It might have taken decades for global fashion players to recognise sustainability as an important leitmotif in their designs but Indian designers David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore have explored the idea for over quarter of a century. From working with Ahimsa silk, exploring Kantha embroidery using old saris and hospital X rays to creating kurtas made of discarded cushion covers and bedsheets, the duo has imagined sustainability through a lens of upcyling, recycling, and fabric innovation and intervention. It’s something that works perfectly with their signature pared-down aesthetic – think ankle-length belted saris and light trenches made in eco-friendly fabrics that exude a sense of urban sophistication. And now taking their commitment to sustainability further is their latest resort collection, launched in collaboration with the Austria-based Lenzing group.
The duo has worked with the brand’s ECOVERO™ fabric to create exquisite saris with 3D applique pallus, kedia inspired tops, kurtas with funky upgrades, and dhoti trousers in their signature black and white. Besides this, the line is packed with printed robes and casual button-downs. ECOVERO has been certified with the EU Ecolabel, and creates 50 percent lower emissions and water impact compared to generic viscose. We caught up with the designer duo to get a complete lowdown on the Abraham and Thakore x Lenzing collaboration.
Tell us more about this collaboration with LENZING™ ECOVERO™
It was last year that our collaboration with the Lenzing group began. We were invited to design a collection using their ECOVERO™ fabric, which is woven from a new sustainable fibre, to be presented at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2019. We have now launched a capsule collection with LENZING™ ECOVERO™. This sustainably produced collection has been designed to create a statement that is as stylish as it is environmentally responsible. ECOVERO™ is a cellulose fibre that is derived from certified and controlled wood and pulp sources. ECOVERO™ meets very high environmental standards from raw material to production, distribution, and disposal.
What are some of the highlights of the collection?
This collection comprises of easy, elegant separates in sustainable viscose and is ideal for a holiday getaway – hand-embroidered calligraphy, scribbled florals, appliqued graphics and printed jaali motifs are some of the inspiration, all in a classic colour palette of ivory, beige, olive and black. We also have pieces that use hand-block printing to create a pattern. The idea was to contrast the high tech ECOVERO™ fabrics with the most traditional and low-tech wooden hand block.
On how to create a sustainable wardrobe
Quality is imperative. Clothes have to be made to last. Fast fashion is not sustainable. The material should be biodegradable and the production processes need to be as minimally damaging to the environment as possible.
On how designers can make sustainability cool for millennials
Designers need to focus on beautiful and high-quality clothing that is sustainable in every aspect. The millennial customer simultaneously needs to become aware of what they are buying and wearing and find out as much as possible about the clothing they wear. They are the fashion consumers of the future who will be living in an ecologically compromised environment.
On their vision for sustainability in 2020
To be open to new knowledge and technologies that positively impact sustainability issues in fashion. To continue work with the craftsperson and handloom weaver, and the small producer, who has a small environmental footprint.
Abraham and Thakore x Lenzing pieces range from Rs. 5000 – 10,000. The collection is now available at Bangalore’s The Leela Palace, Moonriver in Delhi, Melange and Atosa in Mumbai.
All images: Courtesy Pranav Bhasin