A journey towards sustainable fashion

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Sustainability is a lifestyle investment, a vision to be developed. Only deep conviction and his habit of nurturing it will bring us closer to the end goal – one day at a time. It’s a journey involving unlearning, learning and shifting perspective. This can happen with slow but steady conscious steps.

For starters, there’s no reason to be intimidated by all the hype around sustainability. Let’s stay mindful and mindful on the journey, taking one step at a time, not in a rush trying to tick all of the sustainable fashion boxes in one go.

It is a journey that must be sustainable in the first place to be able to obtain a permanent place in our lives. Be gentle and build it as a habit, instead of overdoing it, getting overwhelmed, burning out, and giving up halfway.

A few practical steps to be able to make your journey towards the goal of smooth, self-sustaining and long-term sustainable fashion –

  • Closet Rating – Identify your style and your needs. We all have to find our own way when it comes to sustainable fashion. Enjoy the process of curating your closets, which is a very personal journey. Don’t stress yourself out with capsules or minimalism challenges, instead engage in a conscious evaluation of your wardrobe to understand your style and what types of clothes define your style/personality, aligning them with your likes and dislikes so you stay very intentional about future purchases, without the desperate need to empty your wardrobe aimlessly. Engage in it as a conscious process.
  • Recycle and maintain existing clothing – Somewhat related to the point above, you also don’t need to get rid of fast fashion pieces you’ve already purchased to get involved in ethical fashion. The best thing is to make the most of what you have already bought and what has already been produced. Be innovative by reinventing ways to upcycle existing clothing, for example – turn a tunic into a cropped kurta or crop top to work with comfy pants or turn a saree into a dress, etc.
    Also increase the life cycle of the existing garment by being kind to it and following proper washing and care instructions.
  • Tendencies: “Don’t be trendy. Don’t let fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you express by the way you dress and the way you live. -Gianni Versace- Fashion designer.

    While it’s good to be in tune with fashion trends, you don’t have to be strict to follow trends. The challenge with the idea of ​​trends isn’t that they aren’t fashion conscious, but the problem with trends is that they come in and out to make you feel like you need to buy more and more. things just to follow. Understand and define your personal style statement, stay classic, learning from the current trend.

  • More wear per garment – Increase the number of “garments by garment” by discovering innovative practices like –

    New look every time – Look for versatility in garments that give you style flexibility increasing the number of garments per garment. For example – A button front cropped top that can also be used as a saree blouse or a jacket.

    “Give me” repairing or altering old clothes, recycling worn-out pieces, and swapping items with friends or through clothing swaps, keeping the same clothes in rotation is the best thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. It also allows you to shop and refresh your own wardrobe mindfully and guilt-free.

    You can also learn how to make small repairs at home to cut costs, including replacing buttons, fixing broken zippers, resewing loose seams, and hemming pants.

  • Know the brand and practices – It’s important to be an inquisitive mind and keep in mind the brands you buy from and seek to learn more about the people and hands that make your clothes. Know their practices to be able to make conscious buying decisions What kind of materials do they use? What sort of traceability do they have of their supply chain? Do they pay fair wages and guarantee safe conditions? Do they power their operations with fossil fuels or do they use wind and solar power? Do they take responsibility for their waste? What other practices like packaging, stationery, etc. ? Are they overproducing or producing in small batches?

    Supply Chain – Partner with brands that have clarity and authenticity in their supply chain. Specific to India, identify local businesses that are committed to reviving the art and heritage weavings with a focus on creating sustainable livelihoods for the talents (read weavers and artisans) behind art forms. In the process, closely monitor the maintenance of conscious socio-economic and ecological processes to achieve the goal.

    Working conditions and fair wage policy – Companies that guarantee the quality of life of their workers automatically have the credibility of operating in a conscious business space.

    Internal waste management practices – Brands that are committed to achieving a sustainable goal have very focused waste management practices that they follow. Ideas like recreating designs from pre-retail scrap and collaborating with companies that are working on redesign methods, rather than just throwing away scrap that adds to the carbon footprint, work wonders.

    Number of collections – Carefully plan the number of collections in the year as well as the models that remain classic and are not thrown away after the collection. This is somewhere closely related to the shift in consumer mindset of not being strict about following trends.

    Production practices – This is somewhere related to the previous point with the thoughtful production planning. Nurture and educate the ecosystem of associates like consumers and sales platforms to accept relatively slow or flexible delivery times with few exceptions for emergencies.

    Set up processes and channels to avoid overproduction. For example, customers of slow fashion brands are ready to receive their orders in approximately 7-10 days (varies). There are conscious multi-brand outlets that do not require all sizes, all models to be produced and stocked at once, resulting in more “dead stock”. They have an agreement with their customers where sizes are ordered from the brands as needed.

Conclusion

Creativity and respecting boundaries can lead to authentic sustainability. Let’s take a gentler approach to staying mindful on our journey to a sustainable lifestyle. It’s totally fine to indulge in retail therapy, but stay more mindful in the process.



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Disclaimer

The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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