With more and more attention being brought to the ill effects of fast fashion on the environment, the youth of today has started focusing on finding ways to be fashionable and trendy while also being sustainable. Upcycled products and fashion have become a new thing in the last 12 to 18 months. With the lockdown being imposed, many people are discovering Instagram stores that are extremely trendy and fashionable while also caring about the environment. this is not only limited to sustainable fashion but also thrift shopping.
If you are looking to be sustainable and eco-friendly while on a budget, thrift shopping and upcycled products are made for you! Here's a list of some amazing Instagram thrift store and upcycled goods sellers
Best Indian Upcycled Fashion Brand
When Akanksha Kaila Akashi was first introduced to the process of upcycling, she discovered that re-loving discarded garments were not difficult, which gave her the idea for Refash. Refash can best be described as "not just a brand, but a movement," says Akashi, with the aim of being the one-stop-shop for all details on upcycling.
Refash is a company that markets and sells goods manufactured from post-industrial, pre-consumer, and post-consumer waste. Any material, product, or piece that has reached the end of its useful life is repurposed to create a fresh, attractive, and ready-to-use product.
This women-owned business sells upcycled clothes, shoes, stationery, and other products. All on their website is ethically sourced and made into contemporary items, including dresses, skirts, coats, bags, and organizers.
The brand is owned by a Londoner Priya Ahluwalia with an Indian mother and a Nigerian father. The designer's dual Indian-Nigerian heritage and London roots are explored in the clothing. Priya works with upcycling vintage and surplus clothing, giving them a new and unique look. She explores various textile and patchwork techniques in her designs, making a lot of the pieces one of their kind.
3. Bombay Closet Cleanse
Bombay Closet Cleanse is a social enterprise with the aim of making circular fashion chic. Whether it's an 18th birthday gown, a mother's wedding sari, or a travel souvenir, every item they sell has a history.
They sort through thousands of pieces of clothing collected from other donation drives across Mumbai to create exquisite, meaningful collections that delight thrift and vintage clothing enthusiasts.
A portion of the proceeds is donated to children in need, and clothing that is considered suitable for donation is distributed to one of their affiliated NGOs. Their thrift shop will sell items that have never been worn or are in excellent condition.
4. Grandma Would Approve
Grandma Would Approve started with a simple thought process, conceived during a discussion between friends who are extremely passionate about the fashion industry and its future. Anugrah Samuel Phillips, a stylist, and Priyanka Muniyappa, a designer, wanted people to be aware of the clothing crisis.
Grandma Would Approve isn't your typical label. They deal with six different categories and source clothing from around the world. Stitched is one of their exclusive groups, in which they focus on experimenting with unusual fabrics. Vintage Restore modernizes vintage clothing by reconstructing and replacing all broken pieces.
Reconstructed Couture, on the other hand, is a one-of-a-kind category that best honors their inventiveness and experimentation. It entails dismantling the fabric of five to ten vintage couture pieces, which are then reassembled as one.
5. Rising Among
Rising Among is a place for people to wear their minds. It was created out of a genuine desire to start a discussion. The brand's design, execution, and launch took place in the midst of the pandemic in 2020.
Riya and Amruta, former college roommates at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, are the brains behind the Streetwear label. Their combined business and design experience has laid a solid foundation for the empire they plan to create.
The aesthetic is a cross between New York and Mumbai street styles. Rising Among brings authentic streetwear elements into the scene and hopes to use this forum to reach out to India's conscious youth.
They upcycle factory waste into short limited-edition collections at Doodlage. Recycle post-consumer waste and fabric scraps to make seasonless, well-finished garments that will last a long time. What they throw away is separated and recycled into shoes, soft furnishings, and paper for packaging and stationery. All of their garments and fabrics are produced in ethical factories, and their packaging is planned to be plastic-free.
Doodlage makes parts out of scrap textiles and found materials, so sourcing materials comes first, followed by the design process. This is how the Doodlage pieces are made. To instill a passion and responsibility for ethical design and manufacturing, the team encourages all, including their tailors and labor staff, to get creative.“Don't forget your own values,” Kriti Tula, Co-Founder says, referring to the effects of western culture in India, which continuously encourages consumers to consume more. They believe in sticking to Indian roots of altering, hand-me-downs, and garment donations.
Pomogrenade is an ethical fashion label that focuses on what makes you feel good in your mind, body, and soul through clothing that looks and feels good. They decided to make clothing that was both comfortable and functional. Pomogrenade strives to create silhouettes that are flattering to all body shapes, as well as clothing and accessories that can be customized to suit your needs.
It's also evident. Simply visit their website to see women and men – girls just like you and me – wearing their clothing and accessories on the streets. Check out their line of upcycled kimonos created by patching together Ants Crafts’– a public charitable trust-discarded cloth.
