A dreamer and visionary, working tirelessly to facilitate change in one’s relationship with all that they own, clothes in particular, Akshit Bangar, founder and creative director of the upcycling and waste management label Urban Darzi, has been in the industry since the past eight years or so. As someone who launched his own denim label straight out of college within his family’s textile business, he soon found himself craving growth. It was also during this time that Akshit learnt the technical know-how of the fashion industry and there has been no looking back ever since. Founded by an individual who found solace in fashion since his childhood, it was only natural for Urban Darzi to find its footing in the market. Akshit shares the finer details of his practice with us below:
Urban Darzi is primarily an upcycling and waste manage- ment company, making everyday fashion and lifestyle products from all things considered waste. We upcycle everything we can get our hands on — pre and post consumer textile waste, wood waste, single use plastic, post consumer packaging waste — and repurpose them into meaningful products that are designed with longevity and practicality in mind. What motivated this, back when we launched, was a general need for textile scrap management, especially since I come from that background and have been guilty of adding onto the climate change through fast fashion myself in the past. The challenge is now to pickup and effectively upcycle as much waste as we can from the streets and landfills alike, repurpose them into products and then build a circular model around it all — one that enables us to keep putting the product that was initially made from waste, back into the ecosystem over and over again, till it’s down to the last threads, which can then go towards recycling.
Working with scraps of deadstock and discarded textiles, waste of all kinds, makes our creative process quite different from your usual design process. The norm mostly involves thinking on the theme, inspiration, ideation, and then figuring out the fabric, design, et cetera. Our approach is opposite and often revolves around the realms of “jugaad” thinking.
So we look at all the scrap laying around us and then figure out the best possible usage for a particular piece of waste. Then comes the bit where we really look at the functionality, practicality and durability of the design we are thinking of, eventually making it into the actual product. And it all comes down to the brilliant designers and tailors we have had the chance to work with.
THE FASHION OF NOW
Responsible, to say the least. And circular. Look, the planet will survive, but we as a species are moving towards a very, very bad place with climate change, and if we don’t act now, we may not be able to turn it around. I mean it’s brilliant to see all these new age solutions with fabrics and materials being made out of everything natural, like mushroom, aloe, orange peel and the whole recycled, regenerated fibres, but no one is really looking at the waste that’s already out there on the streets, especially at the scale it needs to be looked at! And also how to keep putting things back into the ecosystem over and over again, to prolong the product life cycle.
This article is an all exclusive from our from our March EZ. To read more such articles follow the link here.
Text Unnati Saini