DATA

THE PROS:

The brand states that standard day wages for seamstresses in India starts from 500 rupees for a 8-12 hour shift. Oshadi pays its seamstresses 700 rupees for an 8 hour shift, and an additional bonus of 500 rupees at the end of every week. The brand also provides lunch and refreshments every day.

Oshadi reports that there are no chemicals involved in the manufacturing of its products from yarn production to garment manufacturing.

The brand states that the majority of its organic yarn is sourced from GOTS certified spinning units who verify the source of cotton before it’s spun and issue corresponding organic certificates at the time of purchase.

/ Oshadi has no direct employees. The brand currently works with 2 farmers, 2 spinners, 2 natural dyers, 4 weavers, 1 pattern master and 1 tailor on day rates/material costs.

/ The brand’s lead times are 3 months.

/ In 2016, Oshadi plans to make 500 pieces in total.

/ The brand plans to release 2-4 collections annually.

/ Oshadi states that its designs are classic and timeless; for contemporary consumers who no longer want disposable fashion.

/ Oshadi sources its organic yarn from Palani Vijay Cottspin, Dharapuram, in Tamil Nadu, India. The facility is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company. Palani Vijay Cottspin states that it is GOTS certified however, its certification certificate that it shares on its website expired in 2013.

/ Oshadi sources handloomed fabrics from the following artisan clusters:

  • Kutchh, Gujarat Khamir crafts
  • Chennimalai handloom societies, Tamil Nadu
  • Kalna, Kolkatta Natraj Khadi Shilpa Samiti
  • Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Malkha

/ Oshadi sources natural dyeing services from the following suppliers:

  • Aura Herbal Textiles Limited, Ahmedabad, Gujarat – the facility is GOTS certified, recycles solid waste and liquid, is an Ethical Fashion Forum SOURCE award winner, is certified by the Organic Certification Agency, donates 1% of profits to social causes, does not test on animals and has almost zero carbon footprint.
  • Artisans from Gandhigram, Dindugul, India
  • Artisans from Kutchh region
  • Colours of Nature, Pondicherry, India

/ The brand sources peace silk, silk where the silkworms are not harmed, from Ahimsa Silks. The company states that child labour and forced labour is not used in production of the silk and that there is no gender discrimination at the facility.

/ The brand states that it can trace its entire supply chain.

/ The brand reports that the artisans that hand weave its fabrics are based in remote villages and work from home. Oshadi gives them fabric designs and supplies necessary raw materials like yarn. The brand states that it pays at least 3 times higher weaving costs than the standard rates in India. Oshadi reports that artisans usually weave fabrics at a day rate of 70–150 rupees however it pays them 150-250 rupees per metre (they weave 4-7 meters a day which means income is about 400-700 rupees a day).

/ The brand states that standard day wages for seamstresses in India starts from 500 rupees for a 8-12 hour shift. Oshadi pays its seamstresses 700 rupees for an 8 hour shift, and an additional bonus of 500 rupees at the end of every week. The brand also provides lunch and refreshments every day.

/ The brand reports that standard yarn dyeing rates range from 150-400 rupees per kg. Oshadi pays the natural dyeing artisans and cottage industries between 550-1500 rupees per kg.

/ The brand states that a stable price is guaranteed to suppliers regardless of world price fluctuations.

/ Oshadi reports that there are no chemicals involved in the manufacturing of its products from yarn production to garment manufacturing.

/ The brand states that the majority of its organic yarn is sourced from GOTS certified spinning units who verify the source of cotton before it’s spun and issue corresponding organic certificates at the time of purchase.

/ The brand’s fabrics are hand woven which requires no electricity.

/ Oshadi states that the wastewater resulting from the natural dyeing process is recycled and the waste sludge is reused as a compost for farming.

