NEW DELHI- Discarded crisp packets arrived on the runway last week in the form of sunglasses and jewelry after a round of treatments in Pune, IndiaAshaya, who brought his Without brand and company founder Anish Malpani a reward of 1.5 million rupees, or about $18,000.
A strong and final moment of the second day of Lakme Fashion Week in partnership with the Fashion Design Council of India, which took place October 11-15, the Circularity Design Challenge upped its game in its fifth year. The event went global for the first time this season, naming six finalists: one from the United Kingdom, one from the European Union and one from the Asia-Pacific region, as well as three from India.
“One of the things we wanted to achieve is to create global competition from India,” Reliance Brands Ltd group vice president Jaspreet Chandok told WWD. “Many of our partners were pleasantly surprised by the scale of what we were able to achieve during India Fashion Week. I think it adds weight to the Indian fashion industry and our place in the conversation about sustainability and circularity for India to award one of the leading circularity awards in the world – that is our ambition,” he said, while describing it as one of the “largest sustainability platforms in the world.” country “.
Globalization has required many avenues and partnerships.
“International expansion has indeed presented logistical challenges,” said Rakesh Bali, senior vice president and head of marketing at Reliance Industries Ltd. “Coordinating events in different countries, managing resources and ensuring a consistent experience across locations required meticulous planning. We had excellent partners with Redress Hong Kong, the British Council UK and the Istituto Marangoni Milan, who helped us very effectively disseminate information about the CDC and its objectives in their respective geographies and attract talent, designers and fashion enthusiasts from around the world.
Reliance-owned R-Elan, a next-generation fabric brand, and the United Nations have sponsored the show since its launch five years ago. The event at the United Nations House saw each candidate present their concepts.
Malpani’s models stood out with their silver trench coats and sunglasses made from recycled multi-layer plastic packaging collected by waste pickers.
“These trench coats were made from almost impossible to recycle plastic packaging from the coffee industry. The shoes were from Thaely shoes, made from recycled plastic – the look was truly circular,” he explained.
After giving up a job in corporate finance in New York, Malpani moved to India – as he puts it, “to make a difference.”
After almost three years of creative and technological processing to sort, sort and transform waste, his company released a video on social media revealing the sale of unique sunglasses, also anti-UV, polarized and durable.
“We didn’t do any publicity, but this video caught fire,” Malpani said.
Orders poured in for the sunglasses, priced at 1,000 rupees, or about $12.
The fact that they are environmentally and socially conscious and tell a story seems to have captured the imagination of consumers.
“I wanted our situation to be economically viable, otherwise it’s just clouds in the sky,” he said, having used his own funds to start the process; an expected investment of one million dollars will help promote growth, he envisions.
The finalist – Ecuadorian national Felipe Fiallo, who lives in Italy and was selected during the European tour – received funding worth 500,000 rupees, or about $6,000, and, like the winner, will be mentored by Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution and creative director of Estethica. Its innovative shoes combine digital manufacturing, durability and style.
“Although all the entrants had very strong concepts, one of the things we looked at was the ability to evolve,” said designer Rahul Mishra, who was one of the judges.
Other finalists in the show included Taiwan’s Pei-Wen Jin, from the Asia-Pacific region, who showed how a childhood game can be an inspiration for circularity. The tangram, recreated with fabric waste, which can be reorganized in dozens of ways – from skirts to pants, collars or bags – minimizing waste and with creative fashion. In 2021, she was a finalist in the Redress Design Awards.
Sri Lankan designer Amesh Wijesekera, based in London and a semi-finalist for the LVMH prize, worked with surplus factory fibers.
The other two finalists from India included Banofi + Studio Beej (Consortium) by Jinali Mody and Arundhati Kumar, who used banana harvest waste to creatively make plant-based leather for bags and accessories. Their collection, Biparita, combined new age organic research.
Studio Medium by Riddhi Jain and Dhruv Satija used patterned solutions to transform large quantities of discarded silk scraps and cotton threads into textiles and clothing in their colorful bandhani styles.
Sustainability was also a priority for other designers throughout the day, including well-known design duo Abraham & Thakore, whose “Body Language” collection featured various techniques such as ikat ajrakh, brocades, badla and sequins for formal and casual wear, and designers Mia Morikawa and Shani Himanshu, the driving forces behind the 11.11/eleveneveneven brand, who created hand-spun yarns to form a beautiful raw fabric, and a collection of Block printed floral checkered designs, inspired by the distinctive tiles of Chettinad, Tamil Nadu.
The five days of Lakme The Fashion Week brought together designers from across India and also had a unique setting, this time at the new and spacious Pragati Maidan location.
Highlights included designer duo Shivan & Narresh, with Birkenstock shoes, whose vacations and swimwear were inspired by a recent trip to Finland, and designer Aneeth Arora’s show for the brand Pero which mimicked a huge Mad Hatter tea party, with models walking across the tables and engaging in endless mime and simulated chatter around the table. In the “Cuckoo & Co.” collection, her designs were both vintage and bohemian, with exaggerated prints and styles.
The closing show on Sunday featured New York-based Indian designer Bibhu Mohapatra, who returned to exhibit in India after more than a decade, with his collection titled ‘Come Home’.
“It’s like a reverse migration,” Mohapatra told WWD. “My Indian fraternity is breaking barriers and exhibiting in New York, Paris and London. For me, it is also a tribute to my country of origin and to the artisans who work on many of my creations.
Even as it celebrates a flagship product at TriBeCa, it is also clear that it was time to take a closer look at the Indian market – with the right partner, and perhaps to manufacture in India with more sensitivity to listening to the Indian consumer.