With climate change breaking temperature records every month and plastic pollution becoming a humungous problem, sustainability and environmental friendliness have become critical to our existence. An increasing number of people have started changing their buying habits and gravitating toward cruelty-free products that cause no harm to the environment and are made with high-quality and sustainable materials.
In particular, the younger generation (GenZ and millennials) is paying more attention to initiatives related to the environment.
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has played a very important role in making this change happen. People have become more aware of how non-sustainable products are damaging the environment.
According to Business Research Company, the sustainable fashion market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1 percent to $9.81 billion in 2025 and $15.17 billion in 2030.
According to the Capgemini Research Institute, approximately 79 percent of consumers changed their purchasing habits based on social responsibility, environmental impact, and inclusiveness.
YS brings a list of five startups that are changing the dynamics of the fashion industry in India by making sustainable and eco-friendly products from naturally sourced fabrics.
The Loom Art
Founded in 2017 by Aarushi Kilawat, Jaipur-based startupmakes clothes that are at the intersection of art, handloom, and sustainability. It aims to bring back old and dying craft techniques and make clothes that last a lifetime.
The idea behind the startup is to make sustainability a way of life by creating a platform for weavers and
artisans, and helping sustain their livelihoods.
“To me, handloom means a piece of khadi or silk, or any material that is woven with love. These materials have traversed a whole journey. The art in The Loom Art stands for the core hand embroideries that we do. We mainly work with Kantha and Sujini, because my idea of design is that it’s a mode of communication where you can narrate stories. These crafts have stories attached to them,” Aarushi said.
The collections are available through Ammarah Collective in Canada, Omi Na-Na in the UK, Ounass in the UAE, Rue Saint-Paul and The Klazet in the US.
Founded by Zoya Wahi and Nitij Singh in 2017, Jaipur-based sustainable fashion startupmakes ecologically responsible, durable, and fashionable products. The startup offers a range of apparel that is made from sustainable and ethically sourced materials including bamboo, nettle, and hemp.
The startup aims to raise awareness about the need to move to ethically sourced sustainable clothing.
Aslee is working towards promoting slow sustainable fashion and benefiting workers involved in the manufacturing of the apparel.
“Ours is a very touch-and-feel product. When you touch it you can distinctly feel the difference and quality,” said Zoya.
Started in 2020 by Arundhati Kumar, Mumbai-based sustainable fashion accessories brandmakes eco-friendly and sustainable bags. The materials – including pinatex, recycled trimmings and fastenings, fitted with upcycled and cork – are sourced ethically without causing any harm to the environment.
Beej works on a multi-channel revenue model, retailing through ecommerce partners and online stores.
“Beej is a sustainable accessories brand on a mission to make sustainability a mainstream fashion choice. I set up my studio in Mumbai because that’s where I live. Our products, including packaging, are designed and manufactured at our studio. We are currently retailing online on our own store as well as through multiple platform partners,” Arundhati said.
Arundhati Kumar, Founder of Beej
The August Company
Founded in 2017 by Rony Chowdhury and Vidhi Singhal, Bengaluru-based sustainable fashion startupmakes environment-friendly products and accessories with remnant fabrics.
The August Company works on three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental, and social. It uses sustainable materials like waste paper for packaging.
The startup uses cutting scraps to make fashion accessories such as scrunchies, potli bags, and headbands.
“We aspire to work directly with the native artisans. We source the fabrics from cooperatives, craft clusters, and those who work with these weavers throughout the year, and, in turn, help them with sourcing the yarn dyes and loom maintenance,” Vidhi said.
Started in 2017 by Bhavini N Parikh, Mumbai-basedis a sustainable fashion startup that works on pre-used textile waste and recreates fashion products for everyday use.
It offers upcycled garments including women’s wear like kurtas, jackets, and dresses; home furnishings such as bedspreads rugs, and wall hangings and accessories such as clutches, bangles, laptop bags, and earrings. The startup focuses on women’s empowerment.
“We hope to recreate the fashion industry, and make textile upcycling a globally accepted practice. One day, we would like Bunko Junko to become the best-upcycled clothing brand producing clothes on an industrial level. We want to be a household name both for our environmental sustainability measures as well as our focus on socio-economic development,” Bhavini explained.