The fashion industry is a known industry that creates a lot of wastage every year under the name of “bringing new trends and products” in the market. From using water to the removal of wastes and products, the fashion industry has been criticized by many organizations like PETA and environmentalists for the harm they cause to the environment.
Brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel are the most prominent example of this as they have very unusual thinking and practice. The luxury brands take some serious steps to maintain the exclusivity of the brand, and they do this by burning all the unsold stocks as they don’t want to sell them for lower prices. The whole world is aware of this, and this practice and many environmentalists have criticized this, but there’s no change in the policy. With market research, the idea of providing a holistic solution to people was an effort to prove to people that fashion can work well without harming the environment much.
Pranaya Gidwani was willing to bring a change in the fashion industry by providing the people with the right garment that would go beyond the fashion needs and things and be a timeless piece in a person’s life. This would help people in thinking before they decide to make any changes in their lifestyle, and it would help them to be thoughtful about the fashion they choose. Using medicinal and ayurvedic ingredients to dye, the clothes helped her to promote healthy living as well as help people to wear cleaner clothes as well, and all this was done by her startup – Arupa Life.
The beginning of a new life
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Pranaya has taken the city as an inspiration for her to seek new possibilities, evolve, and be an entrepreneur. Her love for fashion could be seen from the days when she was completing her undergraduate degree while working part-time jobs. She wanted to work in a field that involved fashion, art, design, and holistic living, and that when she decided to do her master’s degree in Fashion Management from ModArt.
She then worked with Vogue and Shehla Khan, and from her learnings and her skills, she launched Radical Paradox, a casual clothing brand selling across many multi-brand stores. However, she wanted to do something sustainable and significant, and she applied for courses and workshops in Ayurveda, holistic healing, and alternative therapies, and that’s how Arupa was born.
What is Arupa Life?
Manufacturing apparel, yoga products, home products, and essential oils, Arupa is a multi-product brand that offers holistic workshops and events to help heal the people. The fabrics used by them are prepared in West Bengal, where the weavers use traditional ways of making fabric, which involves less water, power, and for this, they are given fair wages.
Once the weaving is done, the fabrics are sent to Coimbatore, in a small village, the dyers from the village use ayurvedic and herbal methods to dye the clothes. The colors used by them are derived from plants and herbs in the farms, and these plants are grown naturally without any chemicals. The water used for dying is drained back in the farms, which nourish the plants and herbs with the nutrients they are used to dye. For, e.g., turmeric is used for yellow, which has its benefits like better skin and general wellness of the person wearing those garments.
The merits of these herbs are trapped in the fabrics through an ayurvedic process of gumming that keeps the properties of herbs in the material. They also make oils, and the lemongrass essential oil is produced in Manipur, which is done by working with farmers who convert the plant into an essential oil that is food grade and skin-friendly. They are also planning to organize an ayurvedic workshop next month with Dr. Arun Sharma, an ayurvedic doctor from Dharamshala who will teach the basics of ayurvedic principles.
Challenges tackled by them in the outset
The initial problem faced by them was to make people understand the difference in the fabric, and the difference in colors in batches. People are always used to getting perfect shades and textures, but with awareness and more information, people are more open to accepting naturally dyed fabrics.
The first milestone of the company and its current growth
In conversation with TimesNext, Pranaya tells us that the first milestone for her was the first exhibition that she held, and the response was fabulous for the fabrics and shades. Another mainstream fashion designer loved their work, and she is planning to use their materials for her summer collection.
The company is currently learning and growing each day with every small step they are taking towards the higher goal of improving the lives of people and the environment.
Vision for Arupa Life
Pranaya started from a small studio, and she wishes to open up multiple studios across borders where people would be able to walk in and get the fabric they want or get the garments. From a range of products like herbal dyed bedding, yoga products, and a variety of home and lifestyle products. She wishes to make Arupa Life a multi-product brand that provides sustainable, conscious, and effective products.