Sustainable Fashion Day at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2019
The opening show on Sustainable Fashion Day at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2019, was a unique collaboration between C&A Foundation, a corporate foundation here to transform the fashion industry, and 11.11/eleven eleven; a Prét label by the entrepreneurs Shani Himanshu, and Mia Morikawa. The two organisations came together to share a collection made from sustainable, organic cotton sourced directly from a certified producer. They also invited farmers to take the stage to share their experience of organic cultivation.
The collaboration created a dialogue about the sustainable and organic cotton movement in the Indian fashion industry. C&A Foundation was in conversation with two smallholder farmers from Madhya Pradesh to elaborate on the health and economic benefits that were a result of adopting sustainable cotton farming practices. The farmers urged the audience to commit to organic not just for the farmers but for the environment as well.
Lakshmi Poti, Programme Manager of Sustainable Raw Materials from C&A Foundation said, “We believe strongly in the transformative power of innovative partnerships like this one with Lakmé Fashion Week to act as a catalyst to make the business case stronger for organic cotton”.
C&A Foundation spoke about the socio-economic and environmental case for organic cotton through their collaborations with farmers, textile industry and the government. An increase in the uptake of organic cotton through their work with brands, industry players, and civil society organisations is key to making fashion more sustainable. The farmers were supported by C&A Foundation, WWF and SRIJAN to transition to organic cotton cultivation and to strengthen market linkages.
On the other hand, the 11.11/eleven eleven brand has been a deep-rooted organic label that has worked with weavers as well as farmers and emphasised their creations with vegetable dyes and block prints. With these ethical products, the brand showcased some easy shapes and styles that had a perennial charm.
To the melodious strains of Indian music by a quartet, the show unveiled the beauty of cotton in all its glorious looks.
The fabrics that the brand concentrated on were Khadi cotton, organic cotton and from organic cotton manufacturers of knits along with chambray Khadi. The Khadi was in solid and natural yarn-dyed stripes in varying weights, while some of the cotton was from an indigenous rain-fed organic cotton called ‘kala’ cotton from Gujarat.
The garments had an easy, fluid, flow about them with detailing being the centre of attraction. Top stitches, pleating, gathers, wide diaphanous silhouettes came together seamlessly. The relaxed shapes were seen for the baggy pants, slim dresses, comfy jumpsuits, short dungarees and joggers that were all aimed at offering timeless clothing.
Keeping the prét aspect of the collection in control the cool cotton ensembles at times accessorised by hand-painted or naturally resist-dyed scarves, branded cotton tapes that appeared as belts, tie-ups and inside finishing, completed the look. Traditional crafts like Bandhani, mud resist prints, Kalamkari, as well as hand painting and Shibori, appeared periodically to embellish the apparel.
Some of the scene stealers were a draped hand-spun top with shibori detail worn with draped long skirt in chambray. A 200-count fine hand spun creation in indigo, all over Bandhani blouse with matching pants in ochre yellow and the all-over Bandhani shirt with hand-painted and patchwork added to the look of the line.
Men’s wear was relaxed, with Bandhani and chambray playing an important role for kurta, shorts, hoodies, joggers, and overall with large Bandhani, hand-spun denim pants and indigo patchwork Bundi with Kala cotton pants.
The colour story remained true to indigo with the dyeing being 100 per cent natural that was from indigo leaves, pomegranate shells, ferrous and tamarind seeds, as well as hints of charcoal, yellow, smoke, ecru and light blue – all shades that were very earthy.
When it comes to following the sustainable path in fashion the 11.11/eleven eleven labels in collaboration with C&A Foundation offered the best options that will make fashion followers devoted to organic attire.