How India’s 1st Fairtrade Clothing Brand is Making Eco Fashion the Go-To Choice: No Nasties Partner Spotlight

As India's first Fairtrade licensed clothing brand, No Nasties was founded in 2011 by Apurva Kothari. It was founded with a mission to create a consumer movement for ethical fashion by building an organic Fairtrade clothing brand that people love. The brand began as a t-shirt company, honing their style and fairtrade production chains with a few classic shapes which were always nipped and tucked to perfection.  

The brand also encompasses environmental sustainability throughout their supply chain using only dyes and inks that are water-based, eco-friendly and free from plastisols. Additionally all their cotton farmers are paid a premium in order to ensure community development and all factories are fair, free of child labour and discrimination. 

No Nasties’ stock list consists of a range of Men and Women’s clothing and accessories. Their silhouettes reflect design features such as a hint of a modern cocoon shape, slub textured cotton and unusual drapes in just the right places. Their collections are perfect for minimalists, capsule wardrobe fans and serial outfit repeaters alike. Given that their clothes are made from surplus, unused fabrics reclaimed and repurposed into their original styles, collections sell out fast and are heavily sought after.  

Before starting No Nasties, Apurva worked in technology for 12 years. He started as a software engineer building everything from mobile phones to microchips. He eventually got to a point where working simply for money became tiresome, he craved purpose and No Nasties gave him just that.  

1. What was your inspiration to start No Nasties and what is your proudest moment thus far?

Farmer suicide in India is the largest number of suicides recorded in human history and it's not getting any better. These numbers were too disturbing for us to ignore so we decided to do something about it. We looked at the current initiatives in India to address this issue and were glad to discover a solution in "organic" and "fair trade" farming practices. However, all this work was being done only at the grassroots level. There wasn't enough support for it from consumers. Anyone truly aware of what is going on would not continue to ignore this crisis, if you had a viable alternative, you would choose it. An alternative that doesn't ask you to change your lifestyle, but meets you where you're at and matches your fashion and design sensibilities. This is how No Nasties was born. 

2. In which direction do you see the future of sustainable brands going? And how do you see the future of your own brand?

We are seeing that people are demanding to know where their products are coming from, not just fashion but everything. I see a lot more players entering this space. What we would like to see is transparency from brands, a set of standards that are universally followed. Rather than labelling brands doing ‘good’ as ethical, we should be labeling the ones that need improvement, so that individuals know what they are buying into.  

3. How do you as a brand ensure ethical production and transparency throughout your supply chain?

There are a few ways you can ensure transparency throughout a supply chain, 1. You supervise every step of the production personally or 2.You work with people whom you trust. In our case we work with one farming cooperative and one factory. One of our core values is to encourage collaboration that is why our factory is dedicated to helping the farmers. We do not buy cotton from the open market even if it is certified organic, we need to know the people making our cotton. Additionally we rely on GOTS and FairTrade certifications to ensure that transparency is being held throughout the supply chain.  

4. As an ethical fashion brand, how do you approach designing for new seasons and trends?

We want No Nasties to be a timeless, classic brand, with pieces that fit into your wardrobe, your mood and your palette at any point in the year. No matter what the trend is, no matter the colours and styles that magazines are promoting as the latest line in temporary chic - our garments stand the test of time.  

5. Is there a brand you look up to for inspiration?

There are quite a few we look up to, some include People Tree UK, TOMS, more locally is Aura Herbal wear for developing new processes for dying.  We also get inspiration from all types of sources to learn how to better connect with consumers. We do not exclusively look at fashion, we look at brands that have successfully created a movement among their customer base and take note of how they were able to engage them at a deeper level.  

Discover and shop their wholesale collections through Kanekta starting late Summer, 2017. To learn more about No Nasties and Apurva’s story visit https://www.nonasties.in/pages/story