While we love to wait with bated breath for all the major fashion seasons of the year, several brands have been churning out 50-100 ‘microseasons’ which sometimes, makes people far less conscious about their carbon footprint. Synthetic materials, such as polyester and nylon, maybe easy on the pocket, but they end up costing our environment heavily.
It’s now become as clear as a sunny day in March that we need to take three steps back. Conscious fashion is an umbrella term but it starts with being conscious about how much and what you buy. Sure, retail therapy might not be as therapeutic if it requires extensive research first. Keeping this in mind, we’ve rounded up a few sustainable fabrics you can keep an eye out for.
Mindful shopping doesn’t have to be a daunting task!
Pinatex Happy Pineapple Shoes, Nike Air Force 1, Rs. 9,295
What happens when pineapple leaves are turned into a leather-ish fabric that can make v cool coats, shoes, honestly anything.
Pinatex Eva Medium Bucket Bag, Mio Borsa, Rs. 3,000
Hello to this cactus leather known for its softness (no spikes on that jacket!). Only the most mature parts of the plant are used, leaving the rest to grow again.
Econyl Chelsea Heritage Trench Coat, Burberry, Rs. 2,56,000 approx
Mushrooms, folks. Thread-like fungus filaments called mycelia grow on beds of sawdust and other organic material, forming a fluffy layer that’s then processed and dyed to make sneakers and bags. Trippy, right?
Econly PowerFlex swimsuit, Speedo, Rs. 5,000 approx
Nylon, but make it out of fishing nets, old carpets, and other plastic waste. It’s used in swim-wear and sportswear (and the occasional Prada bag).
Kier Vegan Cactus Tote, Fossil, Rs. 19,295
This breathable silky fabric—perfect for blouses and tanks—is made from recycled cotton linter, the strands often left behind on processed cottonseed.
Lyocell-blend shirt dress, H&M, Rs. 1,999
Pretty much the sexiest way you’ll ever think about wood pulp. It is mainly sourced from eucalyptus and can be spun into dang good sheets, T-shirts, and more.
Beige Cork OH V Birdy Phone Bag, Outhouse, Rs. 24,250
Not just limited to stoppers for your vino, this soft and waterproof material made from cork oak trees is used to fashion many a chic accessory—purses, phone and laptop cases, travel bags, jewellery, et al.
Vegan leather Viola Lilac Sliders, DEME x Paio, Rs. 2,500
Made from the pulp of mulberry leaves, this leather-like material was patented by Sugandh G Agrawal’s label, GUNAS NEW YORK, a luxe vegan brand in 2009. Created using a traditional Korean technique, it’s lightweight, durable, and waterproof.
Organic cotton T-shirt by LORA
Various studies have highlighted the pros of organic cotton farming over conventional cotton as the former is cultivated without harmful chemical pesticides or fertilisers, thereby decreasing the negative impact on environment. But take into account the total carbon footprint of the garment, including its dyeing process, before you decide to add it into your cart.
Coconut leather pouches by Malai
A conscious alternative to animal skin leather is a biodegradable, plant-based one. Crafted from tender coconut water and the white flesh found inside the dry drupe, the new water-resistant material is developed by Malai, founded in 2017 by Susmith C Suseelan and Zuzana Gombosova—it is not just good for the environment, but also supports South India’s coconut farmers.