3 unique designer brands that are reinventing textiles
Doh Tak Keh
Juhi Melwani went to New York to pursue textile studies at Parsons School of Design in 2015, and soon after, worked at Oscar de la Renta’s atelier. But a visit back home to Mumbai led to a project with Lakmé Fashion Week on indigenous textiles of Gujarat, which initiated her journey with the meticulous handwork. Her label, Doh Tak Keh’s inaugural collection included hand illustrations and intricate embroideries along with upcycled packaging materials, plastic and discarded paper. Melwani collaborates with local artisans that bring her upcycling techniques to life—such as using packaging scraps for the hand embroideries, and sourcing waste tablecloths from Jaipur (they have become her base cotton fabric) and recycled magazine paper fabric from Chennai-based NGO, Vidyasagar. In addition, leftovers from her own studio make it back into the garment’s details as well. The spring/summer 2020 line features patchwork bowling shirts crafted out of single-use grain sacks, repurposed button-downs, khadi dresses and tailored separates. Plus, Melwani also offers hand-made and upcycled pet accessories under Poonchh.
At Pause, functionality and innovation go hand in hand. Neha Modi and Neha Tham, co-founders of the brand, set out on a mission to bring ethically-made clothing into modern wardrobes effortlessly. For their latest launch, they have collaborated with Tencel, a brand that offers biodegradable and natural textiles largely produced from wood pulp cellulose, to make clothes that look and feel good. Giving ‘deconstructed’ a new meaning, the collection’s ready-to-wear dresses and jackets can be interchanged as separates, and are versatile enough to be styled with a variety of options. Moreover, the embellishments are created with recirculated fabric and scraps. Expect patchwork denim pieces that feature edgy metal details, slouchy pantsuits and ruched jackets with fabric-scrap trims—all crafted out of the natural textile. Among Bollywood’s best dressed, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Malaika Arora have been spotted in the label.