Maalgaadi launches its first Farm-to-Rack apparel line with Earth Pants
Foraying into the sustainable design space, Shahin’s debut apparel collection uses cotton — cultivated, handspun and handwoven at the Karunganni village
Ad phrases like ‘Farm to Fork’ and ‘single origin’ are almost exclusively reserved for food and
drink products. So, when Shahin Ansari — founder of one of the city’s most iconic multi-designer stores, Maalgaadi — tells us about a ‘Farm to Rack’ concept apparel collection, we cannot help but wonder what it entails. As her store steps completely into the online retail space, at least temporarily, Shahin is set to introduce the city to the concept through a new label named Earth Pants by Maalgaadi. And, unlike the previous designer collections that she has curated for the store, the brand is her own.
Mom & me
Foraying into the sustainable design space, Shahin’s debut apparel collection uses cotton — cultivated, handspun and handwoven at the Karunganni village located in Western Tamil Nadu. “My mother has long been involved with reviving and promoting traditional handlooms in the region. Though she has worked with multiple weaving clusters, a collaboration with weavers and artisans for a Maalgaadi project has been her pipe dream for a while,” offers the 30-year-old, crediting her mother, Sakina Ansari, the national president of the WICCI’s National handloom Council, for introducing her to this cotton growing and weaving cluster.
While this field to fabric initiative is indeed special, there is something equally noteworthy about Karunganni. It is among the only places in the state where the short-staple indigenous variant of cotton — which is naturally drought and pest-resistant — is cultivated. “Cotton is the most widely used ‘sustainable’ raw material in the world. But, a closer look will show that BT cotton, which is the most commonly used, is a water-intensive crop. However, a majority of our native cotton varieties are dryland crops and do not require much water and are best suited for local weather conditions.”
Lounging in style
Now, while the fabric is completely Indian, the silhouettes employed are contemporary and the motifs edgy. In step with the current loungewear trend, the Earth Pants are casual wear leaning, and are a cross between slouchy pants and a palazzo featuring geometric hand block prints and contrasting thread embroidery. Staying true to its name, the capsule edit sticks to a neutral earthy tone palette of beige, sand, mocha and brown. “We have intentionally kept our designs minimal to let the fabric be the hero of the collection,” shares Shahin, adding that a new capsule line of trousers will launch every month.
Rs 5,000 onwards. Available online.