Published: 02nd April 2020
This fashion start-up in Delhi is creating cool COVID masks out of scrapped fabric saved over the last year
Avishi Dayal Kalra's ADK reuses their wasted cloth to be recreated into medical masks in light of the shortage following the Coronavirus outbreak
In college, fashion designing student Avishi Dayal Kalra found it hard to throw away the waste fabric from her projects. After starting her own brand, ADK, at the age of 23, the habit of saving scraps from her work stuck. She told herself that she would find the need for them someday. When her mother fell ill, she fashioned a medical mask out of them. And now, with the advent of the Coronavirus and a rising shortage of masks, she has decided to make them for the general public.
Based in Gurgaon, ADK is a streetwear label that aims to be unapologetically flashy using a flash of pop colours, reflective panels and a variety of materials. Avishi says, “We have had a lot of waste fabric. They were basically scrap from almost a year of work. Honestly, these little scraps cannot be recycled. Longer fabric is usually sent to be recycled in Panipat. I also found a carton full of fabric from a group project I had done in college. So I started using whatever we had and they turned out to work efficiently and look nice!”
In true ADK style, these masks come with neon colours coupled with monochrome shades. The masks are washable, as opposed to the ones available in pharmacies. What pushed the brand to set this up was the realisation that the materials would go waste otherwise. With every new design they create, a dozen little pieces of fabric are always left behind. And thanks to Avishi’s scrap hoarding, they have been able to rise up to the occasion.
MASKED UP: The masks are made from scrapped fabric
Although the idea was to use the waste materials for Avishi’s upcoming upcycled clothing line, she realised that it was her chance to do her part during the virus outbreak. The masks were distributed among ADK’s staff members and a number of people working in her colony. She also able to offer them to a cluster of low income households living on the Gurgaon-Delhi border.
“The whole purpose is to help whoever you can. It’s not for the fashion conscious or the privileged, I want to help as many people as I can. We came up with this so people can protect themselves at any cost. The idea was to do our little part, that one per cent. Being a new start-up, I haven't made enough to donate to the Prime Minister’s fund, so this is my way of doing my bit,” says the 23-year old who previously worked for Adidas India.
Avishi posted a range of masks modelled by her own grandfather and people of different ages to stress on the importance of using them. Orders have trickled in from Mumbai, Bengaluru and even London. If you want one of ADK’s masks, you can contact them through Instagram. Once you send them a DM, they will take down your contact number and send a few options through WhatsApp. Once you make your pick, they are couriered. And although shipping has slowed down, Avishi ensures that it reaches people at the time of their need.