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EXCLUSIVE: Designer Swatti Kapoor Talks About Why Sustainable Fashion Is Important And What It Takes To Build An Ethical Brand

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The number of designers and brands exploring and venturing into the sustainable fashion space has shot up in the recent years. Since last year however, as a positive upshot of the pandemic, not only the companies but consumers are also becoming more mindful towards fashion. They understand the importance of contributing to a sustainable future and thus, this number is expected to increase in coming years. Ethical fashion, a buzzword today, is likely to become the norm in the industry which is currently one of the most polluting sectors in the world. Of all the young designers who are working to bring the dying crafts of India while incorporating sustainable practices within their brand, is Swatti Kapoor, the founder of her eponymous clothing label, Swatti Kapoor. 

Her love for textiles, connection to garment-making and the fervour for making fashion more sustainable and conscious prompted her to start her brand which devises eco-friendly methods of production and waste reduction. According to her, green fashion is a necessity rather than an alternative and it reflects in her collection. The clothes feature handwoven textiles made from natural materials and maintain premium quality, aesthetic appeal. We talked to Swatti Kapoor to understand what it takes to build the brand on the lines of sustainability and why it is important now more than ever. 

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A post shared by SwattiKapoor (@studio.swattikapoor)


Q: Tell us about your journey and how you built your clothing brand.

SK: My interest in fashion started early on in her life. Seeing my mother work in the garment industry for many years, I grew up surrounded by sketches and swatches! I understood that clothes were an expression of one’s own self… a story with an effortless narrative..  

To hone my craft and to fall deeper in love, I joined the National Institute of Fashion Technology in the capital. I won the best design collection award at the end of the 4 years. My love for Indian textiles made Fabindia an obvious choice as my first stint in the industry. After setting a sound base, I went on to learn a completely different language of fashion. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I trained under the mighty and majestic Tarun Thailiani . After spending 5 years under his guidance, I was ready to embark on my own journey. Thus – Swatti Kapoor the label was born. 

Q: How would you describe your relationship with sustainable fashion? Why do you think it is important?

SK: There comes a time in one’s life when one starts questioning everything around and realises that there’s always a choice. That choice is luxury in its true form. The luxury of taking out the time to pause and luxuriating in pure handloom or a freshly hand block printed fabric. The brand’s relation to sustainable fashion is just that. Mindfully creating beautiful clothing and sustaining artisanal techniques and crafts along the way.


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A post shared by SwattiKapoor (@studio.swattikapoor)


Q: There are a plethora of brands that work on the lines of ethical and eco-friendly fashion. How does your brand stand out in the Indian market?

SK: True. And more must and should mushroom after the pandemic. I’m sure Covid has given us enough time to ponder over our actions as an industry and a planet. Having said that, eco-friendly fashion, sustainability and every other jargon associated with conscious living is the need of the hour. We stand out because of our product, creative process and aesthetic sensibility. Being ethical is hygiene in every sphere.

Q: How do you take a brand beyond just the buzzwords of sustainable and include it in your sensibility?

SK: The narrative. Everything and everybody  around you has a story to tell. Our craft is a visual and tactile medium and if one can recreate a narrative that possibly touched one’s soul via what one adorns, it’s the most beautiful thing. Like I said, the endeavour to sustain crafts and the planet is hygiene, like taking a bath or brushing one’s teeth.

Q: Tell us about your latest collection and the inspiration behind it.

SK: Our latest Collection is called LOAM. The collection’s ethos is rooted in organic and natural elements. The textures, tones and tints are derived from soil rubbings and the prints depict a stylised botanical imagery inspired by the works of the 20th century french artist ‘Henri Matisse’. 


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A post shared by Swatti Kapoor (@swattikapoor)


Q: What are some problems you find in the fashion industry that you’d like to change as a designer?

SK: I’m still testing waters. It’s hard to comment on what to change, but it’s time we start acknowledging that we must try and help our craft community and heritage. Look within that and look outside. Stay rooted.

Q: Tell us some changes and habits in our fashion buying habits that we all can adopt to become more conscious as consumers.  

SK: Buy less. Buy quality. Engage in staples and classics. Wear again. Steer clear from fast fashion. 

Q: What are some biggest challenges you face in starting your own brand?

SK: Getting your name and product out there, finding your own footing and being open to criticism. 

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