By Anvita Reddy
The fashion industry is a major contributor to environmental and socio-economic issues. It is a big part of this issue due to the wasteful nature of fleeting trends and the poor treatment and toxic conditions of outsourced workers, many of whom are from Asia.
However, as consumers become more aware of these practices, they are not only condemning these behaviors but are also showing support for sustainable and eco-friendly brands. Environmental consciousness and fair trade and wages in the South Asian fashion industry are all slowly rising and being celebrated.
Here are some South Asian sustainable game changers of the fashion industry:
Anita Dongre: Grassroot
Wild Magnolias, ditsy florals, singing birds or tropical vines – which would you choose for a jet set adventure? #JetSetDiaries #SS18 #EthicalFashion #SpringSummer2018 #SustainableSummer #HandmadeWithLove #SlowFashion #ArtisansFirst #Sustainable #EthicalClothing #EmbroideredByHand #SustainableFashion #HouseOfAnitaDongre
Dongre has been in the forefront of environmentally conscious and sustainable fashion in India. She aims to design for good with Grassroot, a label that celebrates the traditional artisanal work of rural India while using sustainable and eco-friendly methods and supplies. They work with NGOs to empower rural artisans and provide them with proper finances. According to their brand website, 5% of every purchase provides health and education intervention in these artisan villages.
Co-founded by Shilpa Shah, Cuyana approaches sustainability by encouraging quality over quantity. They promote timelessness by providing styles and looks that transcend trends and time with their high-quality sustainable products. Cuyana also has a partnership with H.E.A.R.T. to give victims of abuse a fresh start called the Lean Closet. Just select Lean Closet at checkout and Cuyana will send you a linen bag in which you can donate items that are no longer useful to you.
Close UP of the handembroidery on our kimono dress. We describe our collections as minimal designs with an artisans touch. The hand embroidery done on our collections are fine needlework that is reserved for special occasions tradionally. The repetition of thread, filling in the the most intricate designs carefully put together by our in- house designers speaks a lot of their crafts and the patience that goes into crating something like this. The kimono dress now available under our SS18 collection. #fairtradefashion #ethicalfashion #minimalstyle #boho #bohemian #sustainablefashion #handmade #handembroidery #travel #art #yoga #vegan #eco #natural #artisan #summerstyle #dress #artisanmade #fashion #style
Founded by Afshan Khan, Drakshan Khan, and Mohsin Imam, this cool Pakistani brand promotes eco-consciousness, fairness, and transparency with all employees and consumers, and inclusiveness. They practice sustainability in all aspects from raw materials to product production and packaging as well as fair trade and embracing artisan craftsmanship.
Founded by Swati Argade, Bhoomki houses and creates ethical Indo-Western fashion made from recycled, ethically sourced, or artisanal fabrics and textiles from fair-trade certified manufactures. The majority of the production is based in-house in Brooklyn, New York. Bhoomki emphasizes the importance of maintaining a low carbon footprint as well as fair worker compensation and conditions.
As we move closer to World Environment Day, let's pledge to help make this planet a better place!🌱🌏 Shop our #limitededition #CareAndRepair kit which consists of an upcycled bag full of goodies like an adorable handmade repair kit, postcard, a "Mend To Be Queen" tank top and a slogan polaroid! ♻🌸 Make your #LovedClothesLast by repairing and customising them in your own personal ways!🌈 Click the link in bio to shop the kit now!! 📬 . Shot by @tanvijulka . . . . . . #worldenvironmentday #upcyclemore #repairmore #RepairKit #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #upcyledfashion #ecochic #seekthesimplicity #shopnow #slogantee #buylesschoosewell
Founded by Kriti Tula, this India-based brand houses all types of ethical goods including men’s and women’s fashion, accessories, and home goods. Doodlage exudes sustainability by reusing their own scraps for different products and using social media to spread awareness about eco-consciousness and sustainability. They are also thinking outside of the box when it comes to sustainable packaging and fabrics such as recycling scrapes and incorporating eucalyptus and banana fabrics.
The fashion industry, globally, needs a sustainable and fair trade makeover and it’s in our hands (and wallets) to encourage a change.
“From being an ex-premed student to creating content for HerCampus and Spoon University, Anvita Reddy is breaking the South Asian norms and pursuing her passions. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Communications and Media and she is the Social Media Coordinator at MannMukti. She can also be found binge watching all things Bollywood and Hollywood. As an avid beauty and fashion junkie, she is often researching skincare on PubMed or at Sephora swatching her heart out. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter.”