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India is known for its rich cultural history and artisanal textile traditions, and is home to a host of conscious fashion labels creating beautiful clothing that is more respectful of people, the planet, and animals. Here are eight of our favourite more sustainable clothing brands from India.
Clothing rooted in artisanal craft
India’s traditional fashion is known worldwide for its brilliant colours, intricate designs, and links to culture. And as one of the largest producers of textiles in the world, and the leading global source of organic cotton, it is also a prime example of an area where the expanding sustainable fashion movement can thrive.
However, owing to globalisation, legacies of colonialism, and outsourcing of cheap skilled labour, much of the clothing “made in India” sold by the most profitable brands like H&M and Zara is rooted in worker exploitation and environmental harm. Fast fashion and the mass market leads to the devaluing of local artisanal craft and the disruption of valuable traditional handcrafting techniques.
By supporting smaller Indian clothing labels that have roots in the region and are creating responsibly-made clothing doing better by people, the planet, and animals, you are helping to shift the fashion landscape.
So what makes a fashion brand more ethical than others?
Long story short, a responsible brand makes sure it positively affects our Earth and its inhabitants.
A more ethical brand ensures its workers are treated fairly across the supply chain. This includes policies and practices on child labour, forced labour, worker safety, the right to join a union, and payment of a living wage.
A more sustainable brand also cares about its use of resources and energy, reducing its carbon emissions, impact on our waterways, and using and disposing of chemicals safely.
Finally, a conscious brand uses no or very few animal products, like wool, leather, fur, angora, down feather, shearling, karakul, and exotic animal skin and hair. Ideally, the brand is 100% vegan.
Now that you know what to look for to determine whether a brand is more ethical than others, you might decide to shop from companies located in your country or city. Whether it is to support your local communities or reduce your carbon footprint when shopping online, shopping locally has many great benefits.
So if you live in India or want to support small Indian labels, you might wonder which clothing brands are doing better. We know how you feel, which is why we compiled this list of “Good” or “Great” rated fashion brands either based or produced in India.
Curious about brands in other regions? Check out our favourite brands from:
- the USA (including brands from California, LA, and New York)
- Europe (and more specifically from Germany (including Berlin), Belgium, Spain and Portugal, Italy (including Milan), France (and Paris), the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, and Switzerland)
- the UK (and brands from London)
- Australia and New Zealand