Texmo Industries Est. 1956

Crops and Clothes

It is rather interesting to dwell on the subject of clothes and fashion for Taro Pumps! After all, we provide support to farmers and not to fashion icons, isn’t it? But, a few days ago, we came across a fascinating concept of plants and produce being turned into accessories such as belts, wallets, bags and even clothes. Plant based diets are a rage even among elite athletes, but how about clothing? 

This got us thinking about interesting questions:

  • Is there a market for such products?
  • Are farmers doing more than producing food for the masses - are they also making their value felt in fashion?
  • What is the connection between crops and clothes?

The interest in plant based clothing has led to a movement called ‘farm to fashion’ and being a part of the farming sector, we thought it pertinent to look at what is happening here!

Nothing new, right?

If you were to think about it, the connection between plants and clothes is nothing new. That trendy outfit in your wardrobe probably originated from some kind of plant (or animal) fibre:

  • Jute
  • Linen
  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Wool
  • Hemp and so on

But, what’s new are the many innovations taking place within this space. For instance, eco-conscious clothes-makers are looking at fibres sourced from banana trees, bamboo and even soybeans to make their products and this is where some new and interesting things are happening. 

India’s approach to sustainable fashion

The  National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Bhubaneswar is enhancing visibility into the supply chain of eco-friendly fashion.  By identifying natural fibre plants and dye plants in Odisha, NIFT is doing interesting work when it comes to sustainable fashion

Ethicus is India’s first organic farm-to-fashion brand. Based out of Pollachi, a small town in South India, Ethicus is encouraging the use of natural dyes and handwoven creations that are causing quite a stir in the fashion world.

Brands are also trying to move away from synthetic materials and instead choosing unusual products such as hemp and banana pith. The inner fibres of the banana stem produce soft, lustrous and smooth fibre and it is these fibres that are going into the creation of sarees and other clothing. Imagine being able to say that you are wearing bananas! 

Hemp is considered a great alternative to many other fibres because the production of hemp needs significantly lower amounts of water. Incidentally, hemp is also antibacterial. Thus, a hemp garment can ‘protect’ you in more ways than one!

Consider this - the conventional fashion industry accounts for 10% of carbon emissions, uses and throws plastic by the tons and guzzles water like crazy. So, perhaps when we purchase the next outfit - we could paraphrase Henry Ford - we can have any colour we want, as long as it’s ‘green’.

Planet positive clothing, farm-to-fashion and plant based clothing are not mere fashion trends. Whether it is banana or tencel, hemp or jute - perhaps it is time for us to break off our relationship with conventional fashion. And maybe the question should not be, “Who are you wearing”, but instead it should be, “What’s in your clothes?”.