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4 Indian Sustainable Fashion Labels You Need To Know

Avani Purohit

Someone once said, "you are what you wear." Or wait, was it "you are what you eat?" Perhaps both hold true. And when it comes to clothes, there's "junk food" available too – it comes in the form of cheap fast fashion. How else do you think you can buy a tank top for Rs.199?

Since time immemorial a few luxury labels, high street brands and celebrity lines have been accused of producing their clothes in sweatshops – the latest being Beyonce's active wear collection, Ivy Park. And it's always the same story – he said, she said. We didn't know.

So we decided to collate a list of brands that are produced ethically, so you can keep them in mind the next time you go shopping. A big shout out to the handful of Indian designers and social entrepreneurs who have taken it upon themselves to change the status quo of fast fashion and its impact on the environment and the garment workers. We need more like you. We really do.


1. Grassroot by Anita Dongre

Who: Known as the go-to designer for gotapatti lehengas and hand woven benarasi ensembles, Anita Dongre has created an empire that caters to every aspect of your wardrobe. From ethnic to western wear and jewellery - she’s got you covered!

What: Founded in 1995, House of Anita Dongre recently launched a sustainable prêt label, Grassroot. So what’s so cool about it? They believe in slow fashion, use environment-friendly techniques, work with NGO’s such as SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre, Self Employed Women’s Association in Lucknow and Trishul Foundation. And it gets better - this leather free and eco-conscious line also ensures that the artisans are duly compensated for their work.

Where: www.grassroot.anitadongre.com

Worn by: Neha Dhupia, Kalki Koechlin, Kareena Kapoor Khan

Product Range: Dresses, Tunics, Gowns, Bags, Jewellery

Price: ++


Neha Dhupia


Kareena Kapoor




2. Raw Mango

Who: Sanjay Garg went to the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design (IICD) in Jaipur but quit after a year to attend the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in New Delhi. Even though his eponymous label, Sanjay Garg has hit the runways, he believes that Raw Mango isn't there yet. Oh, but it is!

What: Raw Mango specialises in hand-loom saris using chanderi silks and cotton-silk blends. They work with around 500 traditional weavers across India, who help create contemporary hand woven textiles.

Where: www.perniaspopupshop.com or www.ogaan.com or www.rawmango.in

Worn by: Karishma Kapoor, Kajol, Tabu, Sonia Gandhi

Product Range: Saris, Fabrics, Stoles

Price: +++


Karishma Kapoor

A photo posted by Raw Mango (@raw_mango) on



A photo posted by Raw Mango (@raw_mango) on




3. Behno

Who: One seldom comes across a fashion label spearheaded by an Indian guy who has done his undergrad from U.C Berkley, MS from Duke University, and studied social entrepreneurship from the Fuqua School of Business. Shivam Punjya, founder and CEO of Behno, endeavours to set the ball in motion when it comes to curbing the vices of the garment manufacturing industry.

What: Designed in New York and manufactured in India, Behno adheres to the ‘Behno Standard’. Which is? Protection of the garment workers by providing them with health care, workers rights and family planning. They have also partnered with Muni Seva Ashram (MSA), a NGO based in Gujarat to help implement those standards.

Where: www.behno.com or indelust.com

Worn by: Emma Watson, Amber Valletta

Product Range: Dresses, Outerwear, Tops, Bottoms

Price: +++++


Emma Watson

A photo posted by behno (@behno_official) on


Amber Valletta

A photo posted by behno (@behno_official) on




4. Shift

Who: Designer Nimish Shah’s inclination towards sustainability can be traced back to his college years. A graduate from London College of Fashion, PAN UK awarded him a scholarship for exploring the use of organic cotton. And it doesn't end there. He also received the Fashioning the Future award for material innovation at The Centre for Sustainable Fashion summit in London.

What: Sustainable materials such as organic, fair trade, natural fibers are sourced for their creations. Fabric waste from their previous collections are hand quilted into quilts by an NGO that works on empowering rural Indian women.

Where: www.perniaspopupshop.com or www.shift-india.com

Worn by: Sonakshi Sinha, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor

Product Range: Dresses, Outerwear, Bottoms, Tops

Price: +++


Kareena Kapoor Khan

A photo posted by Nimish 🕶 (@nimishshift) on


Sonam Kapoor

A photo posted by Nimish 🕶 (@nimishshift) on







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