They are working to develop a brand that grows ethically. All of their fabrics are sourced locally, and their goods are made by a fair trade manufacturing unit that empowers and helps people. Their goods are thoughtfully engineered to generate little to no waste.
LataSita specializes in upcycling and repurposing sarees into beautifully chic, fashionable, and custom-made designs. Meghna Nayak, the creator of this organic, sustainable fashion line, will turn your heirloom saree (and all the memories associated with it) into something magical and special.
You will not only receive a personalized, beautiful reimagining of a favorite saree, but you will also avoid contributing to the massive landfill our world has become. She repairs the saree, cuts the pattern, and transforms it into something new with her own hands.
Meghna's journey began with the realisation that senseless consumerism is harming not just the environment, but also the lives of people working in the textile and fashion industries. LataSita was born out of her love for fashion and design, as well as her desire to incorporate sustainability into our daily lives.
9. Red Empress Label
Red Empress, founded by stylists Aesha and Asu in 2017, exudes a quirky and vintage elegance that is sorely lacking in the Indian fashion industry. This thrift store brand is designed for the stylish. It's bold and casual. A fast swipe through the Instagram feed of Mumbai-based Red Empress Label reveals a plethora of vibrantly eccentric pieces of clothing that would put fashion giants to shame. The founders, Aesha Merchant and Asu Longkumer sourced these antique pieces from their travels and have a "take it as it comes" attitude.
Every piece is one-of-a-kind and affordable, ranging from 1970s-style knotted blouses to 1990s-style snug crop tops. The brand's mission is to encourage affordable vintage apparel to Indian consumers. The best thing about their line is how gender-neutral and flexible it is. One-piece can be worn with a variety of outfits and can elevate any look.
Best Indian Upcycled Accessories brands
10. Use Me Works
With a belief "Nothing should go to waste”, Meenakshi Sharma founded Use Me Works in the year 2013. Run by a group of dedicated and hardworking women who work together to offer and encourage environmentally-friendly solutions. They collect scraps from factories, boutiques & homes and upcycle them into creative utility products like bags, accessories, rugs, packaging, and home décor.
Use Me's Zero Waste initiative offers upcycled products, zero-garbage decor, repurposing discards, and workshops, all of which enable consumers to choose items that are in line with sustainable living while also educating people to build a culture where they take responsibility for their own waste.
They create exquisite bags and accessories that are quintessentially handcrafted. The brand is owned by siblings, Rini and Rohan Mehta, who are based out of Jaipur in Rajasthan. They started sourcing saris and discarded Indian textiles from family and friends, giving their product a unique cultural touch with modern aesthetics. They do all types of bags from tote bags, handbags to even sling bags. They also have everyday accessories like bottle bags, laptop sleeves or passport holders.
Best Indian Upcycled Furniture and Home Decor Brand
12. Wonky Works
Wonky Works is a glass design studio located in Vadodara that turns recycled glass into cool art, furniture, and even pendants. This is India's first of its kind, and it's all about sustainability and green design.
Their product line has expanded from warped, tipsy vases to funky tableware and desk accessories. Mini plants are often packed into necklaces and perfume bottles with tiny notes. All of their products are so delightfully unusual that they make it that much cooler!
13. SanSar Home
SanSar was built on the principles of wasting no additional material for their goods while empowering women, out of concern for the wasteful use of our world's natural resources and the large amount of industrial waste generated. The textile scraps are collected and repurposed into creating products with the highest quality standards. Their goal is to inspire women from less privileged backgrounds to learn new skills and to give them self-confidence and self-esteem by breaking stereotypes.
With a zero-waste ideology and upcycled waste fabrics, SanSar represents the vision of a future where aesthetics meets ethics. They have an exquisite collection of home decor- ranging from cushions to pouffes. This is the perfect place to start a home revamp, fashionably and ethically.
Design5, a company launched by an artist in 2006, upcycles and restores found objects in an artistic and aware manner. The studio, which is based in Shahpur Jat, Delhi, primarily sells upcycled wooden pieces such as antique furniture, kitchenware, and home decor. These are repaired and then handpainted one at a time.
The idea is to make functional art pieces that would seem to be works of art, but they would not be considered so in the conventional sense because they would be used in our everyday lives. They transform a piece of furniture into an heirloom that should be treasured and passed down over the generations, making it an integral part of your life.
15. Mishcat Co
Mishcat Co, upcycles sari into carpets that cannot be replicated and are truly one of its kind. Working with independent artisans and weavers in the rural areas of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the company is redefining the way people perceive luxury. The founder of the label, Ishrat Sehgal who souces his finest leftover silk from the sari industry cutting the waste of sari yarn. Her carpets are traveling the world to Singapore, Barcelona, and New York.