Posted on Monday, September 17, 2018
Since my school days, I used to be that weird girl with 10 boxes of crayons in her bag. Art used to be my way of expressing myself. In my attempts to draw outfits for my favorite anime characters and superheroes, I fell in love with the idea of fashion. It was only later that I realised that fashion could be a valid career option in itself.
I enrolled myself in BA (hon) Fashion Design at Pearl Academy, New Delhi and worked for 2.5 years with different brands after graduating. I started my brand ‘Miesu’two years ago which now sells in New Delhi, Mumbai, Dubai, and New York. But in all these years, I was unaware of a fact that I was part of an industry that was the second largest polluter of the planet. The documentary - ‘The True Cost’ was an eye-opener for me. I was shocked and angry with myself for how unaware I was about this and thus I decided to educate myself about sustainable fashion. I decided to create an ethically made and sustainable design collection.
For this collection, my designs include removable parts that can be interchanged across the collection. I used the design techniques of zero-waste and upcycling to silk organza and repurposed trims and threads to create my collection. I got a huge validation when my designs were chosen to be represented in Hong Kong by Redress – a Hong Kong-based NGO working to reduce textile waste in the fashion industry.
Redress taught me the techniques of up-cycling, reconstruction and using zero-waste patterns to create clothes in order to increase the value of an otherwise useless garment.
During the two-week stay at the Fashion Summit in Hong Kong, I attended many workshops held by large-scale companies including SGS and the TAL group. They taught me about good and bad fabric, beginning and end of the production line, and insights into the sustainable fashion world.
Being a sustainable brand is a prerequisite now. But there are many challenges that come with it. For me, the design stage takes longer when working with sustainable design patterns and strategies.In addition to that, we also need to educate the consumers about eco-clothing. Since I try to keep my designs different from the stereotypical boxy silhouettes that are associated with sustainable designs, one would not even realise that they are ethically made unless I educate them. I think my marketing strategy will revolve around 'how much good' you are doing to the environment while looking chic and polished.
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