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Whoever thought local can’t be luxurious clearly didn’t know of indie textile labels such as these. Labels that retain the essence of the humble grassroots they are born in and travel the world on the wings of their ambitious creators. Labels that truly recognise the labour of love. By Rashima Nagpal

  1. Indie Picks

     

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    Offering everything between shirt dresses in kalamkari to sarees in Kanchi cotton, Indie Picks is brand that resonates with the sesnsibility of the modern-Indian fashion consumer. And a pocket-friendly brand at that, available exclusively on Ajio. It’s indie textile labels like this that are changing the fashion world one wardrobe at a time.

  2. Suta

     

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    The brainchild of two sisters, Sujata (Su) and Tanya (Ta), Suta is a brand that grew out of a chance conversation with some weavers in West Bengal. A quick stroll through the brand’s Instagram page makes one fall in love with its no-frills design aesthetic and the beauty of unadulterated textile. You’ll be happy to know that they’re delivering now!

  3. Upasana

     

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    Based out of Auroville, Upasana is a conscious clothing design studio dedicated to wellness, ethical practices, handloom heritage, simplicity and beauty. It takes pride having been involved in several projects that were born out of social issues; including an organic cotton project with families of Madurai, and another with the weaving communities of Varanasi. One of its recent collections is called Healing Textiles, which involves 100 per cent organic cotton dyed in a concoction of medicinally rich herbs.

  4. House of Three

     

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    Founded by designers Sounak Sen Bharat and Anu Shyamsundar, House of Three is a responsible brand characterised by sartorial elegance. With its flagship store in Bengaluru, the brand and its workforce include weavers from Benares, Salem, Kanchipuram, and more. You have the choice of indulging in couture, prêt, diffusion, menswear, as well as a line of home décor. Buy it here.

  5. Oshadi

     

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    A contemporary womenswear brand seeking to revive and sustain India’s traditional craft heritage, Oshadi works with meat-free and natural fibres like organic cotton, non-violent silk, linen and wool. What further sets the indie textile labels apart are its thoughtful practices such as soil carbon sequestration, which is a compost phenomenon that basically involves capturing atmospheric carbon into the soil—one of the fewest known ways to reverse climate change. You can shop Oshadi here

  6. Ode to Odd

     

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    A label that screams chic in many an unconventional cut and silhouette, Ode to Odd was born in 2017. Helmed by sisters Shreya and Priyal Merwara from Ranchi, this indie textile label has a strong footprint in London, where its stores are, and definitely continues to win hearts back home through stores such as Ogaan and exhibits such as The India Story.

  7. Moral Science

     

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    Based out of Goa’s art and design district Assagao, Moral Science is a unisex label by visual artist Isha Ahluwalia. The opposite of fast fashion, the products are a pleasing combination of bold, eccentric, and a whole lot of fun. While a brandnew collection is underway, up-cycled, double-sided Ikat masks made from workshop scraps, ethically produced in their Goa atelier, are up for grabs right now via their Instagram page!

  8. 11:11

     

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    A pret label that has a stand-alone retail store in New Delhi and a concept store in Tokyo, 11:11/Eleven-Eleven is a fine example of local and luxurious. Its agenda is clear—to make high fashion products that are completely handmade and dyed naturally using colours extracted from barks, petals and leaves. Ialso retails from other multi-brand locations in India, USA, Canada, Korea and Japan.

  9. Ethicus

     

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    Launched in 2009, Ethicus is the brainchild of husband and wife Mani Chinnaswamy, a third-generation ginner and contract farmer, and Vijayalakshmi Nachiarthe creative head of the farm-to-fashion brand. They, along with a close-knit network of farmersweavers, and designers—including, Ajrakh and Bandhani artisans in Kutch; Kalamkari artisans in Telangana; and Chikankari artisans in Lucknow—grow their own organic cotton and hand-weave it in Pollachi, Tamil NaduThe outcome is a beautiful Ethicus garment, each of which carries a tag with the picture and name of the weaver on it, along with the number of days it took him/her to weave the product.

  10. Kshitij Jalori

     

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    From pashmina brocades originating from the looms of Benares to his latest, a black-and-white collection called Cinnamon Hill that takes inspiration from Geoffrey Bawa and his tropical modern style of architecture, Kshitij Jalori’s eponymous Delhi-based brand has been making heads turn ever since it came into existence, in 2018. All of them, however, have two traits in common—Indian heritage and preservation. 

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