Sustainable fashion refers to creating products after considering their impact on the environment and society through their lifespan. The young venture No Nasties specialises in selling organic and fair trade fashionable clothes that are sustainedly made, right from the seed to the garment.
Every step in the making of a No Nasties T-shirt is eco-friendly — procuring the cotton, dyeing of fabrics, manufacturing — all follow the requirements of the Global Organic Textile Standards. The entire supply chain is certified ‘fair trade’ by the Shop for Change NGO. Their cotton comes from Chetna Organic Farmers Co-op and their factory is in Kolkata. “With No Nasties we promise to do everything the right way every step of the way — no toxic pesticides, no GM seeds, no carcinogenic chemicals, no child labour, no exploitation, no discrimination. No means no!” clarifies Apurva Kothari, the 36-year-old founder of the Mumbai-based start-up.
Journey till now
When Kothari decided to switch to a more organic way of living, he realised there weren’t many options. He started formulating a business plan while working on his full-time job at Frog Design, San Francisco, USA, as a consultant. On returning to India in April 2010, Kothari got together with his friend, Diti Kotecha and self-funded with an investment of Rs 5 lakh. “No Nasties is a social business — our goal is to create a consumer movement for organic products in India. We want to provide customers with an option that is not only sustainable but also meets their design sensibilities,” says Kothari. They launched in April.
Kothari and Kotecha prefer to refer to themselves as “two bicycle riding, frisbee tossing, yoga posing, organic farming, city dwelling and Auroville dreaming Mumbai residents! We do no nasty!” They have designers who work on a part-time basis.
Diti Kotecha, 30, who has studied graphic design and travel photography, is an organic farmer as well. The 30-year-old is in charge of the design and branding for No Nasties. “The name we chose for our brand, ‘No Nasties’, the logo and the communication language are all fun without being frivolous, meaningful without being preachy,” she explains.
You can pitch in too
Kothari handles the business strategy and marketing. The team invites designers to join their community. People interested can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Kothari and Kotecha work with different NGOs as part of this venture — Mirakle Couriers, which employ low-income deaf adults, deliver the T-shirts to Mumbai. They use recycled tetrapack paper for the tags and business cards.
They share their profits with Pebble Garden, which is an experiment in a sustainable model for food production. No Nasties gives a Tsunamika — dolls made by women in Tsunami-affected areas of south India — free with each T-shirt.
How to buy a No Nasties T-shirt
Order online at www.nonasties.in. Or go to one of the stores in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. They plan to start a fashion and lifestyle brand soon. Stylish and sustainable, with good designs and great fits.