How designer Karishma Mehta is turning her label into a sustainable fashion brand

  (photo credit: Rajendra K Patel)
(photo credit: Rajendra K Patel)

Designers across the world are empathetic about the importance of sustainable fashion with the changing environmental scenario and its global impact. When Indian fashion designer Karishma Mehta launched her brand Thiana by KM in 2015 which is dedicated to western bridal and party wear collections, she was also not adequately aware of the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. Her focus was to create exclusive party wear and catholic bridal wear collection inspired by the aspirations of the modern-day bride until a year back when she came across a startling blog about the harsh impact of the fashion industry on global warming. She was taken aback by knowing that the industry emits more than 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases each year, accounting for more than 10% of the world's carbon footprint. 

Karishma Mehta represents those women who figure out their passion gradually. Her professional life did not start as a fashion designer. Till 2013 Karishma was helping her husband with her business, but she always felt the desire to start something that represents her identity. The young designer made her mark with Club & Party wear along with the catholic partywear collection. She recalls, “ I was handling accounts of our family business, but the clothes and recent global fashion trends always caught up my mind. I knew that I want to learn and do business out of it. So I conceded to my family and they happily agreed to it.”

Karishma did a 2-year Diploma in Fashion Designing and launched her label Thiana by KM in Goa, a city known for its scintillating nightlife. Understanding of building a business from scratch came in handy in creating her brand. Over the years she presented her collection in many fashion shows and got recognition as one of the leading fashion designers in Goa. The Indian fashion industry too started acknowledging her name. She presented her partywear & cocktail gown collection Goa Tourism department's prestigious event ‘Grape escapade’. The turning point of her career came when the FTV International channel known for covering a few of the most sort after designer’s work also telecasted one of her collections. Demand for her designs boosted exponentially. She is one of the designers who are putting effort to bring global trends to the country and creating designs that have more global appeal.

The couturier says “ I was enjoying my journey and growth until Last year when I felt the need to be responsible for the planet and humanity. After reading the blog I was sure that I will inculcate changes that would make Thiana by KM a more sustainable brand besides being one the most successful names.” She closely considered the fabric manufacturers and their production techniques to convert yarn into fabric and opted for those who were cautious about the process and effects on the environment and workers. She also brought changes in fabric selection by preferring bamboo, modal, tercel, and organic cotton over synthetically developed fabrics. Most of the fabric she uses in her designs is now sourced from Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, where the fabric is manufactured either in recycled or natural materials.

Her label is taking a new shape. Talking about this she says “ We are reinventing and becoming more responsible. I am trying to present Thiana a little differently now, which is very important to me to take a step towards being a more environmentally-aligned brand. We are changing both techniques and technology. My clients are happier and more content than before, they have appreciated and wholeheartedly accepted the changes I have made. These are gradual and continuous efforts taken by fashion brands including mine. These will start showing effects in coming days at both micro and macro levels.”

This article was written in cooperation with Anshul Panda.