Embracing sustainable fashion – one day at a time

I would like to start the blog by telling you guys, that I had been ignorant about sustainable fashion for a really long time. It was always easy to walk into a store and pick up whatever looked good and felt great. Being conscious about what I am wearing and how it is affecting the environment happened recently. I still own clothes which are not chemical free or sustainable. However, the idea is to slow down the process of buying them and embrace a wardrobe which is sustainable.

Why should we care?

  1.  Most of us are not aware that the fashion industry is one of the largest consumers of water in the world. This is not all. The industry throws up microfiber which is badly affecting the marine life in our oceans.
  2. The chemicals used in making a garment and the textile waste emitted from it, does not break down. It is as harmful as plastic.
  3. In places like China, workers work for seven days a week, for long hours, without even having an employment contract. In 2012, Dhaka saw a massive fire breakout  in the Tazreen Fashion factory. More than 120 workers died. This was due to the negligence of the firm.
  4. Do you know that the people making your clothes do not even get 1/4th of the price we pay to buy the garment? They are poor and cannot even afford a basic livelihood. However, the brands for whom they are making clothes are large scale business houses.

What can we do?

  1. Reuse your clothes – YES! Do not add more to your wardrobe unless you have exhausted what you already have. When you no longer want to wear it, reach out to a recycle collection brand and give them away.
  2. Ethical fashion- Understand what you are purchasing. Research a little before you buy something new. Handcrafted garments which takes care of the environment should be made priority.
  3. Swap your clothes – Have a wedding coming up? Borrow something from a friend.
  4. Redesign your clothes – Call out a friend who is a stylist or watch videos on Youtube to figure how you can style your existing clothes. This way you will not feel the need of buying more clothes.
  5. Secondhand products – Yes you heard me right. Garage sales can actually help slow down the whole fast fashion movement. There is no harm in buying second hand clothes/products which are in good condition.
  6. Go for cotton – Cotton breathes and is ideal for the climate we all live in. It is biodegradable unlike chiffon and Georgette.

A lot of brand out there are getting conscious about the environment and is practicing only sustainable fashion. I know that they are expensive, but instead of buying 5 outfits that harm the environment, we all can save and buy 1 that saves it. It is high time we understand that if we do not give back to the environment now, it will be too late.

In the pictures below, I have used chemical free stoles made by Rui Inida. They have been styled differently for optimum use. The product is a) sustainable b) I know who made them c) I can style them differently and use it as many times

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About Rui India:

Rui India, as the name suggests is all about cotton. They offer chemical free and vegetable dye based clothing which includes stoles, dupattas and sarees, these are also handblocked.
When they decided to open this brand, they researched, travelled through states, met artisans, tried to talking to them (language barrier made it the most difficult thing to do, no Google translator helped) but they were adamant and knew they had to communicate with them. They figured out, Indian craft is our heritage and these artisans are no less than ninjas of art who are trying really hard to keep the culture of Indian craft and handloom alive. But what saddened them, was, they weren’t happy to let their next generation take it up, for the income wouldn’t suffice to keep a household running as these artisans weren’t/ aren’t paid for what they do. That was more like an eyeopener, need of the hour to stop bargaining for art and wholeheartedly accept and embrace craft and offer what they deserved. Hence they decided to pay their artisans as per the government norm, even if it means keeping profits low and they can proudly say, that inspite of all this their rates are still 30%-50% less than the market.
Rui is growing with every passing day, they have customers who choose them repeatedly, the happy notes they send,  the smiling pictures they share. And the artisans who are happy to be connected with them. Rui has been all about sharing smiles, love and cotton.

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