From injecting riotous colours to introducing structural shapes into the mix, sustainability no longer subscribes to a singular aesthetic
Before sustainability became mainstream, it was typified by billowing anti-fit silhouettes in desaturated colours. Stereotyped as pared back and practical, it was the domain of eco-warriors who prioritised sustainability over style. Over the years, industry pioneers have worked relentlessly to integrate the two, so they are synonymous with each other. Today, the new crop of young designers are giving conscious fashion a facelift by introducing structured silhouettes, riotous prints, and serotonin-boosting colours into the mix.
Sustainability no longer subscribes to a singular aesthetic, and we look at 7 emerging labels that are making consciously crafted fashion ultra-covetable.
Ura Maku’s deceptively simple separates make a lasting impression – think enduring classics reinterpreted with handwoven and natural fabrics. With a fearless play of shape, texture, and proportion, the pieces have a timeless appeal for a sustainable life span. Designer Manjushree Saikia pays homage to her Assamese roots by reviving local crafts from the North East, among other regions in the country. The label’s impeccable modern tailoring ensures that each trans-seasonal design – from the redefined power suit to of-the-moment waistcoats – slots into your closet effortlessly.
Flouncy dresses, frothy blouses, and full skirts take on mood-enhancing colours and riotous prints at Malie. Established by partners Amalie Othilia Brandi Mikkelsen and Karandeep Singh, the label is a visual celebration of two culturally diverse and contradictory backgrounds – Mikkelsen’s Danish roots and Singh’s homeland of India. Seeking inspiration in artisanal crafts, Malie’s spirited pieces champion handloom woven fabrics and vivid hand-block prints. Their saturated creations have presence and offer just the sartorial boost we seek.
Crafting foundational wardrobe staples that will form the core of your closet, Ura is Arunima Sahni Vig’s pandemic baby. Effortlessly elegant, the pieces hit the sweet spot between timely and timeless. With considered fabrics and utilitarian silhouettes, the designs have longevity value and can be re-worn and re-invented endlessly. The mindfully crafted and ethically produced forever pieces prove that buying better is the key to buying less. The clean lines and contemporary shapes elevate comfort and present to you your everyday uniform.
Psychedelic prints and colour-soaked ombre tie-dye headline Rigu’s trophy designs. Founded by Riya Gupta, the label’s transformative pieces transcend trends and exude eccentric minimalism. Each of the brand’s creations – the draped skirts, the architectural pantsuits, or the enveloping silk dresses – promise everyday luxury with a modern sensibility. Crafted using handloom fabrics, vegan silk, and organic denim, Rigu gives traditional artisanal techniques of tie-dye and block-printing an update. Each design is tie-dyed by hand, and no two pieces are alike. Bring a sense of occasion to every day with the laid-back yet luxe designs that highlight comfort.
Modern-day silhouettes remastered with artisanal textiles and surface techniques, Joskai calls attention to the rich textile heritage of North East India. Founder Sujaya Hazarika is reviving indigenous crafts and refurbishing old textiles from the region by collaborating with artisans, particularly the Tiwa community in Assam. Luxe eri and mulberry silk, also known as Pat silk locally, take centre stage – the villages around Guwahati are renowned for their silk centres. Traditional Assamese Buta design and intricate motifs of Gos Phul are woven into silk in striking jewel tones and cut into sharp pantsuits and voluminous dresses.
With masculine tailoring and structured separates, Staple by Gona Khanijo Vidha Chadha delivers serious Annie Hall vibes. Crafting purposeful everyday pieces, the closet staples work overtime to reinvigorate everyday go-to’s and offer endless layering potential – this ultimately hints at a more sustainable approach to dressing. Timeless creations and clean-cut pieces may be Staple’s calling card, but their designs – from boxy blazers to pleated dad pants – are total knockouts. Staple establishes that staples are essentially statement pieces disguised under streamlined silhouettes.
For minimal fashion that is timeless yet transformative, look to Reistor. Founded by siblings Mehma and Harjas Singh, the label crafts contemporary yet classic apparel that highlights comfort and convenience. With focus on reducing environmental impact, everything from their impeccably-cut blazers to their timeless dresses are fresh interpretations of wardrobe staples. Sustainability is key to Reistor’s ethos, and the designs cut from sustainable fabrics like hemp are made to be worn and cherished forever.