It’s A Millennial Thing
Analysing how the millenials are influencing the global fashion scene
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.
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.