In the post-Covid-19 world, traditional linear fashion model — shop, wear, dispose — is expected to diminish as it has become harder to rationalise investing in a temporary wardrobe. Which makes conscious fashion the need of the hour and euphemistically, the new normal.
Many designers have been practising zero-waste policies – but have come up with innovative ways to do so – and trans-seasonal fashion which will be long lasting, versatile, appropriate for day and night and suitable across continents which they will emphasize on. “After this crisis we are extensively using fabric linings, waste material from printing units, waste furnishings and even airbags to come up with accessories and household decorations. Even while making masks for raising funds, we used every bit of scrap and leftovers for packaging so the idea is to reuse every bit of waste and recycle and design and manufacture a product from it,” says designer Shruti Sancheti. The designer is now devising ways to develop size flexibility to reduce wastage.”We are also in a process developing a flexible sizing chart which will reduce returns or discarding garments due to bad fit of sizes altering by a teeny bit thereby again reducing wastage,” adds Sancheti.
To this agrees, designer Urvashi Kaur who is making small batch productions to reduce creation of surplus merchandise and has been consistently using digital prints to help reduce water consumption. “I’m looking to introduce natural pigments for our hand block prints this year, we are also looking to introduce natural dyes in our clothing as well among other ways to further push for ways to reduce carbon footprint and introduce more policies that are safer for the environment,” explains Kaur.
Moreover, designer duo, Lecoanet and Hemant, have ventured into Ayurvastra and continue to focus on the technique moving forward. Ayurvastra is fabric that has been dyed with medicinal herbs to enhance health and beauty. “In the wave of Coronavirus, our mission has only gained more momentum and we plan to incorporate the principles of Ayurvastra into our ready to wear label genes as well,” says designer Hemant Sagar.
Keeping in sync with the times, experts also recommend keeping it simple while making face masks, and opting for biodegradable materials. “My focus will remain on handloom textiles and indigenous embroideries of India. I don’t plan to use sequins or other artificial materials,” shares designer Payal Jain. Even designer Nikita Mhaisalkar is making masks out of scraps from hemp and bamboo handloom manufacturers. “We will maximise the use of natural beads, raffia and cotton-based raw materials, and push for zero use of plastic in packing,” she says. Bhaane, headed by creative director Nimish Shah will repurpose raw materials and textiles for their summer collection. “Our clothes are cut consciously and waste handled. I have always loved Indian textiles and have slowly incorporated the use of artisanal textiles as part of our premium offering. What excites us the most however, is design innovation on mill made fabrics and the sturdy romance it exudes. I do believe that efforts in sustainable mass manufacturing are extremely vital to secure a conscientious design future. For example, we use organic cotton but since it didn’t meet the minimum order, we didn’t label it so. These guidelines are a great muscle building exercise; because the end result is to use organic cotton consciously and want to encourage people to buy a shirt because it’s good design and not vice versa,” says Nimish Shah.