"It's a small peck that we are giving back to the nature with our initiative of creating compostable clothes for animal lovers," says Hitesha Deshpande, 37, founder of fashion label PECKD.
The new collection titled Delta & Dawn for corporate women, is biodegradable and also 100 percent compostable. From the fabric to the thread and even the buttons, everything decomposes when buried in moist soil.
“The fabric has been made from vegetable cellulose, some of which is being sourced from Cambodia. We also have manufactering partners in the Sundarbans. Our collection is in white because cellulose doesn’t hold colours. And the process of dyeing uses a lot of chemicals and huge quantity of water. Since, we don’t want to use chemicals, we are finding other ways,” says Deshpande.
All nine designs have been named after whales that were either tracked, released, or are being nurtured at a sanctuary. The dresses are named Trident, Scylla and Cygnus; tops titled Flo and Bisou and a jumpsuit named Echo.
"The collection has also been named after two humpback whales – Delta and Dawn. This mother-daughter pair swam inshore into the freshwaters of Sacramento after being wounded by motorboats. This is the farthest any humpback whale has swum inland. The rescue teams could not get close to the pair, so had to use dart guns to administer antibiotics to heal their wounds. It was two years later, after continual efforts by both the whales and the humans, that the duo was healthy enough to swim back to the sea," says Deshpande.
Apostrophe, a skirt and blazer combo, is the signature piece, handcrafted using compostable silk and takes almost 10 days to finish. The pleated details are inspired by the dorsal grooves of the humpback whale.
Talking about PECKD, Deshpande says, "My partner Himanshu Kulhari and I are animal lovers, and we’ve ended up creating fashionable clothing for the animal lovers that they can wear to work or even a date. For buttons, we use walnuts and vegetable pulp. By walnuts, I mean the actual nut. Because we want to ensure that once they are put into the moist soil, they decompose within 180 days. They are not polished; we just buff the buttons to lend a little shine," she adds.