It is no surprise that for many older generations in India, fast fashion still seems like a western concept. Indian middle-class culture has always emphasized how textiles and apparels are a matter of heritage. We save and pass them on as an heirloom. But that trend had been slowly declining in the past couple of decades while fast fashion had a surge in India. Indian fashion trends were changing with changing levels of income and globalization.
West now identifies the cons of fast fashion. So the large brands are now eyeing to tap huge eastern markets such as India, China, and Bangladesh. Incomes have steadily fallen after the pandemic recession. People are looking to buy and wear cheap. This will create a large market to tap. But this trend is detrimental to the well-being of both people and the planet.
Perhaps being a country with the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases it is time to bring back sustainable fashion in India. India is also one of the largest producers and exporters of textile materials. It is a huge market that generates a considerable carbon footprint. Many designers believe that Indian consumers are going back to classic, timeless fashion. Several brands now focus on the ecological and ethical aspects of fashion.
Big brands that offer tailored sharp clothes use synthetic fibers such as polyester. Now there is a consistent effort to provide them using natural fibers. Fashion designer duo Richa Mittal and Avni Behl came up with S P A C E, which gives tailored clothing from natural fibers. A new trend is being set for hemp which is considered to be more eco-friendly than cotton. Hemp denim and couture wear are slowly making inroads to fashion.
Rina Singh launched Eka to create minimal and slow fashion. Brands like Eka aspire to create timeless designs that last long. Such brands fight against fast-shifting trends that create a buckling amount of waste. When it comes to sustainable fashion in accessories, brands like Dhora promote slow fashion. As per industry experts, ecologically aware millennials and Gen-Z is now looking forward to dressing more eco-consciously.
This is an opportune moment for India to go back to its past of using and re-using to create a future of sustainable fashion.
Courtesy - Image courtesy: Annie Spratts