‘Vintage fashion’, ‘sustainable fashion’, ‘re-use and recycle’ – surely you’ve heard these phrases again and yet again. Some argue it’s a concept unknown in India – a country of pure consumption and no returns. Yet, at a time like this, we have ventures like Seams for Dreams and designers that are training in up-cycling of garments. I’m going to simplify all of this just a wee bit so everyone feels if not motivated, at least aware of the niche building up in this country.
It starts with the science of knowing your ecological footprint (I had promised not to get technical, but here we go). The art of controlling your ecological footprint, aka your impact on damaging the ecosystem, could start with something as simple as buying just about what you really need. Do you need that extra pair of jeans? If ripped is in, why can’t you take your old Levi’s and rip them at the knees and let those frayed ends match the pair you just saw at Zara. What does that do? It saves you Rs 3,999 (high-street brands need a lesson in pricing), AND looks exactly like the old-new-faded-wash-boyfriend-jeans you wanted for the longest time. You see, DIY is the stuff of genius.
Another little trick to managing your lifestyle? Employ the most known fact of all time – ‘trends die, fashions fade’. This underrated piece of wisdom, if followed, could change lives (and wardrobes). We all have our current season favourites. There’s no denying that. So go ahead, pick up that ‘70s style flute-sleeved top and Marsala coloured velvet pants. The catch here is… From where? If vintage is what you’re looking for then a garage sale is where you need to be. What you will find is little gems that are truly inspired by the time that you wish to transport to. The best part? You’re spending much lesser. Look at is as transcendence, rather than hang-me-downs. Someone once said it’s all about perspective.
Next up, invest in clothes by designers that are using waste material to make brand new clothes. There are plenty, trust me. Naushad Ali uses pure Indian dyes on cottons, and the waste from each garment made is recycled and made into a scarf or added to a piece as a patchwork design. Abraham & Thakore use industrial waste to create clothes that make you wonder how you ever lived without them (!). And these are just some of them. There’s much more if you really do your research and make it a habit and lifestyle to wear what you throw.
If not now, then when?
written by Akanksha Kamath
–Fashion Stylist at ELLE India