Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

GretaGuide: Ask Greta: How do I wash my eco-friendly clothes?



Eco-friendly clothing had a rocky start, I will admit. The faded colors, not so true to fit sizing and shrinkage factors have all been of concern. Luckily, the industry is becoming more and more accommodating every day. In addition, I have some washing tips to help extend the life of…

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>We are Jess and Shimul from Bhalo. We work with makers and artisans in Bangladesh to create original, handmade garments and accessories from natural fibres.

Country: Perth (Australia) and Dhaka (Bangladesh)
A little bit more about Bhalo:
  • We released our first range in 2009 and since then have been featured in several magazines and blogs, including The Age (Melbourne) Magazine, The Design Files, Michi Girl, Peppermint magazine, and soon to be released Vogue (Mexico), Lucky Magazine (USA) and Grazia (France).
  • We have stockists in most Australian capital cities, as well as New York and Los Angeles. We also sell online, and most of our customers come from USA and Melbourne (particularly the inner city suburbs).
  • Our producer is registered with the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation), and provides employment for 200 women, and free schooling and daycare for their 300 children.
Watch out for their latest range coming to

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Meet Ajaiy Vir Singh, SriLankan Fashion designer and social entrepreneur.

Who is Ajaiy and what makes him awesome?

He is the brain child behind: Conscience 

After working in ethical/green fashion and apparel manufacturing for a few years, Ajaiy decided to take the plunge in an attempt to create a ‘supply chain of happiness’, by impacting the cotton growers, weavers and ethical apparel manufacturers to create a product with the conscience intact.  Hence the birth of a brand not very far from the core – Conscience!

At the core of Conscience is what they call a supply chain of happiness.  Conscience’s key fabric is cotton, grown by farmers who are empowered to use environment friendly practices.  The cotton is completely organic, called eco-logic cotton.  The next step of weaving is carried out by equally responsible handloom practices in the South of India.  The fabrics are then manufactured into fashion items at Sri Lanka Apparel’s Garments Without Guilt certified factories.

Ethical Fashion practices and unwavering commitment to natural materials with sustainable production practices in place makes them the eco-warriors we find totally AWESOME.


What makes me introduce you to Ajaiy? 

Besides his fabulous eco-brands, Ajaiy runs an initiative The Colombo Fashion week. Let us not mistake it as just another fashion week like all others popping up in every state of the Asian continent. This event is a serious attempt to uplift a dying industry and as the founder puts it “We want to get there where it makes sense. Fashion weeks need to include commerce, training, guidance, interaction, exchange of ideas, all these are aspects that we are adding and making better every year”. Therefore, an initiative is what I call it 🙂

As I spoke to him this morning, we both agreed that the terms “Fashion week” and “Ethical” are the most abused ones in the fashion scene today. He realises that in order to let the world know that this event is not another publicity gimmick and that they stand for a mission that spells “Fashion for good”, he will soon roll out his PR exercise sharing with all of us the plan he has in mind for this social event.

An excerpt from my chat with Ajaiy:

Bhakti: When did you start the Colombo fashion week and why? 

Ajaiy: CFW was started in 2003, with the sole objective of uplifting the fashion industry of Sri Lanka, through guidance, interaction and creating market opportunities for the SriLankan designers. A vertically integrated showpiece unlike many other fashion week events which are run by event companies. Our process starts at the beginning of year where we identify young designers with potential, guide them help them stand on their feet, encourage them to use local fabrics. They are in kind of an incubation.

We have unstinted support from Bibi Russell and Rizwan Beyg of Pakistan who help in motivating designers in South Asia. CFW also worked with retail houses in Sri lanka to create a buying infrastructure for local fashion. 

B: Tell me more…

A:Cfw operates on few fronts, local designers, local fashion crafts like batik, beeralu lace etc which we support and the local fashion infrastructure. We also help designers local or international to find relevant manufacturing units for them.

B: Why a full day dedicated to Ethical Fashion?

Personally I was connected closely to the Sri lankan apparel industry and was instrumental in finding them their current position ‘garments without guilt’ but most of the industry people are not united on this cause. Hence, I initiated CFW as an ethical platform. We had this in mind a few years ago but only took the plunge once we were ready. This will finally take shape in February 2011. Like in many countries where apparel industry is influential the fashion design gets run over, Sri lanka too is suffering from the same. CFW is playing the role of giving boost and raising a local fashion industry in the country.

Since 2009 CFW also took another step of creating a South Asian Spring Summer/resortwear hub where designers showcase their Spring/Summer ranges. The buyers and media have taken it positively and look forward to it every season.

B: Do you charge the designers for the stalls and show…why? or why not? 

A: There are no stalls, but closely controlled meeting rooms. We follow a format for designer buyer interaction. We dont charge Sri lankan designers as they are part and parcel of this project. So far, we dont charge international guest designers anything too as we look forward to their interaction with our local designers and create a knowledge sharing base. 

We have managed to create the CFW into a seat of interaction for fashion in South Asia and (we think) no other South East Asian country has been able to do that yet.

B: Do you have buyers coming in for the event? 

A: Yes, we have buyers from India, middle east, Malaysia so far and for the next season we are expecting a few more countries to get added on the list.
–end of excerpt–

Sri Lanka’s premier Fashion Week started in 2003, with a single-minded objective of uplifting the local fashion design industry through interaction, exposure and guidance. Expect great minds to meet, awesome ideas shared and most importantly, meaningful fashion finds its market at this event. To send your entries to participate at the event, get in touch with Ajaiy on

Ajaiy is in Delhi, India at the moment and while he spends his time at my favourite places like Khan Chaacha (drool) and TLR (Alas!) besides working on Colombo Fashion week, Conscience, StringHopper and spending some quality time with his family there. I wish him very good luck with all his future endeavours. 

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a.d.o (anjelika dreams organic) is a clothing line designed for the active woman: Comfortable and breathable!
The fabrics are dyed using the age-old, Indian tradition of natural herb dye. Each strand of yarn is dyed with hand-picked natural ingredients such as pomegranate seeds, turmeric, lemon, indigo, Fera, sandalwood, basil, Eucalyptus etc., to gives it’s unique color and natural goodness.
While colored dyes are still a problem to organic clothing, a.d.o stands out because A.D.O uses all natural herb dye, leaving the environment clean, happy and safe for our future generations.

The Company takes pride in making clothes that are free of synthetic chemicals, toxic irritants, and 100% organic and sustainable.

All a.d.o clothing is made in a factory in India and U.S.A, that takes a holistic approach to their employees and economic sustainability. In addition to healthy working conditions, food and housing are a standard followed here.
“The ‘a.d.o’ woman is one with her community, active, and wants the very best for her family, her surroundings, the body and the soul. We hope you enjoy wearing our clothes as much as we have enjoyed creating them” says Anjelika of A.D.O
A.D.O has won many accolades and is recognised internationally for their sustainable and ethical practices.

Click here to read more about them: A.D.O website

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