In an ex­clu­sive tête-à-tête with Av­inash Mane, Com­mer­cial Head, South Asia, Len­z­ing Group, Ap­parel On­line un­rav­els the fu­ture di­rec­tion of the boom­ing sus­tain­able lux­ury fash­ion and Len­z­ing’s in­te­gral ef­forts to lead forth in this rare do­main.

Apparel Online - - SUSTAINABILITY -

AO: On be­half of Len­z­ing, what is your view about the grow­ing sus­tain­able lux­ury fash­ion mar­ket? Is it grow­ing at a rapid pace, and what is the fu­ture?

Av­inash: Sus­tain­abil­ity is gain­ing a very strong ground on the global plat­form and also in the In­dian mar­ket. The fu­ture of sus­tain­abil­ity lies in the hands of the brands and re­tail­ers who have now started tak­ing sus­tain­abil­ity very se­ri­ously. Brands now work to­wards en­sur­ing that the sup­ply chain fol­lows sus­tain­abil­ity in a real way. With con­sumers now be­com­ing more aware about the im­por­tance of us­ing sus­tain­able prod­ucts, the sus­tain­able lux­ury fash­ion mar­ket is only go­ing to grow in the com­ing years.

AO: Is sus­tain­able lux­ury only re­stricted to fab­rics or ap­parel, or can we see it in the fi­bre and yarn stage as well?

Av­inash: Sus­tain­abil­ity starts with raw ma­te­rial. Ear­lier sus­tain­abil­ity was re­stricted only to the con­ver­sion process. How­ever, this has changed now. Brands are now tak­ing up all pos­si­ble steps to en­sure that sus­tain­abil­ity is a part of every process the gar­ment goes through. From raw ma­te­ri­als to the fin­ished prod­ucts, ev­ery­thing is scru­ti­nised in terms of sus­tain­abil­ity.

AO: Elab­o­rate on your col­lab­o­ra­tion with Fash­ion De­signer Ra­jesh Pratap Singh and how does this fit into the emerg­ing sus­tain­able fash­ion lux­ury seg­ment?

Av­inash: Len­z­ing has been as­so­ci­ated with Ra­jesh Pratap Singh for over nine months now. We re­cently as­so­ci­ated with him for Lakmé Fash­ion Week to cre­ate a sus­tain­able col­lec­tion. Ra­jesh Pratap Singh is not just a de­signer, he even un­der­stands the yarn and the fi­bre in­volved ad­e­quately. Be­ing well-versed with fi­bres, he knows how to use them in the most ap­pro­pri­ate way by giv­ing them the right tex­ture and touch, thus mak­ing fi­bres a sus­tain­able lux­ury so­lu­tion for eth­nic and modern wear ap­pli­ca­tions. Tak­ing this as­so­ci­a­tion for­ward, we are look­ing at tap­ping the sus­tain­able fash­ion lux­ury seg­ment.

AO: Elab­o­rate on your sus­tain­able col­lec­tion with other brands like Zara and H&M - Are they avail­ing higher price points be­cause of be­ing sus­tain­able?

Av­inash: With Zara, we have a TENCEL™ col­lec­tion named Join Life and H&M has a sus­tain­able col­lec­tion line named ‘Con­scious’ where gar­ments are made of TENCEL™. For these brands, the prod­ucts are re­tailed at the same price or at a min­i­mum up­charge at­tached to them, depend­ing on the prod­uct line.

AO: What ac­cord­ing to you is the scope of sus­tain­abil­ity in the lux­ury sec­tor?

Av­inash: The lux­ury sec­tor is of ut­most im­por­tance. As men­tioned ear­lier, peo­ple who can af­ford lux­ury fash­ion prod­ucts are well ed­u­cated and aware about the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions and hence pre­fer sus­tain­able prod­ucts over un­sus­tain­able items. These con­sumers nor­mally fall un­der the up­per mid­dle class to high class bracket who can af­ford spend­ing a lit­tle more to choose sus­tain­able prod­ucts. This sec­tor plays an im­por­tant role in driv­ing sus­tain­abil­ity across the con­sumer chain. With an in­crease in the pur­chase of sus­tain­able prod­ucts amongst these con­sumers, the de­mand for sus­tain­able lux­ury fash­ion will only grow in the com­ing years as fast-fash­ion brands like to of­fer sim­i­lar prod­ucts to their con­sumers as well.

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