BOLLYWOOD TO BRIDES: UPCYCLING BECOMES COOL
Be it red-carpet looks or bridal couture — revamping and upcycling is making waves in fashion
Wearing your mother’s restored brocade dupatta to a wedding? Getting a lehenga stitched using your grandmother’s vintage sari? Knowingly or unknowingly, you’re a part of the upcycling process, which means recycling a used product to create a new one of higher quality and value.
This trend, part of the sustainable fashion, has been endorsed by celebs, such as actors Kalki Koechlin, Emma Watson. Internationally, designers like Stella McCartney and labels like Reformation are known to follow this model of creating ultrafashionable looks.
While responsible fashion is a big buzzword the world over, India has caught up, too, with several runway shows dedicated to sustainable design processes. “The garment industry is the second biggest pollutant today. So upcycling is important,” says designer Amit Aggarwal. “It’s about how to use existing resources in the best of ways. This includes using leftovers obtained by the process of manufacturing clothes and using them to create a new product. We use patola — its vintage, torn and withered version — and make something contemporary out of it: an example of upcycling.” Upcycling is back in weddingwear too. Aakshi Julka Baijal, a businesswoman who recently got married, says, “I went for upcycling by using my mom’s sari, which my dadi (grandmother) gave her. I turned it into a lehenga for my mehendi. Apart from the sustainability factor, since my dadi is no more, I wanted to do this as a tribute to her.”
Designer Payal Khandwala, who has created upcycled accessories using leftover fabric, says: “As an industry, we need to propose a culture where we buy less, and reshape how we shop. I wore a vintage brocade lehenga to my wedding. I never wanted to buy something that I wouldn’t wear again.”
We use patola — its vintage, torn and withered version — and make something contemporary out of it DESIGNER I went for upcycling by using my mom’s old sari, which my dadi (grandmother) gave her at the time of her wedding AAKSHI JULKA BAIJAL, BUSINESSWOMAN
Dakota Johnson in an organic silk tulle dress with crystals and recycled brass embroidered cups for Green carpet awards in Milan