No Nasties’ key proposition is ‘organic’ — One of the hottest words around these days. But fashion? What’s organic about fashion? Cotton.
You gotta love independent labels for standing up for a cause.
Early movers in the Indian ethical and sustainable fashion scene, No Nasties keep their clothes simple and high quality. The colour palette and texture of their products makes them feel earthy-real. It’s a good place to start for making the switch to organic in your wardrobe, with rustic colours and laid-back design.
‘No Nasties’ means all the cotton they use is organic and Fairtrade certified. This also means happier farmers, so you’re buying into a more sustainable lifestyle.
Organic cotton clothing for women, men and kids
No Nasties started out making organic cotton t-shirts in 2011 and have come a long way since. Their collection now spans options for men, women and children. I think it’s very cool that they have a kids range. Apart from the responsible parenting angle, if kids learn about organic vs GMO-pesticide distinctions at a young age, it’s perhaps the best kind of awareness to have.
They cover a lot of bases and don’t restrict themselves to a particular clothing category. There’s shirts, dresses, pants, tees, scarves to choose from and the newest addition — knits. The knitted crew tees look amazing and I’m tempted to get my hands on one. Every single article is, of course, made with organic cotton.
No Nasties’ collection philosophy is to have clothes that are comfortable, timeless and happy. The colours are generally muted and designs aren’t strictly conservative — there’s a fair bit of well-measured quirk that keeps popping up as you browse through.
Oh, and the names. Some chuckles to be had there. From Catalie Portman to Sylvester and Schroedinger, No Nasties take their cats very seriously.
The lines and fit of their clothes cater to all body types. Even if you visit their website, you can see the general flavour of diversity and inclusion. There’s no real ‘targeting’ and I think that’s great.
I picked up a shirt from them too. I’ll soon be writing my thoughts on the experience of using my first organic cotton article.
Organic cotton means natural seeds and natural fertilisers
While we typically associate organic with food, the no-GMO, no pesticide philosophy applies to natural fibres as well. So organic cotton essentially means natural seeds and natural fertilisers.
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) cotton, the opposite of organic cotton, consumes A LOT of pesticides and chemicals. So much so that it is the most pesticide-intensive crop out there, accounting for almost a fifth of global pesticide usage. It also takes up substantially more water, is much more expensive for farmers and is worse for soil health.
As per estimates (from aboutorganiccotton.org) of 2015 alone, by growing organic instead of conventional cotton, farmers potentially saved 218 BILLION litres of water, 288.7 MILLION kilowatts of energy and 92.5 MILLION kg of CO2.
There are many cool details that boost No Nasties’ sustainability credentials
As the indie brand had piqued my curiosity, I met with Apurva Kothari, founder, at their office in Goa. Their office cum warehouse is shoes-off, so once I’d settled into a Goan take-it-easy vibe and walked about on cold stone to summer satisfaction, I got around to asking him a few things on my mind.
Apurva was fairly candid about the one thing I really wanted to confirm — Conventional cotton can do everything organic cotton does and just by look or feel, it’s difficult to tell one from the other. That was out of the way, but there is obviously far more than meets the eye, as you can tell from the alarming numbers discussed earlier.
So what makes their clothes different? I feel it’s the consistency of their approach to offer a garment that is natural and feels good in all respects.
They only use water based dyes (not chemical based) and oxygenated bleach (not chlorinated), which means their clothes breathe better. The knitting technique lends softness to the fabric and that is felt quite evidently.
While it may be difficult to tangibly see the difference between a conventional cotton and organic cotton shirt, the fact remains that the latter is exposed to almost no chemical and that’s what’s in contact with your body. There’s also the intangible, inexplicable feel-good, which I experienced with my organic cotton shirt.
Since this could be considered the opposite of fast fashion, No Nasties tell me that they want their clothes to stay in people’s wardrobes longer. This is why their colours and patterns are a little more subdued, making them easier to wear season after season without them seeming washed out or old.
Oh, and about the trees. When they completed 7 years, they resolved to plant 2556 trees in Odisha (near the area where their cotton is grown) to mark each day of their existence and plan to continue this practice in the future as well. As per their most recent numbers, this has gone well past 4000. More power to ideas like these!
Being based in Goa reflects in their style and design
No Nasties started off in Mumbai but moved to Goa a few years ago. While speaking of their aspirations for growth and expansion, Apurva also mentioned being attached to the Goa lifestyle and not having any plans to let go of it. Their new flagship store in Goa is up and running now, along with a fresh logo and collection to kickstart the next phase of their journey.
I feel there is manifestation of that Goa vibe in their choice of styles and colours. While they also practice restraint and minimalism in design like many modern Indian indie brands, they are a little more raw. It’s difficult to put a finger on it, but the clothes No Nasties make are more real and less lustrous, if that makes any sense. Of course, this is not about one being better than the other and I only mean it positively.
Am I able to make a difference by buying from sustainable fashion brands?
This is another question I had. It’s all well and good to say that I buy into the ethical fashion movement, but what difference do you and I make?
When you buy anything that comes with a Fairtrade certification, farmers get paid at least the market price of the commodity. In most cases, they are paid more. For instance, Apurva tells me that they buy their cotton at much higher than prevailing market price.
Fairtrade also entails better trade terms for the farmers and encouragement of environment friendly agricultural prices which means it is more sustainable all around.
Essentially, the difference you and I make will be through higher demand of organic, Fairtrade products. This will mean more farmers and others in the supply chain make sustainable revenues and offer produce that has less chemical and more goodness.
Who’s it for: The conscious consumer who cares about switching to organic. Or one who is pleased about a social dimension to their spending.
Talking point: I didn’t know cotton was the most pesticide intensive crop on the planet!
Cool little detail: Conscious use of muted colours across their product lines, so washes and that minor fade don’t make you discard your garment as ‘old’. Lesser consumption equals more sustainability.
Winning combination: Soft, high quality, organic cotton + Rustic colours
Pricing: T-shirts for men and women start at ₹1,200. Shirts for men and women are generally between ₹2,300 and INR 2,800. Knitted tees for men start at ₹2,400. Women’s dresses go up to ₹4,200 for woven and ₹5,800 for knitted. Kids tees start at ₹800.
You can pick up their clothes in-store in India in Goa. Or head over to NoNasties.in to check out the full collection.
The packaging is pretty neat and they keep plastics to the absolute minimum. They are even trying to find self-sealing boxes, so that tapes and other plastics are completely done away with. Consistent dedication to a cause is always nice to see. Your order will come in a reusable cloth bag and with a nice handwritten note on upcycled paper.
Exchange or refunds can be initiated within 5 days of receipt if you’re unhappy with the fit.
Globally, they stock in about 15 countries in different stores. Check out your options here (https://www.nonasties.in/pages/stockists).
How did you hear about No Nasties? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this story interesting or useful, please spread the indie brand goodness by sharing it!
Photos Courtesy: No Nasties (nonasties.in)