HYDERABAD: Organic cotton, which is essentially native cotton, is grown without pesticides. So in essence, it is chemical-free. It feels luxurious on the body and is extremely lustrous. The quality is far superior to regular cotton. “Sustainable fashion can give more beauty, comfort and luxury. Understanding this, I decided – why settle for anything less,” says Monica Ramadhenu of city-based Indiflora Organic Herbal Clothing.
So what led her to get involved with fashion?
“I was always interested in fashion. The real drive happened after a chance-visit to a friend’s textile factory in Ahmedabad, producing complete sustainable clothing – herbal dyed and organic. They also got into Khadi now. The learning experience there had a great impact on me. One visit helped me open my eyes about the toxicity in our conventional clothing. I got to know about the beauty of organic cotton. It was an instant decision that this is what I would do,” she tells us.
Indiflora stands for the goodness and soulfulness of all that is natural. It is a celebration of age-old wisdom and crafts of our culture. “We have had such a long and rich history of herbal dyeing. To me it is important that the workers in the entire chain, right from farmers, are treated fairly and with dignity. And so, I aspired to bring forth this kind of clothing,” she adds.
Her vision is to make chemical-free clothing. And that is what it shall always remain to be. “I am extremely conscious about what I use and where it comes from. So invariably, materials always come from people who are as sensitive and passionate about environment and livelihoods. Nature has abundant to offer and I endeavour to make clothes enriched with it. Other factors like profits, popularity, etc. would not stand in the way,” says the city based designer.
There is substantial demand for it. Awareness is growing about the disaster and failure of Bt Cotton(genetically modified cotton). Organic industry to grow, would need, a big push and support from the government, which currently seems to be lacking. Today, most of the demand for organic clothing is generated abroad. However, the domestic demand is also picking up.
Talking about the challenges of sustainable textiles, she says, “One of the biggest challenges I foresee is spurious brands coming in, trying to ride the wave of sustainable textiles. Only a connoisseur would be able to tell the difference. The other challenge the end consumer would have to face, is the extra care in terms of limitations of sustainable textiles - for example, using of mild detergents, gentle wash cycle, etc.”
One can choose from kurtis, salwars, palazzos and skirts. And for men – kurtas and shirts.