We’ve read about experiments with hemp fabric, worn light-weight milk apparel and are well-versed with veggie dyes taking the fashion industry by storm. And with India’s textile industry leading the way when it comes to the global eco-fibre market, it’s no surprise that designers here are experimenting with natural fibres more than ever before. And the latest to join the bandwagon is the mother-daughter designer duo — Jyoti and Sayesha Sachdev — who recently launched their organic clothing brand, Core by JSI, in Bengaluru. Just in time for the summer, pick from a range of apparel infused with aloe vera, banana crepe and poppy cotton.
All things aloe
Taking me through the crafting process, Sayesha says working with these fibres was a first for her team of vendors. “They’ve worked with different materials for other products — aloe-infused pillows, bed linen — but this is the first time a brand is using it in the form of clothing,” says the designer, explaining how aloe vera capsules (like molecules) are woven into the fabric by weavers.
“Every time an infused garment is worn, aloe helps keep the skin cool,” she says, explaining that these capsules are microscopic, airtight and waterproof. In addition to the skin benefits, aloe also lends a few features to the fabric itself. It is naturally anti-bacterial, and not only does it keep the clothing cleaner, it also combats body odour, perfect for the blazing summer months ahead.
The collection — comprising flowy dresses, trousers, jumpsuits and skirts (for men and women) — comes on the heels of Jyoti’s own brand JSI, hitting the 20-year milestone. “It began when my mother asked me where I saw her brand going five years from now. I was already involved with JSI, but our perspectives on design are very different,” says Sayesha, who is known for her collections fashioned with industrial waste and natural dyes at her brand, SY:SH-The Design House, now merged with Core.
What followed was a rethink on how take Jyoti’s design philosophy of clean silhouettes and flowy drapes and blend it with Sayesha’s eco-sensibilities. “My clothes are very simple and structured: like a basic white shirt or a dress, but designed with sustainability in mind,” she says.
Sayesha’s previous collections included banana fibre, recycled fabrics from fast fashion factories that were heading to a landfill. This collection too has quite a bit of unused fabric from earlier projects. “A big part of our brand is recycling and using what we have. In fast fashion, people use materials like nylon and polyester which are not only non-biodegradable, but also, if they lose a bit of a stretch or get damaged, are not reusable,” she says. “So in this collection, you will see fabrics like organza that I’ve collected for over two decades.” Sayesha also has a stock of taffeta, chanderi and georgette, waiting to be called upon for use.
- Designed in collaboration with interior designer Gaurav Saree, the duo’s concept store at Colonnade showcases Core’s fabrics as installations, held down by custom weights. Almost opaque, the fabrics create a play with light and shadows. The materials are used to achieve the blank canvas are in hues of black, grey and white. “We wanted to highlight the fabric,” says Sayesha, adding, “In the coming months, we’re going to have art installations, paintings, pottery and sculptures and are in touch with a few artists.”
The fabrics for Core are sourced from vendors across Delhi and Kolkata, and according to Sayesha, they’re ‘eco-verified’. The dyes for their prints are organic too. “They (the vendors) tick certain boxes in the eco-friendly chart. For example, they pass the global recycle standards, global organic textile standards have been tested for harmful substances. So this way we know where the fabric is coming from and how it’s produced.”
Post wrapping up the launch, the team has been researching and testing fibres made out of soy bean, eucalyptus, bamboo and rose petals for their upcoming Resort 2019 collection launching in May. Look forward to custom vegan prints and lounge wear in breathable fabrics.
Also under research and development is a method to 3D print clothes according to custom measurements in order to reduce waste. “Clothes have to be cut and shaped according to measurements, which means there is still bits and pieces going to waste. We trying to find a way eliminate this,” says Sayesha. The process is still under research and will be used only for made-to-order garments, clothes that don’t come under the brand’s usual sizes.
₹3500 to ₹25,000 at The Leela Collonnade, Bengaluru