Dress and bottoms: Jaypore
Kohlapuri slippers: Aprajita Toor Label
Fabric bangles also from Jaypore
For those who are not aware of what i really do apart from blogging, I am an Architect by profession, someone who wants to live a creative life, no matter if its small or big but certainly don’t want to die an ordinary one. I love to capture moments of my life through photography, love to express my feelings and real-life experiences through my blog and love to design or create spaces through my knowledge of Architecture. The reason i am sharing this is directly related to the topic i want to talk about in today’s post.
Not only that the field of Architecture has taught me the importance of preserving our heritage but on a personal level too, i have been very fond of everything our history has offered us in terms of places, monuments and rich culture & plethora of colorful handlooms, weaves and handicrafts.
Old, rustic & Sustainable: three simple yet powerful words that describe our cultural heritage. “Both heart and Delhi have been worn out. But some little pleasures still remain in this ruined house ~ Mir Taqi”- one of my favorite quotes about Delhi. I have certainly waited quite a long in my life to be able to capture myself in this unfiltered beauty of our very own cultural heritage. Real, unedited, undiluted with any judgements or thoughts, these old & rustic places have souls. There was a time when these places were lit with giggles, battles between kingdoms, and an entire race of humans soaked in our rich heritage & plethora of colorful handlooms, weaves and handicrafts. These places have lived a life longer than any human being, larger than we can ever imagine and happier than today’s time when we are constantly finding ways to adopt western culture.
This post is not only dedicated to such raw & rustic beauty of places around us but also to the rich textile industry of India that has lost its importance over time due to our over-indulgence in fast fashion. In my previous post Redefining Culture & Choices, i had discussed about my personal decision of taking conscious decisions one at a time being a victim of fast fashion & adopting western culture to such an extent that has left us overlooking our own culture.
Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion
Let’s talk about Fast Fashion first:
“Stack them high & sell them cheap”
Over the past two months, I’ve been on an eye-opening journey. In this era where every fashion forward person has the desire to wear on-trend clothes, the philosophy of many leading apparel brands such as Zara, Primark, Mango & many more is focused on mass-production of clothes every week and selling them at cheap rates. While all of us enjoy being a trend-setter these days, the price paid to fulfill our desires has negative consequences in consumer’s life and ecological effects on our environment.
“Fast fashion” clothes are produced in a matter of few weeks. In simple words they are lots of cheap clothes in trend-focused styles that change constantly, aren’t well made and create a cycle of never-ending consumption and discards.
The Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh killed more than 1100 people due to poor structural and physical conditions of the building where clothes are mass produced. The factory was responsible for mass production of vey well-known international luxury/ fast fashion brands but when it comes to providing safe environment & secure future to the workers manufacturing our clothes, they failed to do so. These workers are poorly paid with minimum wages due to the West’s increased consumption for ‘fast fashion’.
Fast fashion: Fashion that changes in a blink of an eye, where every week is considered as a new season, burdening the workers to produce more & more than their capabilities and minimum employment benefits.
Moreover, the constant demand for new clothes contribute to over consumption leading to ecological impact on our atmosphere.
Enters Slow Fashion:
When someone hears about slow fashion, the common viewpoint is “slow fashion is Fast fashion’s opposite“. Well in simple words yes it is true but slow fashion is more than just slowing the process of fashion. It contributes to slow down the pace of production and consumption by changing practices and our attitude towards humanity & environment all along the supply chain from farmers to designers, manufacturers and consumers.
The concept of slow fashion revolves around finding out who made your clothes, where did the materials used came from, how long it take to create it, and how far it traveled to reach the market. The garments produced are unique, intricate and therefore carry great value, although they might not fulfill your desire of being on-trend but are big in quality. They are made with high quality raw materials and are from reputable sources.
When buying clothes, most of us are willing to pay for anything that we think looks good on us, without questions. But with Slow Fashion, it helps us be conscious and mindful of our purchase decisions while shopping.
Slow Fashion encourages us to slow down, think carefully, and seek patiently for the clothes that fit us well and clothes that we really love. In similarity are the old places & structures encouraging us to slow down, look around and admire the raw & rustic beauty, for it holds much more importance than today’s time where everything works through technology.
Slow Fashion helps us express ourselves, what we stand for and what we feel, through the clothes we wear. Instead of wearing clothes which are considered trendy and hip today but will be not be remembered tomorrow.
Some may be reluctant to change their clothes consumption habits despite knowing the impact of the decision they make. But as for me, I believe slow fashion is a wise choice for it not only makes me feel good and proud about what I am wearing it also allows me, in my own little way, to help the society and environment by being socially and environmentally smart.
It is the modern mindset of endless consumption & worldly desires that is perhaps the most difficult hurdle to overcome the battle between fast & slow fashion.
I will be talking more about this topic in the next few posts on how you can adopt such practices to make small and big impacts on society & environment. This post has been conceptualized to provide you with knowledge about the recent shift in the fashion & textile industry of India and to show that with the help of slow fashion it is possible to be a fashion forward person, radiate effortless style, and gently tread on earth all at the same time.
I have paired a block-printed cotton handloom dress with dhoti pants and an up-cycled fabric necklace for a complete head to toe outfit inspired by our beautifully weaved cultural heritage. Block printing in itself is a slow process, handcrafted and capable of yielding highly artistic results, some of which are unobtainable by any other method. Slow fashion is handcrafted & sustainable and so as old structures, but we are yet to bestow enough importance, both from heart & mind.
I hope you guys enjoyed the post. Stay tuned for the upcoming posts of the series #MadeinIndia initiative.
Styling & concept: Tanvi Mutneja (@theurbanboho)
Photography: Ayush Aggarwal (Furtographer)