Aavaran: Echoes of Rural India was founded in 2008 by Alka Sharma. They work with rural artisans who are the best at what they do. They use Dabu Printing for their clothes. Well, what is dabu printing?
Dabu printing is said to have been used in China as early as 675 AD. Rajasthan became the state with the biggest production of fabrics with block prints after that. Rajasthan's Akola Village is known for Dabu prints. Only a small number of the artists who had worked in Rajasthan's Dabu printing industry are still around to carry on the tradition today. The clothes are then carefully hand-printed on a plain fabric using printing blocks, after being submerged in natural colours. The next step is to prepare the gum, lime, and white chaff-based mud resist mixture. The fabric is coated with this mixture, which is then dried. The fabric is dyed when it has dried, and then washed to get rid of the surplus paste and dye. The process is labour-intensive and time consuming but the results are just beautiful.
Being sustainable and using zero-waste methods go a long way. Reducing waste and harming the environment can endanger the lives of future generations. Using excess clothes to make more new products or using natural dyes can make a huge difference. Sustainable brands are the need of the hour.
The impacts of fast fashion on our environment is numerous.
Fast fashion refers to 'cheaply produced and priced garments that copy the latest catwalk styles and get pumped quickly through stores to maximise on current trends'. Fast fashion produces new collections in bulk and the waste disposal system adopted is ineffective. It pollutes almost all the components of the environment. From a societal point of view, there have been reports stating the use of forced and child labour. Now this isn't something we would like to promote, is it?
This is where brands like Aavaran come to the limelight. Slow fashion is the need of the hour. Preserving the traditional methods of dabu printing is something that can go a long way. We are extending the lifetime of that specific art. The place, the people and everything about Aavarana were mesmerizing.
Brands like Aavaran and Swara are trying to make a change in the small way they can. Each and every purchase you make at such brands make an impact on so many different levels. From empowering rural artisans to preserving a traditional form of printing. So let us make a difference by being different.