20 July 2017

Ethical Fashion: Rossbelle, India, United Arab Emirates

Text: Anja Neidhardt

Most fashion labels tend to be based in Western countries, but have their garments mass-produced – often under inhumane conditions – in low-wage countries. And although the majority of the workforce in the textile industry is female, women are almost always chronically underrepresented at boardroom level. These factors create inequalities and injustices and endanger not only people and the environment, but also our cultural heritage, of which traditional dressmaking know-how and skills are a part. Presented here is a label that has chosen a different path.


The Rossbelle label based in Chennai and Dubai creates clothes out of sustainable, ethically sourced materials, including recycled deadstock and vintage fabrics. Its founders, Thasneem Masood and Adveta Dwivedi, set themselves the goal of making environment-friendly, high-end fashion. To do this, they set their sights on timeless designs, top-quality materials, and processing methods with a low-carbon footprint and as little waste as possible, as well as a humane working environment for their seamstresses. The designs of their tunics, dresses, throws, and other products were inspired by traditional Indian handicrafts. To prevent the demise of India’s great textile-making tradition, Rossbelle works closely with craftsmen to enable them to remain creative and put their ideas into practice. Masood and Dwivedi also organise events aimed at drawing attention to the negative consequences of fast fashion.


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