As we enter 2022, buzzwords like conscious, ethical, zero -waste and sustainability are in vogue. But, what do these terms mean for the common consumer, and why is everyone speaking about them?
We consider conscious fashion to be the first step or gateway to sustainable fashion. It acts as an invitation for consumers to participate in fashion acting as vehicles for positive change. Stemming away from the mundane fast-fashion world, conscious fashion requires a holistic mindful awareness and then acting upon that knowledge base keeping in mind limitations such as values, preferences, finances and accessibility.
To explain the difference with an example: Fast fashion would be buying 5 garments of cheap quality and low durability, whereas, conscious fashion is buying 1 garment that you actually need, of a higher quality that will last longer and will produce little or no waste to the environment for a higher price tag. The price tag is justified due to the fair wages, expensive raw material and smaller manufacturing quantities.
Conscious Fashion in a nutshell is being aware of what you are wearing: from seed to garment. It is a change in the ways people think, make, wear and enjoy clothing.
Fast fashion emerged in the early 2000s - Mass-produced, inexpensive, poor quality and disposable clothing which enables brands to exploit the labour, demand-supply chain and increase wastewater, soil and air pollution. But with changing times, there is a strong movement away from fast fashion and towards slow fashion.
The slow fashion movement is gaining momentum in today’s generation as the consumer is becoming smarter and more aware of the consequences of fast fashion. People are now realizing that the need of the hour is to work together for a greener, safer and cleaner future. By making conscious decisions around their garment choices, consumers are able to add to the movement. The strategy to look out for here is a vertically integrated supply chain that makes green choices or conscious decisions throughout its production, manufacturing, sale, and recycling of garments. This might be easier said than done. For years now we have been impulsive purchasing garments without thinking about their long term consequences.
What can you do as a consumer? The first step to conscious fashion is to control impulse buying. Buy only what you need. When you step out on the street and see a handsome discount at a store, think for a moment before rushing in, is it something that you require at the moment? Or are you simply tempted by the exciting offer? The second and most important step is to recycle, reuse and repurpose your clothes. Is there something that doesn’t fit you anymore? Donate it, there are a lot less fortunate people than you who will find a purpose for the clothes. Is there a piece of garment that has gone out of fashion? Up-cycle it! Use your creativity to make it brand new.
Fashion will never stop evolving, and as consumers or manufacturers, it is our duty to ensure it evolves into something greater and ethical. It is never too late to start, small steps every day will go a long way to reverse the damage we have done till now. Start with baby steps, next time you go shopping in the store, consciously educate yourself about the garment rather than just looking at the price tag. Try buying garments that are made with sustainable fabrics or by companies that follow fair trade practices.
Brands like ours, respect the fundamentals of conscious fashion and carry out all ethical practices. We procure fabrics of only high quality. Fabrics that are natural and organic with proper certifications. Our designs go with the latest trends, however, we make sure to add our own minimalistic edge that makes the clothes durable.
Rather than a big manufacturing unit, we work with local artisans and make sure they are paid fairly for their time and effort. This way the production might be slow, but it ensures we prosper together as a society by encouraging and supporting everyone in it. We aim to control our waste and use only re-usable and eco-friendly materials for our packaging.