Upcycling is a way to transform old worn-out pieces into something new. The damaged clothes, scraps, or waste fabrics could easily be repurposed as your next wardrobe staple. It is an inventive process that significantly reduces the adverse effects of waste production and the constant demand for new clothes if done on a large scale. To get an insight into the art of upcycling clothes, we spoke with Kanika Jain, the founder and creative head of our label Kanelle, about her journey in the sustainable fashion space, the philosophy behind her work, and the brand’s one-of-a-kind upcycled collection ‘Scrap to Rack’.
When and how did you decide to set up a sustainable fashion label?
A few years into the business, we decided to pivot towards sustainability and adopt new practices. It led us to start a new journey towards being a more eco-conscious brand. The sole reason was to be a responsible business considering that truly is the need of the hour and of the future since fashion is one of the major industries that exploit the environment, and we wanted to be wise about the carbon footprint our business leaves behind.
What is your philosophy behind Kanelle?
Kanelle is an easy-to-wear fashion label created for the free-spirited woman of today. With the use of handcrafted indigenous textiles, Kanelle embraces wardrobe staples that are luxurious and feminine while being unique and wearable.
We would love to know about your new collection ‘Scrap to Rack’, your motivation behind it, and how you think it will bring a change in the sustainable fashion space.
The Scrap-To-Rack collection arose from the rising need to induce the drive of sustainability and dazzle it with the creative and free spirit of Kanelle. The sole reason to have this edit as a constant over the years is only to repurpose the waste, as we call it, that the production process leaves behind. We make sure to use the surplus, small scraps, or sometimes even unsold stock to reuse and create the collection and repurpose the materials that are left behind. I feel if all businesses think in such a manner, then there would be no need to keep utilising additional materials. All things will be in use fully, leading to lesser waste.
Where do you source waste materials or scraps to create clothes? What are the fabrics that you usually enjoy working with?
All our materials for scrap to rack collection come from our production waste which at times are smaller scraps or surplus materials left over from previous collections. We enjoy working with cotton, linens, silk blends, sustainable viscose, etc.
How easy or complicated is the art of upcycling? What are the challenges that come with this method of creation?
According to me, the art of upcycling is complicated but in a beautiful way. It is the most challenging collection that we create out of all others we work on because there are limited possibilities that we have to work with. The major challenges that we face while working on the collection are with respect to material availability and the type of design we can create out of that, and deciding what size that can be made into. Since we cater to many sizes, we can’t just create specific types of sizes, so we have to make sure we are fully size inclusive across the collections in various styles.
How have people responded to your brand’s upcycled collection?
The collection is very well received by our customers, as they truly appreciate the story, effort, and design behind it.
How does the label keep up with the ever-changing fashion industry? Is this something you take into consideration when designing your new collections?
Yes, absolutely! Any business must keep evolving with the changing times and try multiple things in their working and design process while maintaining its signature and sensibilities as a brand. If you don’t cater to the need of the hour, then things start to be more challenging.
Can you share with us any other plans or initiatives Kanelle would like to pursue in the future?
As I mentioned above, there are many things we keep trying as a business and try to become ever-evolving to have a fresh perspective with such changing times. We have started collaborating with other brands, and I am sure in the future, you will see many more collaborations coming from Kanelle.