Remember when your parent would write your name on the tag of your clothes when you were a kid? It signified both that that item was yours and that you didn’t want to lose it because Rainbow Brite shirts don’t grow on trees and you won’t be getting another one. As we get older, we stop marking our names onto our clothing and, if we follow the natural progression of Western consumerism, it becomes more ephemeral. Why would you put your name on something that will go out of style faster than a Hypercolor t-shirt?
When I received a shirt gratis from Bunosilo, an ethical and sustainable clothier, I was surprised to find my name stitched into the tag. Thinking it was a special addition since I would be writing about them, I inquired and found that it is, in fact, a part of their regular production. Sewing names on garments is done in the tradition of large Indian households where it was once a mode of identification. Bunosilo believes that this simple act creates a sense of belongingness and attachment towards the garment and the artisans who created it. I was so touched by the gesture that I wore mine inside out for Fashion Revolution Day so everyone could see the tag.
Bunosilo’s made-to-order garments are handcrafted in India and treated as works of art that narrate the story of traditional Indian techniques like hand woven Khadi fabric. Garments are made from handloomed or recycled fabrics and may feature hand printed patterns, natural dyes, or traditional embroidery; natural materials are sourced locally to minimize environmental impact. Their prices are higher than fast fashion, but very reasonable considering the handmade quality. Bunosilo works directly with suppliers and consumers, cutting out middlemen to keep costs down while maintaining fair wages for employees.
The artisans employed by Bunosilo are valued for their work and craft, and each garment reflects their passion and skill. For Khadi fabrics (like that of my linen shirt), Bunosilo often partners with Women Weave, a charitable trust making handloom work profitable, sustainable, and dignified employment for women in rural areas of India. I truly appreciate the craftsmanship of my shirt—machine manufacturing could not replicate the quality and character of the woven material and stitching. And it’s got my name in it, so it’s not going anywhere for a long time.
Below are some of my favorite pieces from Bunosilo. Shop more handmade garments on their website (they carry men's, women's and children's).