Responsible fashion is a statement that goes a long way for this brand. From taking note of its impact on the environment to ensuring that they take as little as possible from the ecology, Mani Chinnaswamy and Vijayalakshmi of Ethicus talk to After Hrs about their label and its inspirations…
Let’s start with the collection you introduced in Bangalore not too long ago. Why was Iran a city of inspiration for that collection?
Our inspiration came from the city of Isafahan in Iran. It’s a beautiful city, surrounded by greenery and flowing water, with beautiful Islamic architecture all around. We noticed the commonality between Iran and India — our motifs and architecture are quite similar. The jalis, geometric works and the intricate work displayed on the walls of the mosques were very similar to the works in Rajasthan. Even the dome structures there resembled the temple domes found here in South India.
We also found a sense of spirituality all around and the symbolism in everything takes your breath away.
On a more practical level, the colour palette is what is really appealing — the blues, yellows and greens only added to our inspiration. We were very fascinated by the city and wanted to express what we saw on our designs.
You are a big promoter of slow movement in fashion…
That is correct. We have been promoting slow fashion for the last three years through the show Fibre Studies and since we are all about eco-friendly and ethical fashion, slow fashion is perfect for us. It emphasies on quality over quantity and is all about clothing made by hand and rejects mass production clothing.
How are you developing ‘ethical fashion’ in reality?
Apart from making beautiful clothes, our forte lies in the superior quality of the textiles. Our products are organic and we used natural dyes. We focus on promoting the handloom industry’s growth so that weavers get their due credit and livelihood. We also promote the use of eco-friendly and safe products.
Our aim is to revive the handloom industry as much as possible. Apart from that, we don’t use chemicals or pesticides while growing cotton and for the silk that we use, it is procured from a gentleman who make silk from using broken cocoons instead of killing the cocoon to extract the silk.
What is your design mantra?
It’s simple; we create the classic-contemporary look fro women. We most used the jakad weaving style, along with others
What does this latest collection have?
This collection is a handloom line mainly consisting of saris, but we also have tunics, kurtas, short tops, home linen, scarves and stoles. And yes, we’ve also brought in the cotton blanket, which we are trying to revive.