Ayurvastra: fashion values for the future
In a series of new columns reimagining a conscious future, we have guest writers contributing their vision for a new world order.
Our first columnist is Hemant Sagar, Co-Founder – Lecoanet Hemant, contemplates whether Ayurvastra, or Ayurvedic clothing, can be scaled up to redefine our fashion future
It all started with a quest to reconnect with our roots and find something quintessentially Indian. We were like explorers, unaware of what lay ahead but driven by the zest to discover and create. A close friend from France came on board. He travelled to the nooks and corners of India, to districts and villages that were not found on the map, trying to soak in and unearth a story that we could take forward. It was an exercise in faith, fuelled by a firm belief in our nation’s heritage, its close association with nature and most importantly the need to pause and recover.
The study of Ayurveda and its contribution towards enhancing and enriching textiles became the crux of our journey. Kerala had ‘Ayurvastra’ researchers practicing centuries old traditional fabric treatment methods. After spending months in their facility and learning how each step, however small it seems, is pillared on scientific properties of herbs and natural minerals. We found ourselves perfectly aligned with its purpose. A lifestyle that is based on nourishment and enables holistic growth, became the genesis of the Ayurganic label.
We focus on conscious clothing. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified farms and permaculture plantations in Eastern Gujarat, hand plant, grow and harvest cotton using natural fertilisers. The aim is to make sure that everything, from the very cotton seeds to the final garment, contributes to the well-being of the wearer.
‘God’s Own Country’ – Kerala – lies at the heart of our endeavour. Ayurvedic doctors and researchers prepare dyes, macerations and treatments that infuse the textiles with medicinal characteristics. These include chitrathai (ginger plant), tulsi (wild basil), Madagascar Periwinkle (vinca rosea), the tails of the bell plant and sandalwood, amongst others. The list is a highly curated selection of natural oils and plants that are integral to the science of Ayurvastra. (editor’s note: Read about my visit to Balarampauram to visit the Ayurganic facility and learn about Ayurvastra or Ayurvedic clothing)
A wearer’s wellbeing
Wearing Ayurganic is an act of responsibility towards the environment and also towards oneself. It’s nurturing to the wearer spiritually but also for good for bodily repair. The essential oils and herbs aid in energy and blood purification (through blueberry beads used during fabric treatment), skin rejuvenation (from Soarious) and also cure stress and anxiety through Kopia oil extracts. This typical process of treatment also aids significantly in maintaining the clothes. The medicinal properties are enhanced with use and gentle washing and drying, is suitable for upkeep.
These fabrics are then tailored in Lecoanet Hemant’s Gurgaon studio in healthy working conditions. Medical insurance, pension funds and good salaries ensure a well-balanced ecosystem where the well-being of human resources is prioritised over profits. The present times call for a more responsible approach to production and consumption.
A scalable future
Genes and Ayurganic cater to distinct consumer needs, but are built on common value systems. The present time comes with its own share of uncertainties, but it calls for us to ensure that Ayurganic is more accessible to people.
Redefining luxury, we have always maintained that at its core, it is about impeccably crafted products, born out of a respect for the environment and each hand involved in the process. We aim to bring a unified experience to our consumers, with both the brands being accessible on a shared portal. We are optimistic about the future: new requirements and new roles of clothing. Ayurganic is aimed at calming and nourishing the body and soul and will bring a more meaningful aspect of luxury to modern wardrobes. Style will be backed by purposeful design and pave the way for mindful living.
The views expressed are solely of the author