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.
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.