• Shreya Dombale

FABROG-THE NEW WEGAN

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

Aloha friends! Welcome back to Satvastraa. We all have come across a word known as ‘Vegan’. It means ‘ a person who does not eat or use any animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese, leather, etc.’ We are familiar with vegan food but are we that familiar with natural vegan fabrics? Nope, we are not. And so today I will introduce you all to a genius person from India who found a fabric that can be made from a plant that is commonly found. He is Gowri Shankar the founder of ‘Faborg’.

This is a company that makes vegan wool derived from Calotropis. Gowri Shankar was raised in a weaver community. So he was familiar with all fabrics. He worked in a fashion house in Chennai. There he saw the polluting aspects of the fashion industry. He started experimenting with various plants to find alternatives for textiles. One day he saw birds collecting the fibers from Calotropis for making nests. It was when he started experimenting with this plant. He launched an alternative for wool from this plant which is now called ‘Weganool’.

He is the first person to make vegan wool from this plant. Calotropis is found everywhere in India. The best feature of this plant is that it does not require much water to grow. It does not require attention, replantation, or pesticides. It is an age-old fertilizer, fungicide, and pest-repellent that farmers have been using for ages. Also, it was found over time that it enriched the soil in which it grew and helped plants growing near it flourish. To make his product zero waste he also made extracted liquid from the plant’s components. By this, a new product was launched ‘Arka’ which is a bio-fertilizer and pest repellant which can be used by farmers instead of chemical fertilizers.

Faborg now produces about 150 kgs of yarn per month which is used by sustainable brands like Infantium Victoria, a German fashion label that makes children’s clothing.

Gowri Shankar has also been enquired from designer labels like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Alexander McQueen. This is because of the ‘Cashmere-like texture’. But still, it won’t be called sustainable if it does not use natural dyes. Faborg found natural dyeing methods. They use ‘Kaddukai’, marigold flowers, pomegranates for dyeing. Shankar while mentioning the process says, “To separate the fibers from the plant, it takes a lot of time and includes many steps. Once the plant is harvested, the stem is separated from the plant. The fibrous bit inside the stem is extracted and is boiled in water. After this, it is sun-bleached and then turned into yarn,” Therefore it is not a simple process. Shankar has inspired many people. The efforts he is taking for the environment are inspiring and commendable. So keep exploring, you never know you might unexpectedly find something which is useful for us and the environment. So, this is it. Until then stay safe and choose wisely. This is me Shreya signing off from Satvastraa. Sayonara.



 

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