It’s A Mil­len­nial Thing

Apparel - - Contents -

Analysing how the mil­lenials are in­flu­enc­ing the global fash­ion scene

WAL­LET MAT­TERS

Eco-friendly fab­rics come in a va­ri­ety of price points. “It is not very costly to man­u­fac­ture these nat­u­ral fab­rics, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s cheap to pro­duce a durable prod­uct of a re­ally good qual­ity. Kovet makes it a pri­or­ity to fo­cus on both of these is­sues of crit­i­cal im­por­tance,” says Prarthana Kochhar, Founder, Kovet. Mandira Bansal, Pro­pri­etor, WeaveinIn­dia says, “Chal­lenges are def­i­nitely re­lated to costs. As of the mo­ment, there is only a niche au­di­ence that is ready to go ahead with ap­parel of eco-friendly ori­gin and its costs. The In­dian mar­ket has, on the whole, been wel­come to newer sus­tain­able fash­ion. We could see more de­vel­op­ments on this front in the time to come.” Eco-friendly and sus­tain­able fash­ion prod­ucts are more ex­pen­sive to pro­duce. “The peo­ple mak­ing the ap­parel re­ceive fair wages and work in safe, healthy en­vi­ron­ments (in the case of hand­loom weavers, usu­ally their own homes) as op­posed to sweat­shops. Be­cause they pre­dom­i­nantly use nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and dyes, the in­put cost is much higher. Also, they are cur­rently made in small quan­ti­ties based on the ac­tual de­mand or made to or­der. This will change when more peo­ple adopt slow fash­ion,” says Singh.

CHAL­LENGE FAC­TOR

A big draw­back of nat­u­ral fab­rics with nat­u­ral dyes is the poor colour fast­ness which is an in­her­ent prop­erty of nat­u­ral dyes. “A large chunk of the pop­u­la­tion still com­pares this with the colour fast­ness of syn­thetic fab­rics and la­bels the nat­u­ral dye prod­ucts as poor in qual­ity. An­other big chal­lenge is that a lot of the pop­u­la­tion looks to­wards the West for its fash­ion in­flu­ences. Most in­ter­na­tional cloth­ing brands are ma­jorly skewed to­wards syn­thetic and man-made fab­rics,” adds Ala­gappa. Sangita Kathi­wada, Founder, Mélange says, “In­dia is one of the great­est con­sumers of khadi and cot­ton. In re­cent years, it is heart­en­ing to know that de­sign­ers have gone back to the roots of our cul­ture and re­de­fined nat­u­ral fi­bres with their iden­ti­ties, mak­ing it a vi­able op­tion for con­sumers. I be­lieve that the big­gest chal­lenge for nat­u­ral fab­rics is the con­stant in­crease of sup­ply and con­sumerism. The low cost and large avail­abil­ity of these syn­thetic fab­rics threat­ens the use of nat­u­ral fab­rics. Ev­ery­thing is in ex­cess, and this mind­less ma­te­ri­al­ism could be the cat­a­lyst for de­stroy­ing planet Earth.” Vi­jay­alak­shmi Nachiar, Co-Founder, Ethi­cus, con­cludes, “Peo­ple need to be­come aware. Once there is aware­ness, change is easy. The main chal­lenge is aware­ness­build­ing. We have to fo­cus our en­er­gies on cre­at­ing con­sumer aware­ness. Avail­abil­ity of such nat­u­ral prod­ucts needs to in­crease. Once peo­ple make the change, they have to have enough prod­ucts to choose from. We be­lieve that each one of us needs to play a part. Change hap­pens be­cause of the ac­tions of us all.” So are you ready to make a green shift as far as your ap­parel is con­cerned? Think about it–what is good for the en­vi­ron­ment is also good for you.

@Ethi­cus

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