We’re always drawing inspiration from this country we live in. There’s much to inspire in India, and while the term is new, the idea of upcycling is one of these things, a way of using and reusing that is deeply ingrained in the fabric of our culture. Upcycling is essentially the practice of repurposing a used product into a new one; giving it a second life instead of discarding it.
The culture of mending, repairing, and reusing has existed in India for generations. We’ve all witnessed mothers and grandmothers using brightly coloured thread, patchwork, and darning (or raffu) to freshen up a well-loved clothing, blankets and upholstery. Hand-me-downs ran from siblings to younger cousins, all while the cloth developed an incredible softness from years of washing, wearing and use.
We took a cue from India’s love for upcycling in the making of our Little Nico line, and we take pride in saying that it’s made entirely of reclaimed fabric. It all starts when we create our clothing collections using the fabric yardage needed to make the magic happen, but once we’re done, there’s a whole lot of leftover fabric that’s still brand new and ready-to-use. We thought there was no better way to put these little pieces of fabric to use than to make clothes for little people. That’s the idea behind Little Nico – the leftover fabric is cut, dyed, detailed and sewn with just as much love (if not more) as our other stuff.
And while all our collections are crafted in natural fabrics, we’ve been taking baby steps to make the switch to environmentally-responsible fabrics. We’ve been using bamboo fabric in our clothing collections over the past few seasons. In addition to our existing organic cotton tees in our Core line, we’ve added three new colours to our womenswear collection, Vipasa. Also new are our pieces in Tencel and cupro.
Here’s a bit about each one. Bamboo fabric is spun from the strong and lengthy fibers of bamboo pulp. As a hardy plant that grows quickly without needing fertilizers or pesticides, it is a highly sustainable option. Organic cotton is grown without using pesticides, and from non GMO (genetically modified) seeds, so the pods and can be used to grow more cotton plants rather than single cycle plants. Cupro is a plant-based, cruelty-free fabric made from the tiny fibres that are left on cotton seeds once most of the fiber is harvested. Comparable to silk in lustre and drape, it comes with the added benefits of being biodegradable and durable enough for regular usage. Tencel is made from wood pulp that is treated to create cellulose fibers, producing a sturdy fabric that is well suited for activewear and travel.
We’ve integrated these sustainable fabrics into our collections in an effort to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint. While it’s a work in progress, we’re on the road to making a positive impact.