O is for Organic.

 Eco-fashion may be a growing part of our recent design vocabulary, but a consciousness of the human and environmental impact of all our decisions has been a constant in the brand journey of MANTRA. All our engagements with artisans and craftsmen are underwritten with the goal of sustainability. Hand-made is given precedence over machine-made, wherever possible. Usage of synthetics is an absolute no-no. Fair wages and a safe, healthy work environment are assured to everyone who plays a role in the making of our clothes.

The term 'organic' besides encompassing all of the above values, can be applied only to clothing that is made from raw material that is grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards without toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are proven to harm the environment, farmers, producers and end-consumers.

When a retail brand applies the term 'organic' to its product, it is duty-bound to reveal its source and trajectory. The organic cotton fabric that goes into the collection, 'The Other O' is sourced from Bhuj, the cultural heartland of Gujarat.

This fabric is made from an indigenous variety of organically grown cotton in Vagad, Gujarat. While conventional cotton production may be one of the largest water users among agricultural crops, Vagad does not require irrigation as the crop is purely rain-fed and is cultivated using dry farming techniques. Also known as Kala cotton, this textile is one of the few pure organic cotton species remaining in India. The short staple yarn spun from this cotton is dyed and woven by hand on traditional pit-looms, thus making it one of the most sustainable and sturdy textiles available in India today.

'The Other O' with its palette of soft pastels and ecru; stripes and checks in varying measures and minimalistic peasant embroidery is a collection for the rustic sophisticate who can effortlessly blend old-world elegance with new-age consciousness.

November 20, 2021 — Shalini James