Premium luxury brand Sarjaa debuts with sustainable plant and fruit-based bags in Hyderabad
Anjana Sarja, a dynamic entrepreneur and daughter of South Superstar Arjun Sarja launches her sustainable bags
Being conscious of choice is no more a trend but a necessity of time. Fashion labels are going the extra mile to experiment with materials that leave a low carbon footprint for their creations. From English design powerhouse Stella McCartney’s famous vegan bags to American actress Elizabeth Olsen’s vegan shoes, and Canadian designer Aurora James’ African-inspired footwear made of plant-based leather, the fashion industry is crafting luxury with eco-conscious efforts.
At home too, the young generation is sensitised to opt for eco-friendly fashion. Acing luxury and green fashion, new-age labels are coming up with creations that make luxury less decadent. For one, young entrepreneur and designer Anjana Sarja, 26, has made her debut with her plant and fruit-based bag collection in Hyderabad. The premium bag collection claims to be the first in the country to use apple skin leather.
We were invited to the ritzy launch at the Ramoji Film City to witness Anjana’s green vision turn into reality with unique sustainable alternatives for leather. The glitzy event had prominent figures in attendance - actor Akshara Hassan, Governor of Telangana Tamilisai Soundararajan, actors Arjun Sarja and Rochelle Rao, among others.
Telling us about what inspired her to kickstart the brand Sarjaa, Anjana said, "I never had an intention to produce "vegan" bags in particular but have always had an intention of not contributing to the major polluting factor of the fashion industry. The leather industry is one of the most polluting industries as well, right from the chemicals used to preserve the leather from rotting, to the tanning, and dying process. This is where Sarjaa comes in, as an alternative to real leather. Sarjaa is a plant and fruit-based brand that makes bags, and we focus on evolving to be as sustainable as possible! We look forward to incorporating more plant-based materials and innovations soon in the future!"
Anjana told us that she found a gap in the market where she couldn't find any sustainable brand that was stylish too in India. "I wanted people to pick my bags off the rack for their designs, and then find out about a beautiful sustainable story behind it. I also wanted my brand to be something that was never done before. One thing led to another and Sarjaa was born!" she adds.
The collection presented at the grand launch party had six bag categories that boast a shelf life of 10 years! They were created from innovative leather alternatives like apple skin, pineapple, and cactus leather and were free from toxic chemicals, animal leather, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They were crafted in new-age styles, with each bag having a unique story of its own. We demystify each one showcased at the launch party for you.
Pracheen translates to antique or ancient in Hindi and Sanskrit. This is a classic handbag made of apple skin leather while the inner lining of the bag is ethically sourced from Eri silk. Eri silk is also known as Ahimsa silk as it’s obtained without killing the silkworms and is cruelty-free. The bag pairs well with formal outfits or evening reveries.
Sebu translates to apple in Kannada and the intriguing story is that the design of the bag is also inspired by a bitten-into apple. The bag features bright colours and blingy straps that make it a must-have accessory for brunch or dinner parties. Keeping sustainability in perspective, the zips of the bag are made of 70% post-consumer recycled material.
This tote bag simply amazed us with its spaciousness. It seems to hold almost everything for a busy workday, including a 13-inch laptop! The bag is efficiently compartmentalised as we observed zip compartments and pockets in it that save us from the mess. The bag is ideal for office meetings, casual nights out with friends, and vacations.
Punya in Kannada means goodness. We found that the bag has multi-functional use, good for us! It can be used as a clutch or a cross-body bag and can bode well with Indian and Western outfits. The bag also thrives on the sustainability front as its magnetic closure is constructed of recyclable aluminium and the inner lining of the bag is made of organic cotton.
Kala means a dream in Telugu and the design of the bag makes sure that the bag looks dreamy, whimsical, and versatile. It features recyclable aluminium chains, a dapper strap, and other accents. On a greener note, the bag features leather extracted from fruit waste.
Kenti means a kettle in Tamil and the bag’s design also manifests a kettlebell given its ergonomic handle. The bag’s fabric is soft to the touch with a pop of colours that add fun and vibrancy to it. It may go well with casual as well as formal outfits.
₹25,000 upwards. Available online.