for not meeting quality checks. Currently, we source waste from a pharmaceutical company, fabric waste from a sock and garment factory, and a billboard printing factory.”
Some of their recent products have also been made of elements like latex. Sustainability doesn’t have to be boring, dull and mundane, believes Mallika. “Recycled products should not just have to be articles that sit in a corner in your room, but something you wear on your body and have an everyday life. It should be something you celebrate and not have a look of a charitable deed,” says the founder and creative director of Cancelled Plans.
Mallika’s products have found fans in not just the common man, but the stars of Tollywood and Bollywood too. From Samantha Ruth Prabhu to Jim Sarbh and Akhil Akkineni to Upasana Kamineni, Cancelled Plans has been a cult favourite. Not to forget actress Aditi Rao Hydari, who not only collaborated with the brand but also helped design their hoodies series titled — Dogue, which had some adorable images of dogs!
On how sustainability is changing the fashion industry, she says, “It’s the call of the times. Through the pandemic, we have come to realise that we’re overconsuming. Covid was a wake-up call to preserve the resources we have left. So, it’s not just a cool trend, but a need of the hour, an absolute necessity.
Earlier, green fashion meant only jute or cotton fabrics that came in organic and earthy colours of brown and green. We wanted to break away from this and show that sustainable fashion can be colourful, as well as affordable. It also presents to you the added benefit of having a clean conscience about buying from a brand that promises quality, durability, ethical working conditions for its labour and more.”
Taking us through their process of designing the products, Mallika shares, “We take months to research on the material we’re going to work on, study its behaviour, learn what it’s capable of, as raw material is our building block. We then go ahead with different designs and ideas, play around with colours and then finalise on a product.”
Mallika has a lot of new stuff coming up this year. “We are trying something different this time, we’re collaborating with a few interior designers to come up with recycled furniture and home decor. That is all I can speak about it now,” says the daughter of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories chairman GV Prasad.