After making headlines with swadeshi SIM card and desi WhatsApp, Baba Ramdev is all set to enter the apparel industry in India. His upcoming clothing brand Paridhan will focus on swadeshi and all-natural products that intent to keep up the Indian tradition. One of the items that top the product list of Paridhan is swadeshi jeans, an Indianised wear that, along with being different in style, fabric and design, will abide by ‘cultural norms’.
Claiming that the denim jeans that people wear these days are western in nature with regards to design and culture, Ramdev’s firm is offering a substitution named swadeshi jeans customised to comply with Indian culture. The loose-fitting swadeshi jeans, claimed to be made of cent per cent cotton, is also touted to be comfortable wear for women.
We ask fashion designers, college students and professionals what they think about the Indianised jeans and should fashion trends be rooted on culture and indigenousness.
‘It’s not even jeans’
Jeans has its roots in Genoa, the natives of which were called ‘Genes’. The denim material used to make these trousers was originally made for the sailors, who made the wear famous. So if any new trousers are being to be made using other fabrics, they cannot be considered even jeans! Of course, a Swadeshi touch to the trousers will be interesting, but those will be regular trousers and not jeans!
Sajini Pallathu, fashion designer
‘Swadeshi is Just business’
I am an ardent follower of Baba Ramdev, but only of his yoga lessons. I fail to understand his concept of attaching a swadeshi tag to everything. He is an entrepreneur, why can’t he just do his business? It is great to come up with unconventional ideas, but he is not coming up with any new product. Modifying things with the ‘swadeshi’ tag is a good marketing strategy. How can you make a product which is completely pure, while technically it is impossible? The concept is not convincing.
Sagar Verma, graphic designing professional
‘Won’t give up denims’
I disagree on using swadeshi jeans by completely avoiding denim jeans. What one wears is based on their own comfort. Discrimination based on swadeshi or foreign tags is unnecessary. It is good to have a swadeshi product, but for that, there is no need to boycott foreign products. Though it’s difficult to judge the product that isn’t launched yet, I don’t think I will give up wearing denim jeans even if I buy and use the swadeshi jeans. I have been using denims for years and loving its comfort, I don’t think swadeshi jeans will be better than that.
Sapna, fashion designer
‘Too early to judge’
It is an interesting idea to see indigenous industries crop up, and more the merrier. One has to wait and see the production and then comment on it than speculate. The Indian market is unpredictable. If it is a good product at a good price, and well styled, then the market will definitely accept it! But till we actually see the product, it is just speculation on the basis of facts, whether it will work or not.
Nachiket Barve, fashion designer
‘Open to Experimenting’
Something like this should be much appreciated. Westernised clothing is made to suit their environment, weather and culture and does not quite go with the kind of climate of ours. India has a wide array of indigenous fabrics that are very much in demand abroad; it goes really well with our tradition as well. Fashion and trends are ever changing and people are gradually shifting towards fabrics that are breathable, comfortable and fashionable. So, jeans made out of 100 per cent cotton will provide the outfit an Indian edge and a much more relaxed feel. I feel, we should do the same to our regular wear too. There’s nothing wrong in experimenting with new designs if the roots remain native.
Shalini Visakan, designer for differently-abled
‘An excellent idea’
I admire Baba Ramdev for his originality and being so innovative. Only he can come up with something like swadeshi jeans. It would be great fun to have these as an option and it’s nice if it is rooted in culture. Fashion is wide and all encompassing; so there is room for such jeans for sure. Fashion is also a personal choice. Whoever wants to try them should go ahead. They just might be the new ‘it’ thing for people who want a more comfortable fit. Any influence on fashion, global or regional, is very welcome.
Bandana Sondhi, fashion stylist