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Black Orchid: Where Fashion Flows

By: Amrita Neelakantan

We all know what an overstuffed wardrobe with nothing good enough to wear feels like. Black Orchid is the modern conscious way to make that feeling and other associated blues disappear. 

I started Black Orchid because I was tired of bad quality clothes that did not last and the lack of options outside of what business-as-usual fed us. As a scientist and wildlife conservationist, it was not much of a leap from my existing ‘DIY-everything’ way of life to try and fix this apparel problem.

I imagined a future in which people have choices, did not hoard substandard things, did not throw away stuff they were bored of and did not continue mindless consumption. So, I started Black Orchid down a path that is electric with possibilities of ethical modern consumerism that works – we are beyond happy to bring you this! 

The time to be #BOLD and #SURE is now

BOLD is Black Orchid’s Living Dress under the umbrella campaign to shop SURE = Sustainably Use Reduce Exchange. Black Orchid at its very core is radical disruption through kindness. Yes – kindness. You read that right. It is an effort to give the modern consumer what they want while also leading the way in ethical business practice. Here is the fix we have all been waiting for.

Kind to you:

CORE: Black Orchid clothes are affordable for you in a multi-tiered circular way. You buy one garment but can swap it in for another garment of the same price across two whole years since the date of sale! If you want the newest merch – buy it on the first sale (tops 2k – 3k, dresses 3- 5k), if instead, you want deep discounts to look at the second or third tiers with wearable verified apparel.

Sustainable Wardrobe
sustainable clothing

KINDNESS SIDE-EFFECT: Swapping an item allows Black Orchid to assess and retail-ready clothes at a discounted price allowing more people to access good sustainable clothing. You do good for other consumers by just wearing and returning clothes as you please.

Kind to the planet:

CORE: Black Orchid is kind to the planet manifold. We make clothes from pre-retail scrap: new cloth that would have been discarded because no one used their smarts to make things out of it. This way no new farms, factories, yarn needed to be made to have the garment in your hands!

KINDNESS SIDE-EFFECT: Swapping an item allows us to retain it instead of use and throw mentality. Circular businesses the world over are saving resources and reducing pollution – we do our part by making sure good garments won’t end up in landfills out of a forced carelessness of business-as-usual systems. You do good for the planet by just wearing and returning clothes as you please.

Kind to other people:

CORE: Black Orchid manufactures clothing with partnerships of ethical transparent production factories that go above and beyond (check out MasterG our partners that strive for gender equality across apparel manufacturing). We are happy to show you our books re-pricing margins, ethically paying for garment production – just ask us! This is important for everyone involved.

capsule wardrobe

KINDNESS SIDE-EFFECT: Black Orchid clothes will finally be donated or made into rugs/items of use for the underserved in our communities to use. Typically, this is likely to happen after a second swap back to us. Black Orchid welcomes collaborations to ensure the maximum and far-reaching kindness from start to finish in our business and your consumer choices. You do good for all humans across the supply chain by just wearing and returning clothes as you please.

Other core ideas at Black Orchid:

#clothingforhumans with styles that work for all (shape, color, gender, orientation) because most of everything modern is fluid.

Clothing sizes that change with your ups and downs (think wrap pants and skirts, flowy silhouettes and other such design details).

Seasonal Capsule Work Wardrobes ~ for the modern conscious professional.

(Amrita has so far done two pop-ups with Black Orchid in Brooklyn and in Bengaluru, she is a resource at the sustainable shopping pop-up Shuffling Suitcases, teaches sustainability studies at NIFT Delhi and continues to do environmental research after her doctorate as the coordinator of the Network for Conserving Central India. Check out https://www.blackorchid.co.in/ and @blackorchid.india (Instagram + Facebook)

(In partnership with Shuffling suitcases)

(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

Amrita Neelakantan

Amrita Neelakantan

Amrita has so far done two pop-ups with Black Orchid in Brooklyn and in Bengaluru, she is a resource at the sustainable shopping pop-up Shuffling Suitcases, teaches sustainability studies at NIFT Delhi and continues to do environmental research after her doctorate as the coordinator of the Network for Conserving Central India.

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