Three Ethical Brands That Let You Accessorise Guilt-Free
Finding alternatives to some of the fashion industry’s cruel, mainstream processes has increasingly become the motto for several young brands — reacting, in part, to a growing clientele adopting a vegan lifestyle.
We found, three independent labels in the country that are finding creative, sustainable ways to create products that are just as stylish as those crafted from materials like real leather or wool, for a guilt-free purchase.
Founded by 23-year-old Manah Sanghavi earlier this year, Mara Mma (pronounced as Murray-Maa) crafts premium vegan leather bags from Polyutherane, a much less environmentally toxic substitute of faux leather, than PVC. Having its origins in an African phrase, the moniker translates to ‘a beautiful thing, a beautiful soul’; quite apt for the label’s cruelty-free carry-ons. A range of totes, slings and backpacks in a spectrum of colours comprise the brand’s collections, each made with an ethical purpose and stamped with PETA’s approval.
What we like about it: For every accessory that’s purchased, Mara Mma donates five per cent of its value to Shrimad Rajchandra Love & Care, an NGO, which reallocates and rehabilitates animals from slaughterhouses.
Founded by engineers and avid sportsmen Prateek Sharma and Siddharth Jain, Heelium — a play on the words ‘helium’, the second lightest chemical element and ‘heel’, the part of the foot that bears most of the body’s weight — is the first of its kind Indian sportswear brand that’s developed socks made from bamboo fibre. A pair of socks, which are usually made from wool also carry the burden of animal cruelty because of the unsustainable and cruel way of rearing sheep. At Heelium, the process of production, simply put, uses cut bamboo shoots, which are pulped and the fibre from it is used as weaves.
What we like about it: Unlike socks made from wool or cotton, which absorb perspiration from the feet leading to foul odour and infections, Heelium’s socks are engineered innovatively to be odour and bacteria free. Even functionally, the socks protect the heel to better absorb any physical impact.
Known for its 750-year-old legacy of paper and stationery, the retail giant has also grown to produce allied products such as pencil cases and backpacks. Using cork from Cork Oak as a natural alternative to plastic, the brand’s Holy-Wood collection is functional and understated. Without the tree being cut, the bark is split to reveal the surface layers of the tree. The cork is retrieved from there and the surface replenishes itself in 8 – 10 years. The raw material is then sliced into thin sheets and glued together onto the textile base. Even its leather accents are vegan in nature.
What we like about it: The way the cork is sliced and glued together is an ingenious design as it keeps the articles flexible for movement. The glue too, is water-based and makes the product water-resistant.