Let's discuss Sustainable Fashion
As per various definition Sustainable fashion, or eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility.
As a designer and more importantly as a human being, I think everything that is being created has two sides to it. How it is created and how well it is created.
How it is created: meaning the resources/material that are going in the process, are they good for us/earth/atmosphere around us. To put it in perspective it would include how positive/negative/neutral these are material are for us (body/mind) as well as the planet in the long run. This includes carbon footprints of the process, biodegradability of the material, any other harm created to humans/other species by using a certain material or process or both. The other aspect is the human resource which includes working conditions provided to people, basic hygiene level and a healthy environment, fair wages for the task done.
How well is it created: this shows the quality of the produce and for how long can it be used by the consumer/user. A product which has a decent life, would require less of purchasing the same again, which in turns would mean less production and less harm to the atmosphere/planet/natural resources.
Keeping both the sides in mind, a sustainable product is the one which does fairly well on above two parameters.
Fashion is one of the largest causes of pollution. And a great part of this also comes post purchase which means the increasing consumption (buying more than you need) and filling the landfills (throwing away what you stop using). I do believe the whole cycle of sustainable fashion includes producers and consumers both. How responsibly it is produced as well as how responsibly it is consumed.
I do not see myself as a part of the fashion industry as much as I see myself someone who loves Traditional Textiles/Art and is finding ways to create accessories using them. But I do understand Bags and Jewelry are part of Fashion. As a process we have a huge focus on above points right from the beginning, even before I heard about these terms in context to fashion. Solely because we owe this to each other and to the planet. The great emphasis is given to the processes and material as well as the human resources which I believe is the core to what we do. In the past we have shared with you all about the process of a Chanchal and why we will never use Leather ever. This transparency makes me more comfortable with what we do and also as an entity keeps us on our toes.
There have been instances where as a designer and as a seller both I have stopped some of our regular customers to purchase a piece which they didn't need but liked/loved. And both the parties have seen the value in the context. I take immense pride when I see a customer after 2 years of their purchase and still happily using their bags. And I feel equally pained when I get a feedback on the quality of bag which did not meet a customer's expectation. Those have been far and few since we started and we take those very very seriously.
I am keeping this discussion open and would like to hear from you all - What do you think is Sustainable Fashion and what all we can do differently to make this planet more livable.