• Navmalika Sidhu

TAMARIND CHUTNEY: DECONSTRUCTING SLOW FASHION IN EVERYDAY WEAR

Updated: Apr 29

What they make: Womenswear: Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Outerwear, Sarees, Stoles and Accessories; Menswear: Shirts, Ties, Jackets and Accessories.

Where to buy: https://tamarindchutney.in


STRIVING TO BE SUSTAINABLE, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

Started by two school friends in the summer of 2019, Tamarind Chutney was born with a simple belief: The planet matters, and so do all human activities, including creating fabulous clothes! Inspired by the principles of slow fashion and circularity, together with supporting artisan livelihoods and preserving India’s craft heritage, Tamarind Chutney puts even the smallest step in the production and distribution process under a microscope, searching for the best way to bring you a sustainable and fashionable wardrobe.


PRETTY FOR THE PLANET

4.5/5


The clothes are made of 100% natural fabrics, with no synthetic in their clothes with the exception of elastic. Vegetable dyes are used with water-saving methods, as an eco-friendly alternative to chemical dyes.

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

Tamarind Chutney does small batch collections, producing three collections every year, with no more than 50 handmade pieces per style that are restocked as needed, so there’s no mass production, meaning less surplus. They believe, ‘waste isn’t an inevitability, it’s a design flaw’, so they get creative with their leftover cuttings and pieces, usually using them to craft quirky accessories that can also be purchased on their website. Working with a zero-waste ethos, every last bit of the fabric is given a second life. Even the surplus fabric from factory floors, which would otherwise be destined for the landfill, is used as plain fabric in their clothing.


The brand uses plastic-free, reusable packaging, made from recycled paper and leftover fabrics. All their domestic shipping is done without air transport, to minimize carbon footprint, so you may have to wait a couple of extra days to receive your orders—but that’s nothing compared to the cost of saving the planet! As for international shipping, they are still exploring how to reduce the carbon offsets but the process of that hasn’t been elucidated.


PRETTY FOR THE PEOPLE

5/5

Tamarind Chutney seem to leave no loose ends in their quest to be sustainable, maintaining transparency and stating their ethos with clarity. Each garment tag mentions the name of the worker who worked on it, along with a dedication on the website, with each of their life stories, creating a responsible sourcing and manufacturing chain. Tamarind Chutney has also partnered with artisans from all over the subcontinent, for sourcing fabrics, including Ajrakh, Dabu, Ikat, Bhujodi weaves, Sanganeri and Assam weaves. These traditional crafts have developed over the centuries, in harmony with local ecosystems, often using vegetable dyes and water-saving methods. And so, they’re far more resource-efficient than factory-produced chemically-dyed fabrics.


PRETTY FOR YOU

4.5/5

Every Tamarind Chutney item, as they say, is lovingly made to last you for years to come. Their high-quality products for both men and women, are size-inclusive (upto XXXL), durable, versatile, and made with high-quality fabrics that you could hand down for generations. Moreover, these products are quite affordable with tops starting at only Rs 649… whoever said a sustainable lifestyle can’t be affordable? Moving on to the design, the products display quirky prints on classic silhouettes for casual wear, to please the ‘OG’ in you and they also accept custom requests.

Besides, you won’t have to wonder #whomademyclothes!


The blog section of the website offers tips to the customers on how to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, my personal favourite being, ‘how to make an Indian minimalist capsule wardrobe’. Also, you know exactly where your money is going, as they share the breakdown of every single product on the website so you won’t feel guilty about spending money, where you shouldn’t have spent. Even their social media is quite interactive, flooded with tips on more responsible buying. They are also open to feedback, so you can write to them with any of your queries or suggestions.