Conversations and visual narratives about ethical clothing
Ongoing personal project to encourage conversation and education about ethical and sustainable fashion, and what we can do to improve our thinking and actions in this direction.
Tying in the lovely scrapbooking technique with leftover fabric which Doodlage uses with rough brush strokes as if scrapbooked in a painting book.
Photography, Digital Art, Creative Direction by Rhea Gupte
IN CONVERSATION WITH KRITI TULA
I came across your work while we were were supposed to start working on a completely different and unrelated project. I was instantly fascinated by the route you were taking with your brand, especially in terms of creating something beautiful with discarded fabrics. I am so eager to know how this journey began.
It was during a summer internship at an export house that I realised how much ‘waste’ fabric was produced. Fabric of excellent quality but with some colour, print or weaver defect, just discarded off. It was after seeing this plethora of fabric being discarded that I decided, I have to do something about it. It was just a matter of time before Doodlage was born.
It is so rare that a young label imbibes all the qualities that Doodlage already does. It goes to show how focused you are towards this cause.
Doodlage as a label, is a blend of sustainable and innovative design. We design, deconstruct and develop chic garments using industrial waste, dead stocks and sustainable material. Every product has its own story and no two garments are the same.
Doodlage stands for simple and sustainable design. We try to adapt this thinking in our design process- where clothes are comfortable and utilitarian, made with up-cycled or organic fabric; as well as in our production process— where we try to work on a zero waste policy. Every thing from post production is put back into use through various kinds of patchwork, knitting of back fabrics etc.
I would love to know your early inspirations and even thoughts while going into this.
After my internship, I started thinking and researching about sustainable and ethical fashion. It was this quest to know more and do better that lead to the birth of Doodlage. Orsola Da Castro, Aesthetica has always been a great mentor and inspiration. Looking at a plethora of ‘waste’ fabric and seeing infinite opportunities was the kick starter. I wanted to explore this concept of what is considered ‘waste fabric’, we can use what is viable to reduce the amount of actual unusable waste created, all while maintaining a high design and production standard.
I remember bumping into you at Fashion Week a few seasons back and that was the first time we met in person. Your clothes were so full of life and personally, I am a huge fan of each piece from your label being unique, something that cannot be replicated. However, I am sure that comes with a fair share of limitations in terms of the business aspect.
Sustainable fashion is a relatively new concept in the Indian market and so it took us while to get out there and make people care about and understand what we are doing. There is still a stigma of sorts related to anything recycled or pre loved, not many people want to buy what someone else has already owned and worn. Through a loyal clientele and increasing awareness, we are slowly overcoming these misconceptions. Replicating pieces for adamant clients is something that tends to be a problem for us. Since we work with industrial waste, our raw material is determined by what we get when go out sourcing. We try to deliver the closest possible match but the pieces are never identical. To us its a wonderful process much like putting puzzle together, just with fabric and you never know what you’re going to get!
That is a beautiful way to describe it. I do feel acceptance to these unique methods of production is the need of the hour.
Ethical fashion is more than just buying from certain designers. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle. Simple things like not excessively shopping or following fast trends, supporting local handicrafts, re-using and recycling old garments or belongings, proper waste disposal, energy management, all go a long way. We only have one planet and its up to us to make it better, however we can. It is a wonderful time to be a part of the sustainable fashion in India. Designers like 11.11, Kasha, Aneeth Arora, P.E.L.L.A, to name a few, are showing us just how different and versatile the concept of sustainable design is. Eco-friendly, sustainable, up cycled are no longer words which evoke a stereotypical polite yet uninterested reaction, instead the world waits at the edge of their seat – ready to be mind blown.
Our previously featured designer Priyanka Lama from the label P.E.L.L.A asks:
What is the best piece of creative advice you have ever received? Who was it from? Right now the organic and sustainable fashion is being seen mostly at the top end of the pyramid. How can we make this into a mass revolution so that textiles in India are designed, produced and consumed by Indians?
A wise man one said- Start where you are, with what you know and what you have. Just start. Organic and sustainable fashion needs to be more affordable and readily available for it to turn into a mass revolution. We need to challenge the notion that sustainable fashion is just for the runway, not for everyday wear. We need to be present where the common man sees us and understands what we are doing. Its only when they believe in the cause, that they will be a part of it.
I would like to ask you to contribute a question I can ask the next designer I interview for Ethical Threads.
What can you do to plan your waste production better, to make it sustainable and efficient?