The fourth edition of The Backyard PopUp offers an array of sustainable fashion options
Your favourite annual popup bazaar is back, with an expanded focus on sustainability and alternative fashion. The fourth edition of The Backyard PopUp has a stellar line-up featuring independent creators, fashion designers, artistes, jewellery makers, lifestyle labels. The two-day event will be hosted by Calcutta Food Co, at a relaxed open air space near Rash Behari, and has everything to heal your mid-month blues. Moreover, all the featured labels this year are owned by women. So, if not for the budget shopping, show up for the cause!
Utsha Das, who owns Calcutta Food Co, along with her partner Rohan Sur tells us that The Backyard PopUp started small, as a way to promote indie, new-age fashion labels, many of which were owned by her friends. “I studied design and a lot of my friends went ahead and started their own labels. They were doing work which you don’t see in the mainstream, mass-produced market. These labels were creative and aimed for an easy relevance, but did not have a platform back then,” Utsha tells us.
The Backyard PopUp began in 2014 - as a concept to support and uphold the smorgasbord of culture and local artisans and creators, whose work stand out from the heavily publicised retail brands. “There were so many innovators and designers who were thinking out-of-the-box and were making anti-mainstream creations, something you don’t have access to very often. So, I wanted to create a marketspace for alternative and fresh creations, aimed at people looking beyond the commercial herd,” reveals Utsha.
If you’re tired of the stuffy, closed exhibition format, The Backyard PopUp could be a revelation.
Set up like an extensive flea market, it’s hosted in a roomy and friendly open space, in South Kolkata. Besides local independent talents, The Backyard PopUp also features names from all across the country, like Mumbai-based sustainable brand Staple, which makes relaxed workwear in black and white and simple pastels. Also a part of the weekend pop is Surat’s clothing label The Khadi Cult, which makes vibrant numbers by introducing loud pop colours in khadi ensembles.
“We have two brands doing chemical-free organic clothing, Biome and Pastiche. That’s a huge draw among the people exclusively looking for sustainable clothing,” adds Utsha. Biome is a Kolkata-based design studio which makes ethically conscious handmade apparel. Their natural dyeing workshops are already a huge hit, and expect to find some of their amazing tie-dye numbers at the popup.
City-based ethnic fashion brand Chlorofeel, casual wear label Howrah Bridge and Monalisha Manna’s silver jewellery label Earthaments will be a part of the flea bazaar. One of the major attractions is definitely Navnee Kasat’s indie label Thaapo which has acquired a loyal fan base owing to its eco-printed wearables. The brand uses naturally processed fabrics and its drape sarees are a rage on Instagram. Riddhi Kapoor, the city-based bag-maker who has a huge millennial following owing to her quirky handmade fabric pouches, totes, and her iconic Frida sling bag, is also a part of the line-up.
If you’re a fan of the funny graphic tees and merch by Bongmade, which lends a contemporary edge to the Bengali art and culture, you’re in luck. Bongmade will set up a stall at the pop-up, too. Woodgeek, which makes personalized wooden products like custom engraved bamboo notebooks, bamboo sunglasses and wooden phone cases, is also being featured. Designer Shohini Gupta’s unique line of hand-crafted jewellery will also be a part of the flea market.
We’re talking fierce traditional silver danglers, copper and beads chokers, German silver chandelier earrings and so much more.
The Backyard Pop also has a focus on budget shopping, and has something for everyone. “ We have a diverse line-up, and also an economic one. When it comes to clothing, I think the price margin starts from around Rs 1,000, and can go upto Rs 4,000, and jewellery can cost you anything between Rs 1,000 to Rs 8,000,” Utsha informs us.
Interestingly, The Backyard Pop, saw an incredibly welcoming response, especially from the city millennials, in spite of not being a hugely publicised event. “Surprisingly, most our growth has been organic, and we’ve had a great response. People really liked what they saw. They got to see so many new brands. In the last few years, the turnout has been really good,” we are told.
The Backyard PopUp also has a a home decor section where you can find ceramics and lifestyle products. For instance, you can find some organic bathing bars and handmade soaps by a brand called Snaato. “Our lifestyle products have a huge range, and can cost you anything between Rs50 to Rs 500. We have these natural bath salts and bathing bars, made by indie labels, which are super thrifty, and can cost you around Rs 100 or 200,” adds Utsha.
And of course, there’s some incredible grub. Besides what the host Calcutta Food Co’s kitchen will be offering, the popup will feature Cafe Brioso and a couple of home bakers. So, if you’re free this weekend, you know exactly where to head.
The Backyard PopUp
Venue: Calcutta Food Co, 71 Rash Behari Avenue, Kolkata - 700026
Date: February 16-17
Time: 11 am to 11 pm