/ The brand has invested in natural dyeing. Natural dyeing is usually considered to have the least colour fastness. Oshadi reports that it is working closely with artisans in order to improve the fastness of dyes, taking advice from several dyeing experts, and from its family run textile processing unit. Extracting colours from flowers, bark and various parts of the plants and trees without killing them, is a delicate process. The fabrics are pre-treated by using extracts from milk protein, soap nut, sea salt and cow dung before dyeing.

 

/ The stages of the supply chain that consume the most electricity are stitching and powering the studio and office. The brand reports that it is planning to generate this electricity by installing solar panels before the end of 2016. / Oshadi strives to bring continuous work and much higher wages than the standard wage to the hand weavers it works with. / Oshadi aims to make its clothes with as little environmental impact as possible. / Oshadi reports that the brand will have 100% local production by the end of next year; which will minimise pollution and resources used for transportation. In the next 5 years, the brand has plans to become a self sufficient with total production under one-roof; right from hand spinning yarn-dyeing-hand weaving until the final garment is ready for delivery. Oshadi states that it is also on the lookout for local farmers whom the brand can partner with to grow cotton.

/ Oshadi reports that it has plans to start take-back recycling program at the end of 2017.

 

/ Oshadi strives to bring continuous work and much higher wages than the standard wage to the hand weavers it works with.

/ The brand reports that it endeavours to foster local creativity, employment, empowerment, gender equality, reduce poverty, and preserve the environment in every aspect of its supply chain.

 

/ Managing Director, Nishanth Chopra, comes from a family with a history in textiles. Her father and grandfather have been involved with textile manufacturing and processing.

/ The Managing Director does not currently receive a salary.

/ Oshadi has collaborated with the designer Richard Malone, a graduate from Central Saint Martins with past work experience at LVMH, Lowie, Versace and his own luxury wear label.

/ In June 2016, Forbes reported that Oshadi hired Central St Martins graduate Richard Malone, a recipient of numerous prizes including the Louis Vuittons’ Grand Prix Scholarship and the Deutsche Bank Award in Fashion Design, to design the brand’s collections, while the brand’s founder Nishanth Chopra sources the handloom fabrics.

/ Extracting colours from flowers, bark and various parts of the plants and trees without killing them, is a delicate process.

Each colour of fabric that the brand uses has a different process involved for dyeing but all the processes involved are 100% natural. The natural dyeing method Oshadi uses involves the following steps:

  • Before hank dyeing, the yarn is pre-treated (scouring) using a natural solution made from soap nut, milk enzymes and cow dung in order to remove impurities and to make it more absorbent to natural dyes.
  • The yarn is then natural dyed using natural materials like flowers, bark, leaves of various plants depending upon the shade requirement.
  • Finally, it is finished and post treated with natural/vegetable oils.

/ The brand is developing corduroy, denim, twill, jacquard, and chambray designs on handlooms using linen, organic cotton and peace silk. Oshadi states that weaving these fabrics provides a good income for the handweavers compared to the usual plain cotton fabrics they normally weave.

/ Oshadi reports that the brand will have 100% local production by the end of next year; which will minimise pollution and resources used for transportation. In the next 5 years, the brand has plans to become a self sufficient with total production under one-roof; right from hand spinning yarn-dyeing-hand weaving until the final garment is ready for delivery. Oshadi states that it is also on the lookout for local farmers whom the brand can partner with to grow cotton.

 

VOICES

AARTI BETIGERI | BRICS JOURNAL

“Oshadi (“essence of nature”) … It is a line that uses India’s unique textile heritage: natural dyes and handwoven fabrics, along with cutting-edge design.” – 08/17/2016


 

NISHANTH CHOPRA, FOUNDER | FORBES

“I want to build a fashion house that’s about sustainability, as much as it is about style.”

“It’s not just clothes, imagine all the accessories we use. Those can be made with organic materials and natural dyes as well… A lot of times, companies are just using organic material, but have chemical, toxic dyes, and not developing a fully sustainable supply chain. It can be a lot of talk.”