Marigold: Blooming Sustainable Styles this Wedding Season


The following Q&A is brought to you by Marigold — a South Asian outfit rental company that is revolutionizing the fashion industry through circular fashion, sustainability, and affordable access to the latest trends, all while minimizing our impact on the planet.

Three missed calls and one alarming text from amma: “Have you done shaadi shopping yet, beta? Wedding is in a week!” 

As I started to reply back, email notifications from my team popped up: scheduled meetings until 7pm for the next three days and two presentations due this week

I could feel my fight-or-flight response kick in. “I will, don’t worry ma,” I texted back.

 Disclaimer: It was, in fact, something to be very worried about. 

I need formal desi outfits, six different ones, for my cousin’s big fat desi wedding and that too as soon as possible.

As an admirer of slow-fashion and vintage shopping, I find South Asian fashion difficult to maintain.

I could rewear that saree I wore for my aunt’s anniversary a few years ago, but what about the rest?

I could take the subway to Jackson Heights, but where is the time? Finding a stylish outfit of good quality would take me hours over there. Maybe, I could walk over to that Indian designer store and buy a trendy lehenga, but the price will be on the higher end, especially if I am going to wear it only once or twice.  

And, the million dollar question: where will I put all these extra outfits in my minimal closet space? 

Scratch that. You know what would be so clutch right now? 

A one-stop shop like Marigold. 

Marigold, California-based, South Asian and women-owned business, makes it uber feasible to rent fashionable South Asian wear across the USA. I can find a brand new, pre-loved lehenga, an Indo-Western ensemble, or even a sharara by renowned designers like Seema Gujral and Payal Singhal to rent for seven days. To me, that is the best part platform (it also gives you the option to pay for the outfit in installments).


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Planting the Seeds of Marigold 

Two friends Shaily Shah and Brinda Patel came together to launch this platform to bridge the gap between purchasing good quality desi clothing and prioritizing the well-being of the planet. As we all know, the making of South Asian lehenga and saris take a lot of resources, time and craftsmanship — further proving why the pieces in our closets should be reworn, thrifted and/or rented. 

As Brinda recalls, “despite having a closet full of lehengas and shararas,” most of them were dated or the wrong size for her daughter to wear to the next wedding event. So, she did what most of us would do-tried to get something custom made in India. However, what was delivered was nothing short of a horror story. The fabric “reeked of harmful chemicals,” she said. And, the sizing was terrible despite providing measurements. Consequently, the idea for Marigold was born, with Shaily’s experience in the jewelry industry adding the cherry on top. 

Eco-friendly to the T 

Sustainable fashion is the ultimate solution for individuals who are searching for formal South Asian attire and accessories for an event. Marigold goes beyond clothing when it comes to going green. “Sustainability is not just a tagline for us,  we truly mean it and live by it,” Brinda said, who is now a retired science teacher. She adds, “I have tried to live sustainably my whole life…my students still come back and mention how I taught them to be better citizens.” 


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The duo makes sure that they not only utilize reusable and recycled packaging, but also plastic free water activated tape and toxin free algal ink. No detail is overlooked. And, “when the clothes become used more than seven or eight times, it is sold off on the platform or donated to India in an effort to continue the cycle.” A definite green flag for the brand. 

Stitching a Solution 

The tricky part about hand-me-downs, like my mom’s blouses, is the sizing. Tailoring is an added cost and many times a hassle if you don’t have a local tailor you absolutely love. Thankfully, Marigold has partnered up with the TrueToForm app, which lets clients share their exact measurements. As a result, I can rent an outfit on Marigold with the customization,  if needed, included in the cost. Moreover, Marigold aims to incorporate sizes up to 4XL. 

Reliable Rentals 

Not only is Marigold  sustainable, but also, reliable. “All of our inventory is right here with us, in California,” Brinda said. This means, if you need your outfit in 3-5 days, you can get it. For those of us tired of whatsapp-ing brands back home at odd hours of the morning and night just to receive the bare-minimum in return, Marigold has a one on one concierge service to promptly answer queries about styling, delivery, and beyond. One thing the duo promises you is, they will “never upsell.”

Style Meets Sustainability

There is no need to sacrifice your sense of style in an effort to be eco-friendly, cost and time efficient. I now have the opportunity to an outfit n the color I want, the size I need, and the style I imagined myself in, all while saving my time with by clicking and scrolling Marigold’s website by the outfit or item type, event, color, or size. 


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If you’re a bride, bridesmaid, a new mom-to-be, or a wedding guest in desperate need of an elegant South Asian ensemble, let your worries come to a rest. I certainly did, and the cherry on top? Amma was surprised I had all my outfits ready to go for my cousin’s wedding, but Marigold saved the day.  

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By Shezda Afrin

Shezda Afrin is an aspiring physician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of four, it was quite normal of her … Read more ›