Arture experiments with hemp and nettle for a new collection of slings and wallets
Clothing and accessories may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cannabis. But with sustainability and safe environmental practices becoming an area of prime concern for this generation’s labels, hemp weed is now replacing avocado toast as the epitome of hipster millennialism. “I didn’t rethink using hemp even once after I knew how great it is for the environment,” begins Shivani Patel on how she dealt with jokes about using the plant that still remains largely controversial. Unveiling a preview of her line of sling bags, wallets and totes under her brand Arture in March followed by the collection’s launch, this Chennai-based designer is the latest to show the leaf some love.
Blending two sustainable fibres—hemp and Himalayan nettle—the brand that has earned its stripes as a PETA-certified vegan luxury lifestyle label debuts a new fabric with its Reminisce collection. “We have been working with natural cork fabric for the last three years. Ever since, I have always been on the lookout for a new, interesting and sustainable material to work with.” Fascinated by the textural quality offered by the material, the 26-year-old began prototyping weaves that would work best for the collection that was a homage to the era of classics and settled down on three designs—a hemp handloom that resembled jute but was softer to the touch, a nettle handloom with a chevron weave and a hemp canvas. “Reminisce is inspired by nostalgia. It draws its designs from books in old libraries, parched paper, Agnes Martin’s paintings and visuals from the Bloomsbury group,” she shares.
More in the mix
Expanding their product line with Reminisce, the five-year-old brand has introduced an extensive range of handbags in a colour palette of natural beige, navy blue, with hints of maroon and brown. “Our previous collections were largely wallets and sleeves. With this line, I have used slightly book-ish shapes throughout,” Shivani explains adding that her favourites are the nettle Ava sling bag and the Yara convertible bag that can be used as a shoulder bag, sling and clutch.
An employer of artisan clusters in Uttarakhand, the NIFT graduate believes that besides employment opportunities, hemp-based textiles is the new future of sustainability as it uses close to 400 times less water than cotton crops and has a much higher yield. Excited about upcoming prospects in the sustainable fashion industry, Shivani tells us that she is developing a new range of accessories. “I don’t want to give away too much but here’s one word— belts!”
Range starts at Rs 1,000. Available online.