Fashion industry and sustainability
Discussions must take place across all channels for everyone, from the manufacturer to the consumer, to make an effort towards sustainability
Sustainability is the key to a brighter future, and the world is understanding this at every level. Given how climate change is affecting the world now, we must undoubtedly alter our lives and economic activities. There is an urgent need to review our procedures, the materials we use, and the overall service we provide to our clients. Fashion is one of the most significant polluters, and this needs to change immediately.
Every problem has a solution, and certain solutions need to be magnified and executed by everyone. In the fashion industry, sustainability entails manufacturing with minimal environmental impact while also ensuring that all stakeholders are fairly compensated. Keeping the foregoing in mind, natural fibers are the way to go because they are biodegradable. The second step is to ensure that more manufactured fabrics are utilized, for obvious reasons such as increased employment, the need for more weavers to be connected to fashion, and the fact that it requires no energy other than human effort and abilities. There is plenty of opportunity in India, where millions work in the handloom business and billions wear clothing.
Textiles are made from bananas, hardwood, aloe vera, soybeans, coffee beans, and a variety of other leftover plants. Many of these have already shown to be successful in the fashion industry, with certain firms selling just designs built from these materials. All of these can solve a variety of problems if they are used properly and meet the needs of the user.
We've recently heard that women make up a smaller percentage of the total working force, which is a serious worry. In recent years, many more social initiatives have been started by several businesses and societies to train women, particularly from the poorer sections, in sewing, finishing, embroidery, and ornamental work in the fashion industry, which would undoubtedly provide them with employment.
New energy sources, such as solar, and the use of electric vehicles in the workplace will also assist to reduce carbon emissions. One significant change that can occur is reverse migration, with design in the city and manufacturing in the cluster, so that artisans do not have to leave their families and move to urban areas. This would ease the load on cities while also advancing the development of rural communities.
All parties, whether producers or consumers, must work together to make fashion responsible. It is necessary to strike a balance between giving jobs and reducing the amount of suffering for Mother Earth. The list continues on and on: using renewable energy, acknowledging craftspeople as co-creators, including greener resources into production processes, creativity in cyclical designs, and so on. "Don't become the best in the world, but make stuff that is best for the world," I recently learned, and it is the most significant thing if one goes deep and implements it.
Discussions must take place across all channels for everyone, from the manufacturer to the consumer, to make an effort. Corporate governance should not just be a model for giant corporations, but also for SMEs, as India and the world of tomorrow will be greatly influenced by the way they think and behave.
Inputs by Gautam Gupta, Co-Founder Label Asha Gautam