When I told one of my friends that I was designing an eco-friendly collection to help people get a greener wardrobe, she laughed and asked if I was going to dress people up in leaves!
Why go green? Now, I hope I don’t have to elaborate on this – My 10 year old could give a lesson on how imperative it is that we incorporate nature’s ways into our modern lifestyle, if we want to live healthy and preserve the environment. As a designer, I’ am constantly reminded of my duty to do my bit towards this all important cause. To live a greener lifestyle, all you need to do is remember this simple word – ‘USE- LESS’
.It is that easy and you don’t have to go live in the woods or wear leaves. Here are a few things I tell my clients (and also practice myself everyday) to help them make the world a better place –
Oh God that’s really boring! I know you are used to impulse buying, but think of a wardrobe all stocked up with expensive clothes and still not having a thing to wear! First of all, make a list of basic things that you will need in your wardrobe, which also gives you the flexibility to mix and match with or complement other pieces in your wardrobe. In my earlier blog –wardrobe essentials I have put down 10 must have’s in one’s wardrobe. Know your body style, lifestyle and career style and choose accordingly. Invest in high quality and classic items, not necessarily high in fashion or in keeping with the current trend. You’ll pay more now, but wont have to replace those items soon, thus reducing wastage.
Wear clothes that don’t need dry-cleaning. This lessens the use of harmful chemicals (commercial dry-cleaning uses chemical solvents to remove grease and dirt) which could make you sick if you’re exposed to them constantly. Certain clothes that need to be dry-cleaned can be hand washed in cold water and flat dried. Use phosphate free and bio-degradable washing powder. Needless to say, normal detergents contain non degradable compounds, brighteners and artificial fragrances that are toxic and harm the environment. Bio-degradable detergent will increase the life of the clothes and the washing machine as the residue from this powder won’t cause any rust in the washing machine and hence will not leave rust spots on the clothes
Change for good
A good friend of mine was wondering why all her expensive clothes have food stains on them. She is the busy mom of a toddler who keeps her on her toes, which often does not give her time to change her clothes. So, it is good to change into your home clothes before you get busy feeding and cooking or doing the dishes.
Use, reuse and reuse again
From something ‘out’ to something very ‘in’. Refashion with a little alteration to something wearable- a dress to a skirt, tunic or a shorter dress. Some us of keep outfits just because we have some emotional attachment. Recently I converted a vintage raw silk kurti to a evening dress, had to fix some of the beads that were coming loose. I was feeling so proud of myself as if I have restored an old historical monument.
My new collection will be an eco-friendly collection .I am planning to focus more on using vintage fabrics, recycled fabrics, organic cotton and organic silk (ahimsa silk ) greater emphasis on handwork and use of vegetable dyes (eco friendly fabrics) . Right now there is a lot of hype around fabrics made of bamboo. Here is the problem – Bamboo plantations can replace forests that are fast dwindling. Also, the processing of this fabric causes a lot of pollution .So it is important to read the label and to know what kind of fabric is used and also what processing was done on it.