“I remember wearing so many hand-me-down clothes from my siblings. Even after they were used multiple times over, my mother would find some use for the cloth. It was never just thrown out,” says Kriti Tula, a designer and founder of sustainable fashion brand Doodlage.
As she explains, the value of upcycling clothes was instilled in her right from her growing years. So when the 33-year-old ventured into the fashion industry, she was shocked by the massive waste generated.
“Almost 73 per cent of garment waste finds itself in landfills, only because there are not many avenues to reuse that fabric,” she says.
She also witnessed this first-hand while pursuing her Master’s degree in London. Here, Kriti had time to see how export worked, how the industry operated, and how trends were set. This gave her the time to reflect and take a call on what fashion meant to her, she says.
“I was also working during the four years I spent studying in London and that gave me good exposure. One of the first jobs I had taken up in India was at an export house and that allowed me to understand the production side of things. That was also where I realised what I did not want to do vis-à-vis production and fashion,” she says.
As Kriti explains, every time a garment is created, almost 25 per cent of the fabric goes to waste.
Thus, when she started Doodlage in 2012, she wanted it to veer away from the regular fashion houses. True to its motive, the Delhi-based fashion house has been consciously using factory discarded cloth to make high-end clothes and fashion products.
With their collaboration with Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt Ltd, the brand was able to divert over 5,000 kg of fabric from landfills and save 46 million litres of water, she says.
Kriti adds that the real precursor for people to move towards eco-friendly fashion was the pandemic, as people realised that a sustainable lifestyle is the need of the hour.