“My skin shares a symbiotic relationship with my clothes”

believes Deepak Gupta. The Bengaluru-based architect has been wearing 'only' natural fabric since 1987. That’s quite some time. In a quick interview below, he tells us why he wears only natural fabric

You have been wearing natural fabric for so long now. Why do you think one must wear natural fabric?

My clothes are a shelter to my skin. It is necessary that I choose my clothes such that my skin breathes. If one wears polyester or a similar synthetic fabric, the skin suffocates. Also, a lot of processes in the body suffer although those disruptions go unnoticed.

My skin shares a symbiotic relationship with my clothes. When I wear cotton or other natural fabric, my skin breathes well. Natural fabric is of the earth. What is of the earth is best for a man.

Since when have you been wearing only natural fabric?

Since 1987. Somewhere around my college days. When we were in Bhopal, my father used to buy cotton fabric from Raymond store and Khadi Bhandar and we would then get them stitched. Raymond used to have an in-house tailor. We also bought a lot of stuff from Mrignayani, a government emporium. It was during the same time, I showed a great interest in cotton kurtas. They became my favorites for weekend wear. Also, during those days I became conscious of the fabric I was to wear.

You said “you became conscious…” What do you mean by that?

The summers in Bhopal were hot. On the days I wore a cotton shirt, my body felt better. That was when I realized cottons were good for my body. The climate of a place decides the nature of the fabric one should wear. Say for example, Rajasthani angrakhas for men are designed keeping the climate of the state in mind. The angrakhas are loose cotton tops with the sleeves tightening at the wrist. Cotton keeps one cool in the hot atmosphere of Rajasthan and the closure at the point of the wrist saves the body from sand.

Where do you source all your natural fabric clothes from?

From various avenues. In the decades gone by, I used to get my clothes stitched. I had moved to the US for studies and later work, even when I got back to India a little over a decade ago, I wore stitched clothes. Lately, I’ve been buying half shirts and kurtas from FabIndia, Arrow, Dockers, etc. I wear a lot of linen as well. Linen is quite expensive. So, sometimes instead of buying a linen shirt from the store, I buy the fabric and get it stitched.

When it comes to your wardrobe, is there any prized possession of yours?

There are several. One of them is a set of cotton hand printed ties that I bought in the US.

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