The organic appeal

The organic appeal

Going green is in vogue. While the concept of organic food isn’t new, organic clothing has been trending lately. It’s subtle and elegant and the sober look has left the fashionistas go ga ga over it. Designers no longer have to sacrifice fashion for ethics. From T-shirts, ‘kurtis’, pants, shawls and more, organic clothing are as fashionable, colourful and trendy as the non-organic clothes but with a bit of care for our Mother Earth.

Organic clothing is basically made from raw materials that has been grown and processed without the use of chemical pesticides and from non-genetically manipulated seed, from the start-to-the-end process, which also includes dying.

“There are a number of brands which offer organic clothing or at least claim to, but it is important to find out if the clothes are genuine,” says Arati Nagaraja, founder of  Zeme Organics. “Certificate is very important and that alone determines the originality of the product. In India we have, Indian Standards for Organic Textiles (ISOT) and globally, we have Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) as a label. So customers have to look out for these labels to find out if they have owned a real organic clothing.”

Despite comfort being the primary reason for the choice of organic clothing, wearing organic clothes are also considered healthy, for self and the environment. It is a promotion of sustainable lifestyle. Ben Heinkel, co-founder of  ‘Samtana’, a Bengaluru-based organic clothing store, says that India is slowly gaining awareness about organic clothing.

“There are a number of small and big brands that are offering organic and sustainable clothing and apparel, which helps in educating the consumer on the benefits.

For ‘Samtana’, the idea of selling organic clothing came after we saw cotton farmers having enormous problems due to the adoption of genetically-manipulated seeds and the pesticides and the damage it caused to farm land. We wanted to do something to drive awareness about these issues, as well as support a cleaner and safer way of producing clothing. Our main focus is on wearable art where we collaborate with artists from all over the world to put their awe-inspiring designs onto our T-shirts to give people art that they can wear.”

Most often, khadi is misunderstood for organic clothing. Ben says, “Khadi is a type of fabric usually made from hemp, and does not necessarily need to be grown or processed without the use of chemicals and organic clothing can include clothes made from cotton, hemp, bamboo and others.”

Organic clothing has been there for years but the latest trends in organic clothing has seen great leaps. ‘Bhusattva’, a brand known to be one of the pioneers in organic clothing, lays emphasis on reducing, up-cycling of waste and reusing of manufactured products. Jainam Kumarpal, ecopreneur and owner of ‘Bhusattva’ says, “Latest organic trends have party and festive wear. Organic couture with classy and minimal look are in trend.

And all sorts of designs and cuts are used in organic clothing. We at ‘Bhusattva’ experiment with surfaces, hand-embroidery, hand painting, hand-block printing, unusual cuts, asymmetric structures, and flowing designs.”

Organic clothing is versatile and universal as anybody can do this classy, elegant and fashionable trend. Jainam says, the popularity of organic clothing is high among youngsters. “Youngsters are opting for no-bling and non-kitschy stuff. They care about fashion with comfort. The youngsters today are very receptive towards both: designs, and concept of ethical eco-friendly fashion,” he says.

While most of the brands agree that organic clothing is expensive than non-organic clothes, Arati says, “Organic clothing at the production stage is 10 to 20 per cent expensive than non-organic clothing. The demand has increased 10 times more now than when I started the store way back in 2007. The awareness and promotion of skin and eco-friendly of organic clothing among people has increased over the years and a lot of people are opting for this trend.”

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