Urban Darzi – The Sartorial Game Changer

Urban Darzi – The Sartorial Game Changer

Challenging the system right from its roots, this homegrown label strays away from the generic representational ethics. Read on to know more.

Fashion as a whole involves a lot more than we think or, in some cases, even know. With the desire to build wardrobes as big as rooms also comes the environmental debt in the form of inexplicable discarded waste that goes into landfills and remains there for an eternity. With more than one discrepancy related to the ethical, ecological and materialistic woes of the fashion world, waste remains to be one of the biggest factors that tarnishes the oh-so-glamourous status of the fast fashion industry.

While many a brands have been trying to curb the ill effects of the regular produce module in their own way, Urban Darzi, the brainchild of Akshit Bangar has taken the initiative to direct change right from within - by adopting the circular model of fashion.

Circular fashion, as a term came around 2014, when the dialogue about the fashion industry's ill effects on the environment started gaining exponential traction. The model aims at reducing the amount of waste generated before and after production, through practices like conscious fabric selection, ethical and controlled processing, limited production, recycling and repurposing in various formats. This in turn leads to a prolonged usage of a product to extract its entire value, heightened efficiency of the entire system, a smaller waste output, moral justice and last but not the least, a cleaner and more breathable planet.

It was after Bangar returned home from his graduation at the University of Nottingham, that he ventured into the fashion industry, 7 years ago. Having been involved in a mass produce model of operation - that supplied to various multi-brand retail outlets - with his father and brother, Bangar often found himself pondering about the multitude of the ecological impact caused by the demand and produce cycle, which grows exponentially every passing day.

The urge to deduce the damage and bring about change beyond the already existing scale instigated the inception of a label entirely dedicated to conscious, ethical and mindful practices.

“These past couple years, when you sit back and look at things around you - the amount of pollution, pre & post-consumer waste & frailty of our planet because of this one little need of a human body is insane, quite literally to be honest if you see the numbers. If it were up to the Zaras and H&Ms of the world- it is only going to go worse.”

Akshit Bangar

Acclaimed as a circular entity, Urban Darzi is more than just a brand producing for the sake of selling the sustainable and gaining profits. Modernizing the literal translation of the Urdu word ‘Darzi’, the initiative aims at adding more substance to the mere act of tailoring with responsibility and a personal touch.

The brand operates along 3 verticals, which involve capsule collections that speak sentiment, essentials and an exclusive segment called “Get Darzied”, which invites people to bring in their existing wardrobes that the team mutates into entirely new creations. The combined effort and wit of the designer and the tailors recently converted a couple of shirts into a tote bag under the Get Darzied segment!

Tote bag made from shirts
Tote bag made from shirts

“We don't come around with shiny new fabrics every day to make you look good - rather, we look at what you already have in your wardrobe - things that you have been hoarding for no reason - we then sit with you and craft a bespoke up-cyclic slow, high fashion capsule wardrobe from your existing wardrobe pieces. We take what you want to waste and give it a new life.”

Akshit Bangar

Multiple design houses often release collections with meticulously ideated campaigns featuring tailors and artisans working on the intricate details of their pieces, garnering validation of all forms in the heat of the moment; but with passing time, those videos and the craftsmen, all end up forgotten in the archives. Erasing the fine line between fashion and glamour, Urban Darzi’s outlook towards crucial elements like campaigns and communication has taken the Internet by a sweet surprise.

Stemming from the aim of being transparent with their potential customers, the label has been involved in the practice of displaying a cost breakdown involved in the making every apparel, which not only justifies the price point but also garners a trust factor from the audience.

Where one would expect profligate production and unending glamour when the need comes for an extraordinary photo-shoot, the label has another thing coming for you. With factory workers modeling for the bespoke creations, the label’s attempt at changing the preconceived imagery of high fashion has been well received by the viewers. Keeping it as real as it gets, Urban Darzi’s attempt doing things differently advances from the thought of bringing about radical change in the immersive industry.

“We are opening up our cost breakups on each individual product; using an ordinary factory worker as a model; letting our audience take a peek into the lives of the people who are actually making all these clothes, rather than the brand itself; breaking the mould of how a typical high fashion shoot needs to come out as by keeping ours as raw and unhinged as possible.”

Akshit Bangar

Black Nachos Khadi Shirt
Black Nachos Khadi ShirtURBAN DARZI

The label recently dropped their Capsule 1, with 10 pieces that make for a comfortable capsule wardrobe, made from discarded fabrics, khadi and household waste. All pieces featuring breezy fits and gender fluid sihouettes, the capsule aims at easing the stay at home situation while being sustainable and lasting forever and ever.

One of the various creative features in the capsule is the use of wrappers of food items as adornment, moving them beyond being items of waste. The brand is also in the process of devising a Kimono collection, which pays tribute to late Kenzo Takada’s exceptional contribution in the world of fashion.

White Chip Shirt
White Chip ShirtURBAN DARZI

Going forward, the label aims at amplifying the circular model to a pan-Asian level in the coming few years, while helping the environment at a bigger scale as well as guiding the cultural direction of the label itself.

“A large part of the prevalent “culture” contributes entirely to the highly profitable fast fashion brands which in turn are crumbling the very essence of existence, barring the steady shift towards conscious consumerism that we are seeing since about a year now. Several brands and organizations have emerged to seek out this predicament but there’s still a long road ahead. Our take on this is to facilitate a paradigm shift to more conscious & ethical fashion choices by imparting knowledge through our brand - with regards to slow fashion & circularity & the idea of up-cycling.”

Akshit Bangar

White Chip Shirt
White Chip ShirtURBAN DARZI

With a revolutionary representation and a redefined direction of clean creation, Urban Darzi’s sustainably ethical aesthetic creates an impact on every viewer’s heart and mind. While there are many labels out there promising impact, a few are out to deliver wholeheartedly, with Urban Darzi being on the top of the list. Head over to the label’s Instagram to take a look at the newest capsule and the upcoming drops!

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