What is this ‘Sustainability’ bandwagon that seems to be on the tip of the tongue of not only every upcoming brand but also age-old players who seemingly ruled the fashion sphere? For starters, sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. NEWSFLASH: Sustainability is not meant to be a victim of a marketing gimmick but is the call of the hour in the grave times of climate emergency and inequalities at the base of the production cycles that have led to several impoverished families amalgamate deeper in work wage issues.
So, we spoke to a few influencers making strides in the fashion and sustainability arena and asked them a few questions.
1. SHRUTI JAIN: An ecopreneur and founder of a fintech start-up, Shruti Jain showcases her cool sustainable lifestyle on her fabulous blog, @StyleDestino https://www.instagram.com/styledestino and is popularising conscious living for the masses. Website: http://www.styledestino.com/
Question: How was your journey to switch to a more sustainable approach like?
Sustainable living is deeply rooted in Indian culture and growing up in India I always followed "sustainable practices" in my lifestyle. It’s just that I wasn't aware back then of the concept of "sustainability" and its need. However, it was common sense for me - not creating waste, not hoarding things (like clothes, shoes, food), reusing, and recycling. I always believed in a cruelty-free lifestyle but as a fashion lover finding good quality vegan products was often challenging. That led to the idea of starting my vegan fashion digital magazine and online store Address Chic. As a vegan platform, we were working with a lot of ethical brands and influencers. During this journey, I learned about the sustainability issues plaguing the fashion industry in particular. It also sparked the idea of creating a platform where we can create meaningful discussions and positive change, we can all bring in our lives that would be better for the planet, animals, and our well-being. So, from being a fashion blogger, I transitioned into a sustainable lifestyle influencer where I learn, and share about my sustainable journey.
2. ARPITHA RAI :
Arpitha is a fashion designer with over 15 years of experience and has a famous YouTube channel with over 11 thousand subscribers: www.youtube.com/arpitharai Website: https://arpitharai.com/ She shares videos about creative fashion tips, and products for a sustainable way of fashion & lifestyle. (Insta @arpitharai)
Question: What fabrics must one avoid when trying to buy clothing that affects the environment in the least harmful way possible?
The main thing to keep in mind when purchasing any garment is the fabric. ALWAYS look for organic fabrics. Mass-produced fabrics are NEVER sustainable. Synthetic fabrics, mass-produced fabrics from animals, plants are never good. Some fabrics that you must avoid are polyester, nylon, viscose, acrylic, leather, fur, mass-produced cotton, mass-produced wool, mass-produced silk, mass-produced bamboo. The basic giveaway of a mass-produced garment or fabric is, the price of the product is very less and you will get to see the same garment in a large number, same fabric in yardages.
3. SONYA VAJIFDAR:
Instagram: @sonyavajifdar https://www.instagram.com/sonyavajifdar An alumna of Istituto Europeo de Design, Milan, Sonya has designed clothes for celebrities like Chitrangda Singh, Shazahn Padamsee, Deepti Gujral and more. Her Instagram is a holy grail for people looking for sustainability solutions, fashion and some cute baby content!
Question: How can we take care of our clothes efficiently so that they last long?
Some ways to take care of our clothes so they longer:
1 Use an eco-friendly, chemical-free detergent so it does not damage the fabrics.
2) Hang dry on a rack instead of tumble dry.
3) Use cold water to wash clothes and do not over apply heat while pressing clothes.
4) Mend small holes with patches, buttons, etc instead of throwing them away.
5) Love your clothes! if worn for an hour there is no need to wash them.
4. MEHULI MEHTA:
Instagram @themodamaniac https://www.instagram.com/themodamaniac/ Mehuli has a fashion, styling and lifestyle blog and her Instagram is filled with amazing outfit inspirations and fashion illustrations that showcase pure talent.
Question: What are the most important basics in your wardrobe that everyone must have and invest in so one can work wonders in a limited wardrobe?
1. A quality pair of denim, in a world of joggers and loose pants, denims are going to remain classic forever, so a high waisted straight leg denim would be definitely versatile.
2. Basic t-shirts, preferably black and white are must-haves!
3. A well-constructed blazer, any colours or print, it has to add that layer and colour to your look!
4. A pair of white sneakers, nothing can beat that comfort and how well it goes with all the outfits.
5. And lastly a pair of black heels again it is to serve your look from desk to drinks.
5. SANJANA SHETH: Instagram:https://dressimpressrepeat.wordpress.com/ Sanjana is a fashion student who in a world where impressions are made at a glance, wants to make that glance an impressionable one! Blog: https://www.instagram.com/dress.impress.repeat/
Question: How can one shift to a more sustainable lifestyle without burning a hole in the pocket with regard to the prices at which sustainable fashion is sold?
Sustainability, as known in today’s day, is more of expensive fabrics used by big brands. But that’s just one aspect of actually being consciously sustainable. Budget-friendly and day to day options to follow the path of sustainability start from the most basic, washing of clothes. Denims can be washed once every three to four uses, invest in the handloom and handicrafts of the places you visit in India, reuse your existing clothes as much as possible, recycle them if need be and last but not the least, preserve everything that is polyester, don’t let it into the environment until it’s shelf-life ends! For as long as you can!
6. SHIVANI GOWDA: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivablog.in/ Shivani is a 21-year-old Mumbai based self-taught blogger who loves topics of Fashion, Motivation & K-culture. The inspiration behind the blog name ‘iva’ is picked from her name (Shivani) the middle three letters. Website: https://ivablog.in/
Question: What are your favourite sustainable brands/designers?
A cloth cannot be fully sustainable, unfortunately. But these talented designers are pushing the boundaries of the limits. They have a knack for making their pieces sartorially sustainable by opting for eco-friendly fibres, natural dyes, and handloom textiles. Pahartah, Monk & Mei, Mati, Itoh, etc. are noteworthy. My blog further highlights the same: https://ivablog.in/7-emerging-sustainable-brand-eco-friendly-indian-labels/
I’m sure their valuable inputs and hacks will simplify our journey to incorporate sustainable practices in our fashion conscience and inspire to be more informed and responsible with our choices. Given the stark warnings we face on climate change we must revaluate fashion. Fashion that saves resources and energy, reduces waste and thrives using a more circular business model.
Article By: Ipsita Kaul
Ipsita is a fashion student fascinated by corresponding topics of art and sustainability. She aims to contribute to an effective dialogue tackling the above themes for a better understanding among people who are not familiar with these topics and shed light on the socio-cultural implications of the same.