Sustainable Fashion : A Tip from Tribal Art

Designers are always looking for new inspirations this time it is Tribal Art.

Designer Pankaja Sethi, has gone on to create a line of saris that capture in their weft and weave the beauty of tribal folklore through hand-woven organic fabric and natural-dyed weaves with Adivasi silhouettes.

Her contemporary collection, shown under the label ‘Pankaja’ at the Lakme India Fashion Week in Mumbai, was a neo-tribal affair with minimalistic sensibility and featured under the campaign, Sustainable Fashion.

Each sari was coloured with natural dyes, to create motifs of fish and dragonflies. She used muted colour palette, using shades such as rustic grey, off-white and beige. A twist was to introduce pockets in backless saris and keeping embroidery minimal.

The rural silhouettes of Odisha have functional features such as blouseless drapes worn by the Adivasi women of Dongria Kondh and Kutia Kondh. Their clothes reflect the ease and comfort necessary to work in rural areas. The Pankaja collection was created working with the weavers of Nuapatna, Gopalpur and Kotpad.

Pankaja believes organic cotton dyed in natural colours is rich, sustainable, environment-friendly, and good for the human body. Her design studio in Bhubaneswar has an array of tribal weaves from across the state.

Apart from saris, her oeuvre includes stoles, striped jackets made with striped Adivasi towels, tops featuring ‘Dongriakon’ embroidery, Dokra buttons and ‘Aal’-dyed tops in variegated patterns.

Pankaja believes sustainable fashion means honouring weavers, artisans and designers. “Sustainability is not free! It takes a lot of thought process to recreate, revive crafts and empower weavers