From City To Serenity: Meet The Indo-Tibetan Designer Revolutionizing Slow Fashion With Zero Waste

Environment By Ritika Bidawat | 5 min read

Living in Delhi or Mumbai or any other bigger city, understanding the need to go sustainable is something that can come very easily to anyone. Here in big cities, we see mountains of garbage, monsters of pollution clouding the skies, endless cars crowding the streets and we end up finding ourselves in the very centre of the future – where planet Earth will sink into a dead end.

But, sadly, we anyway continue to spend energy & time as the days pass instead of experiencing life. We are in the rat race where we see nothing else but just the road ahead. While on the go we damage, manipulate and exploit each and everything that we come across, including ourselves.

Slow Fashion
Source- Pexels

However, we have met people from second and third-tier cities who are aware of the need for green living and have made changes in their own lives to save the planet. Another superhuman has joined the ranks of those who have abandoned the conveniences and opportunities of big cities in favour of the quiet fulfilment that comes from finding inner peace in a simple life.

Meet Tenor- The Most Successful Man We Know

In the serene hills of Dharamshala, there lives a man whose journey speaks volumes about the importance of choosing & walking towards the right thing instead of waiting for the right to happen & come to us. Meet Tenor Sharlho, a Tibetan man living in the state of Himachal Pradesh who says ” I AM A HAPPY & SATISFIED HUMAN”. An extremely rare conclusion people make these days.

Slow Fashion
Source- Instagram

Tenor always had a passion for making things, and his interest in the arts & craft led him to pursue fashion design at college. He made the journey down south of India from his homeland in the hills to get his degree, and then, like so many others, he dove into the thick of things.

As a fashion designer, he was able to travel to almost all of India’s major cities, including Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, and the rest, where he observed that everyone was rushing to find success. However, Tenor now know that the “bird called success” has already left big cities for a breath of fresh air.

Slow Fashion sharlho

After exploring the cities for years finally the designer, entrepreneur, and master craftsman, Tenor decided to move back to the mountains to reconnect with nature and find solace.

“I worked in the business for a short time after I got my degree, but I got frustrated with how things worked there and missed the mountains where I grew up. So I packed up my things and went back to Dharamsala, where I decided to start my small business.”

A Slow fashion label

Tenor’s story is not just about fashion, clothing or finding peace. It is about the significance of preserving one’s culture, staying true to one’s values, and finding true happiness. After spending years in India’s bustling cities, He felt that people had become too focused on accumulating wealth and material possessions, and had lost touch with their inner selves & nature.

Slow Fashion
Source – Instagram

As a fashion designer, Tenor has seen the dark side of the industry, where fast fashion has taken over and exploited resources without a second thought.

His label Sharlho, however, is an attempt to bring back the concept of slow life and slow fashion. Tenor thinks fashion should focus on making things that last, & are aesthetically pleasing while benefiting society and the planet.

” I still have cloths, I use to wear 5-7 years ago. I always cherished my cloths and took great care of them. At that time I didn’t knew I was proffesing slow fashion but now i do. Slow fashion is not a tend to welcome or let go, it’s an approach to living that everyone should adopt.

Along with the need to revolutionise slow fashion, He also realised that the preservation of indigenous arts and traditions was more important now than ever before.

Source- Instagram

Keeping the idea of promoting slow fashion while progressively introducing traditional Indo-Tibetian styles, Tenor started his label naming it after his last name -“Sharlho” in the year 2017.

The brand was started in Delhi, but Tenor didn’t like the air he was breathing in or the race he was unknowingly running. Tenor spent years looking for success in cities, but when he went back to his childhood home in Himachal for a vacation, he knew right away what he wanted to do. – He wanted a quiet life where he could create things and work on his slow fashion brand, but also be happy.

“After my last name, I decided to give it the name Sharlho. It literally means east and south but it is my family name back in Tibet. Its the memory of my belongingness to my roots”

A sustainable label with around 16 full-time employees where Sharlho employs local craftspeople and reinterprets traditional Himalayan & Tibetian craftsmanship in modern forms. Tenor, who has always had a soft spot for the highlands, established Sharlho in Ramnagar, a little town not far from Dharamsala.

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Sharlho – A Small Shop For Slow Fashion

The raw materials used to design these Into-Tibetian cloths come from throughout all the mountain states of India, as well as Bhutan and Tibet, and several different craft traditions inspire the patterns.

“Most of our materials are natural fibres sourced from villages around the Himalayas.” It provides jobs for locals, and we’re doing what we can to keep the arts from going the way of the dodo. There’s something about Himalayan and Tibetan raw materials and aesthetics that really appeal to me. I often refer to the traditional styles when I’m working on a new project.

Tenor Slow fashion label’s eco-friendly apparel line has motifs inspired by traditional Indo-Tibetan art. These intricate hand-stitched patterns are sure to be a hit with people of this generation because of how well they complement today’s fashions. The iconic Himalayan brand has a wide range of apparel and accessories for both kids and adults, with an emphasis on outerwear.

Slow Fashion sharlho
Source – Instagram

The action taken by Tenor revitalizes the neighborhood. The difficulties in managing a small, artisanal record company are no less but the zeal to overcome them and strike a healthy work-life balance is essential.

“Ramnagar has a relaxed atmosphere, making it a great environment for working and creating great designs,”

Tenor raises an important point, saying, “These days the current generation does not wish to follow the ancient trades that their elders have conserved and relied on, and so many of these skills are gone in the winds of time. Because of this, it’s becoming harder and more costly to find genuine handiwork.

Source- Instagram

I’m willing to go deeper into the mountains to find the skills and raw materials I need, because that’s where the old skills and techniques will be kept and my goods will be truly unique and timeless, only if I offer authentic items.”

When We Don’t Waste, We Have More

This slow fashion label truly practices zero waste while sticking to its motto of slow fashion. Sustainable practices and slow fashion has gained traction in the fashion business in recent years. Sharlho considers these ideals to be fundamental to the label’s mission.

Big brands tend to focus on making big money in short periods without much consideration of how that affects the environment, workers, and consumers,” adds Tenor. Rather than focusing on seasonal trends, slow fashion designers create high-quality, long-lasting products.

Source – Instagram

Tenor’s label is unique because it produces zero-waste clothes, which are not only environmentally friendly but also ethically made. Each piece is designed with great care, keeping in mind the rich cultural heritage of the region. The fabrics used are sourced from local artisans, and the designs are a mix of traditional and modern elements.

Tenor’s clothes are a reflection of his passion for sustainability and his love for his homeland. Tenor is committed to reducing waste in all forms and encourages this practice by repurposing scraps into decorative accents and cushion fill. This slow fashion brand is on the ideal framework that all the fashion industry should follow.

What Is Success For You

Tenor’s label is not just about slow fashion but also about preserving a way of life that has been passed down through generations. It is a tribute to the artisans and craftsmen who have kept the culture of the region alive and thriving.

When asked if he is happy to leave the comforts of big cities to settle in a small town in the hills to work on his slow fashion brand Tenor had the most joyful answer –

“I am a very succesful man beause I am happy and satisfied. And if you do not belive me visit me at my store and you’ll know how happy i am just by looking at my face”

Find some of the coolest Indo-Tibetian designs while promoting slow fashion at the Instagram page of Sharlho or you can visit the store whenever you happen to visit Dharamshala.

If you liked reading this story, you could also read about Meet Aparna, Who Is Making Recycled Newspaper Pencil That Will Grow Into A Tree, Will Curb Down Deforestation

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