Up-cycled fashion accessories that empower rag-pickers

roguenrags
Roguenrags coin purse, INR 900
Rogue ‘N’ Rags coin purse, INR 900

Now that’s what we call sustainable fashion. Rogue ‘N’ Rags, a brand that creates up-cycled and recycled fashion accessories, has caught our eye with their ecological and cruelty-free goodies. Their purpose isn’t just to garnish your appearance with pretty embellishments, but to uplift rag-pickers and give them a ‘heroic stature’.

Headed by Sunny Sharma, the brand has partnered with the NGO Salaam Baalak Trust, founded by award-winning film director Mira Nair, which works toward rehabilitating street children and rag-pickers. These abandoned youth are considered ‘inconsequential’ by society and have no one to speak up for their rights. Rogue ‘N’ Rags (RnR) has set out to change their destiny.

RnR – with the clever tagline ‘Indulge Your Conscience’ – has deftly maneuvered designs to be not only environment friendly but aesthetically appealing too. They offer journals, laptop bags, wallets, card holders, hand bags, iPad covers, messenger bags, clutches – and each of these is a conversation starter. Though made of throw-away materials collected from landfills such as tyre tubes, these are silk-lined and luxurious, and cater to all the feel-good needs of a high-end consumer. For instance, the ‘Dingle N Dandies’ clutch (INR 7,200) has a double slider zip closure and collapsible corners with a rich pure silk lining on the inside, at the bottom and around the rims. It is tested to be water-resistant as well. Each of their ‘Gossamery N Nuzzle’ coin purses (INR 900 each) are limited-edition.

Their ethos originates in a “tri-fold understanding of the issues” of rag-pickers. RnR believes that an issue cannot be looked at in its solitude as they are interlinked and one makes ground for the other. Here’s what Sharma, who also started up a UK-based fashion label in the past, has to say:

“At first, the environment we live in makes for the health we sustain. It is a false belief that we are saving the earth because in hindsight we are saving ourselves. RnR is a strong step towards turning this realization into reality as everything here is made to conserve and preserve. All its creations are ecological and sustainable.

roguenrags
Rogue ‘N’ Rags hand purse, INR 5,700

“Secondly, team Rogue ‘N’ Rags aims to save the animals from the cruelty meted out on them by humans when they are skinned alive to procure leather and other fashion demands. We at RnR create cruelty-free classic luxury by not imperiling the lives of the innocent animals.

“The third idea is to contribute to a meaningful life for the most neglected strata of the society, who are considered accursed. Rag-pickers are forced to live as filthily as their surroundings, which leads to drug addiction, homelessness, crime, health and sanitation issues, infections, and so on, not to mention the loss of childhood. Rogue ‘N’ Rags gives them a second chance by addressing all these issues, arranging for their de-addiction, rehabilitation and education so that they come out of the unfortunate profession and earn their living with dignity.”

Sharma adds, “I firmly believe that simple charities cannot create a more constructive and conducive atmosphere, creative solutions and opportunities that will help the society in the long run. RnR wants to set an example by creating a business model where one’s gain is not other’s loss.”

You can buy these pieces off their website Rogue ‘N’ Rags, or if you live in New Delhi, head over to the ground floor of DLF Place Mall, Saket.

Roguenrags laptop bag, INR 8,500
Rogue ‘N’ Rags laptop bag, INR 8,500