Designing clothes in harmony with nature

January 12 2022 | 05:59 AM

Designing clothes in harmony with nature

Designing clothes in harmony with nature

Gupta Rai screens

At the age of 10 when kids were grappling with toys, Saligao-based Ninoshka Alvares E Delaney decided to become a fashion designer, inspired by a fan like the late Wendell Rodrix.

Nemushka has continued her career choice throughout her life, and now 26 years later, she is an award-winning “sustainable” fashion designer, designing clothing made only from organic fabrics and dyes.

“I decided to pursue fashion design as a career from 10 years ago, when I was in school. I was always on the creative side. I think I was inspired by designers like Wendell Rodriks. In the mid-90s, fashion design was still an emerging field at the time. I decided to take up this profession. And she stuck with it despite the fact that it wasn’t a popular profession,” Nynoshka says. From a very early stage in her life, she wished to give back to nature and society in her own little way. Hence, after working for 10 years in the industry in Mumbai, she moved to Goa after marriage, where she launched her brand Ninoshka, which focuses on sustainable fashion. “Sustainability to me means giving back to nature whatever we take from it. The same goes for fashion. Everything we wear throughout its life cycle, does it go back to normal? Does nature absorb it? These were the questions I kept asking myself. What we wear causes pollution. There. Microfibers cause pollution and cause disease. Then I decided to work only with natural fibers, and use only natural fabrics and dyes.” Nimoshka strives to use organic materials such as cotton grown without the use of pesticides. Natural dyes such as indigo, pomegranate, amaranth, onion peels, coconut, etc. are used. “I work closely with handloom weavers from all over India and use fabrics like khadi, makha, ikat, chanderi etc. All finished products are processed by me in Goa,” she says.

Most of the embroidery on clothes is performed by rural Indian artisans, which creates employment opportunities for them. Not only that, she also believes in the “zero waste” philosophy. It reduces wastage and lifts fabric and yarn residues to produce new products. In 2016, Ninoshka was awarded the National Award for Best Design for her Indo-Western Menswear by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. Successive Covid lockdowns have negatively affected her business. “Because we’ve done a lot of physical sales, our business has been hit with shutdowns. That’s when internet platforms like Etsy have rescued us where I can access the global market,” she says. Going forward, the award-winning fashion designer wants to further explore the international market

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