What is Sustainable Fashion? and How do we embrace it?
First, lets look at the word 'Fashion' itself.. Fashion is a function of 'style' and 'time', i.e at a certain period in time, a particular 'style' is most popular. This could be specific to age groups, genders, geographies and so on.
Now lets look at the word 'Sustainable' or 'Sustainable Development'. It means "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".... But wait, isnt that how DEVELOPMENT should anyways be? ?? That is what Aarohana believes in!
In a similar sense, now-a-days, when I hear about these words "Sustainable Fashion", I always feel, shouldnt "Fashion" always be "Sustainable" ? i.e it should be such that we have all the fun with the trends and styles, but also leave resources for the future generations... Isnt it?
However, for the sake of the topic, I am unwillingly using these words 'Sustainable Fashion' together and trying to define them:
Sustainable Fashion is a trend which consists of clothing, accessories and other items made from either natural or organic material or from repurposed/recycled/upcycled waste material. Many fashion designers and fashion houses, alike, have hopped on to this 'trend'. This is for obvious reasons (one or more of these) because they is eco-friendly, organically grown, biodegradable, easily recyclable, use natural dyes, chemical free, good for the skin, leave less or no impact on our carbon footprint and does little or no harm to the Earth. Many Designers and Fashion houses have now started their own Fashion Brands, which are solely dedicated to Sustainable Fashion.
Now that we have given you plenty of reasons to go the Sustainable Fashion Way, lets see, how we can embrace it:
1. Keep what you love and do away with what you don't
Keep only those clothes that you need. Minimize the amount of clothes you have in your closet. Donate the ones, you do not need. This way you will also save a few extra bucks!
2. Support your local and tribal craftsmen
Buy clothes which are more traditionally rooted. Buy clothes which have been made by local and tribal craftsmen. India has a rich and diverse heritage of art and craft. These craftsmen still use ancient techniques to make clothes such as handloom weaving, natural dyeing. Buying from them, will help keep the heritage of local artisans alive and help them earn a livelihood.
3. Choose the right material
Use organic materials, which are free from chemicals and pesticides. Try and find alternatives to polyester such as Bamboo, Hemp. Hand, Khadi, Vegan Silk.
4. Support Ethical Marketing and Fair Trade
Buy clothes which are made ethically. Say no to unethical labor practices. Think about the welfare of those, that make your clothes. Do not buy clothes from brands which encourage less pay and stringent working conditions.
Do not support brands which indulge in child labor.
5. Choose your Brand
Choose the brand that supports your ideas and values. Find a brand that suits your ideas and ethics of what a sustainable fashion brand should be.
6. Reduce your carbon footprint
Wash your clothes by hand. Use detergents which are nontoxic and chemical free! Reduce the number of washes! Reduce your pile of clothes! Choose fabrics which are easier to dry in sun!
7. Re-use, Recycle and Upcycle
Buy clothes made from recycled or upcycled materials. Also re-use your old clothes. Donate your old clothes to the needy instead of throwing them away!
To learn more about the art of UPCYCLING, log on to www.aarohana.org