08 - 09
May 2024

Sustainability: Are We There Yet?

‘Sustainability’, a term that has more connotations than one, is fast becoming a game changer for fashion brands in India. As consumer behaviour becomes more environment-centric and the ill-effects of mankind’s lack of concern for nature more apparent, people are slowly realizing that what they wear and the way they shop needs to drastically be altered for a better and safer future. 

Today, the environmental cost of their production and supply chain process is at the top of the mind of every fashion brand. With consumers being more aware everyday of the ill-effects of fashion that is not sustainable, they are fast looking to adopt green alternatives and contribute their bit to making the planet more liveable. Nowadays customers are getting informed and they

need to be convinced to the best of their understanding that right from the ethical sourcing of raw materials and improving the livelihood of the craftsmen & workers to a more eco-friendly supply chain and the reuse of garments, everything is as sustainable as it can get. With the massive penetration of the internet across all tiers, the need for sustainable fashion is gradually trickling down from Tier-I markets to Tier-II and III as well which, though still aspirational,

are increasingly purchasing from eco-conscious brands. Anurag Singh Khangarot, Founder, Aachho, says that taking into consideration these goals, there are around six areas that the fashion industry as a whole must consider towards sustainability.

These are:

  1. Utilizing eco-friendly fibres and cloth materials that have better recycling alternatives and pollution-free end-of-life disposal
  2. Manufacturing innovation which is needed to reduce the environmental impact of creating and processing raw materials, prints, garments, etc.
  3. Fair wages and conducive working conditions for workers to promote social equality and growth
  4. Enhanced lifetime value and use of fashion to combat the issue of fast-fashion by preservation and optimisation of hand-made techniques to enhance the quality as well as the value-quotient of garments
  5. Optimised end-of-cycle through recycling and upcycling so that they do not end up in landfills
  6. Efficient and eco-friendly supply chains and logistics through local product sourcing, using energy-efficient transportation, etc.

As an ethnic fashion brand in India, Aachho, too, is taking considerable steps to integrate sustainability. It refrains from using synthetic fibres to create its collections and places high importance on up-cycling all the leftover or extra fabric, creating them into accessories such as bags, diaries, etc.

India, being so massively populated, it is imminent that people are aware of how climate change is affecting their lives on a daily basis. Sustainability is clearly a growing area of focus regardless of the industry, and companies ought to become more sustainability inclined.Shaan Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Freakins highlighted here, “With an increasing number of people becoming conscious, brands in India are choosing to use sustainability as an integral part of their business and outreach strategy. Fashion or textile companies have started practicing optimisation of garmenting waste and inputting that to circular models. They make beautiful garments from up-cycled fabrics which slow down industrial waste, and are not overpriced but well-liked by customers for their aesthetics and durability. Even the government has put in parameters to make sure companies are making an effort to use more sustainable processes and are also rewarding companies that pledge to be sustainable.”