|Shubhra Chandra, founder of Shubhra Designs, says that many customers are looking to be more eco-conscious with their fashion, buying items made from recycled saris, for example. Photos courtesy of Shubra Designs
As we drift into a hopefully warmer spring 2011, at Shubrah.com and Shubhra Designs, we are preparing for warm weather shopping and working on new designs for our couture brides.
Being committed to your local environment is becoming more and more important in our hyper connected world today. By volunteering or growing organic produce, composting or only buying local, we can show our support for our town, our village, our city and our neighbors. Shubrah.com is always looking for ways to give back to our town or Lexington, Mass., or our city, Boston, or the greater state of Massachusetts.
So how are we giving back? Being a member of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, I spoke at a women's business forum about our homegrown business. Showing the collections at local events, connecting with local celebrities and giving back to non- profit organizations that are local but have a global reach.
Further, by volunteering for local school events and donating fashions to fundraisers has always been close to the heart of this business.
We are expanding to our local fashion colleges and will be featured in Lasell College's fashion magazine this spring. In a few weeks our fashions will be on another locally grown site by two Harvard Business School graduates — www.fashionstake.comand.
Lastly, we are recycling, reusing, creating eco-friendly and organic fashions and keeping our environmental footprint to the minimum. We are now recycling saris and fabric for our brides or for the online collection. We also use recycled paper tags on our clothing and only cloth bags — no plastic or paper if we can help it. We feel that this effort is worth it for a good cause, establishes responsible business practices and still results in some great fashion designs.
Anyone who is interested in doing their part and reducing their environmental footprint, should seriously consider eco-friendly and organic fashions for all occasions, including weddings.
At Shubra Designs, we recycle fabrics by taking old saris and cutting them up into modern dresses for special clients.
In addition, we also recycle saris and these are used as fabric for other designs — like cotton and silk dresses or pillow cases. The old saris are usually stained or torn in some areas. So pieces are cut out to use and we save the fabric in that way.
There are three products on our Web site that are made by an non-governmental organization in New Delhi that works with rag pickers. They use old plastic bags and make them into grocery and other bags and items such as file folders. The organization is called Chintan.org.
I have one client in particular, who stumbled on our Web site and was attracted to the work we are doing with recycled fabrics. She said she wanted something "colorful, recycled, with touches of India." Warm summer colors are part of her palette and she is very excited about recycling silk saris for the custom designs.
Shubhra Bhattacharya Chandra is a Lexington, Mass.-based fashion designer. She is the founder of Shubrah.com and Shubhra Designs LLC. For more information on her designing visit www.shubrah.com. She can be contacted at Shubhra@shubhradesign.com.