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Fashion that empowers

The driving force behind I was a Sari is the empowerment of their underprivileged women artisans

Plastic for the win

I was a Sari won India’s first sustainable fashion award, transforming plastic tarpaulin into pieces for its collection

Innovative fashion

Using waste materials as the resource, designers are experimenting with our traditional perception of fashion

Shining at the Lakme Fashion Week

I was a Sari showcased its winning collection at the Lakme Fashion Week this year

Pushing fashion boundaries

The collection features a stunning 3D-appliquéd piece

Reuse | Repurpose | Reduce | Recycle

I was a Sari, as the name indicates, uses pre-loved Indian saris as the primary resource for its fashion products

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Lab 25 Mar 2019

Plastics 2.0: I was a Sari makes tarpaulin a fashion-forward material

Soulful fashion brand I was a Sari recently won the Circular Design Challenge Award 2019, India’s first award for sustainable fashion, with a collection that featured a look that was made of tarpaulin. For our third feature from the Plastics 2.0 series, CQ takes a look at how I was a Sari brought plastic as a material into the fashion discourse, thereby focusing attention to the innovative reuse of plastics to combat plastic pollution.

Responsible, circular design for a better world

Take a cue from the circular economy model, circular design refers to fashion products that no longer aligns to a strict ‘beginning, middle and end’ lifecycle. These products circulate responsibly, contribute to less waste, and add value to the overall ecosystem. Providing a showcase platform for circular fashion, the Circular Design Challenge awards fashion innovation made by using waste materials. The Challenge was launched in collaboration with Fashion for Earth by R|Elan™, UN Environment and Lakmè Fashion Week.

The challenge promotes sustainability by encouraging environmental champions of tomorrow in the fashion industry. Winning the 2019 circular design award validates I was a Sari’s commitment to upscaled fashion, as well as empowering their artisans, while making a strong case for a reuse-repurpose-reduce-recycle approach in the fashion industry.

Fashion that empowers

The driving force behind I was a Sari is the empowerment of their underprivileged women artisans

The theme of upcycling ran across the looks presented in the collection that won I was a Sari its award. They utilized five upcycled materials - sari, tarpaulin, seat belts, dead stock jersey, and dead stock embroidery materials. The designers turned the materials into raincoats, bags, umbrellas, 3D-appliquéd garments, shoes and carry bags.

Plastic for the win

I was a Sari won India’s first sustainable fashion award, transforming plastic tarpaulin into pieces for its collection

Winning the 2019 circular design award validates I was a Sari’s commitment to upscaled fashion, new materials like plastic, as well as empowering their artisans, while making a strong case for a reuse-repurpose-reduce-recycle approach in the fashion industry.

Plastic – the unlikely fashion hero

Though I was a Sari has a zero-plastic policy, largely eliminating the material from their products and packaging, the brand was open to exploring cool ways of integrating recycled or upscaled plastics into their collection. The inspiration to use of tarpaulin for the raincoat, bag and umbrella came from I was a Sari’s art installation in Mumbai called the Tarpaulin Tapestries. Artisans from I was a Sari worked in collaboration with New York-based artist Aubrey Roemer on the installation.

Innovative fashion

Using waste materials as the resource, designers are experimenting with our traditional perception of fashion

Shining at the Lakme Fashion Week

I was a Sari showcased its winning collection at the Lakme Fashion Week this year

The idea was then incubated on residency and in immersive workshops at various art institutions in New York and Venice. The fine-tuned ideas that emerged from these community engagements were then brought to Mumbai, where Aubrey worked closely with the artisans of I was a Sari to produce large-scale ‘tarps’.

The plastic material for the tarp-based look comes from the Tarpaulin Tapestries installation. For embellishment, is intricately layered with flowers printed, cut and sewn from old saris, adding a quintessential I was a Sari touch.

Pushing fashion boundaries

The collection features a stunning 3D-appliquéd piece

Reuse | Repurpose | Reduce | Recycle

I was a Sari, as the name indicates, uses pre-loved Indian saris as the primary resource for its fashion products

Though the tarpaulin-based look was specifically created for the Circular Design Challenge collection, the brand sees merit in the concept. Creative reuse of plastic that would otherwise pollute is closely aligned to I was a Sari’s ethos. And so, when the demand for such innovations surges, they claim that they would certainly look at creating more upscaled tarpaulin pieces in their future collections.

Check out I was a Sari’s stunning handcrafted pieces that are redefining upscaled fashion. Check out their website here.