The Channel 46

Designer Nidhi Yadav’s Guide To Sustainable Fashion For The Eco-Conscious Shopper

1. What does sustainable fashion mean?

Sustainable fashion means indulging in activities that promote environmental, social and ethical consciousness while producing and consuming fashion products. I think it’s wonderful that this has now become a movement and more and more people are joining in every day.

2. How do you know if a fashion brand is sustainable and ethical?

1. Second hand and vintage products 2. Custom-made products 3. Green and clean products 4. High-quality products that are timeless 5. The principles of repair, redesign and recycle to make the most of the product 6. Renting, leasing and swapping 7. Brands indulging in fair and ethical practices.

3. How has fast-fashion impacted sustainability in the fashion industry?

Fast fashion is definitely detrimental to the cause of sustainability in the fashion industry. The term itself explains the problem. Fast fashion refers to low cost, low-quality garments that copy the latest catwalk styles and get pumped quickly through stores in order to maximise on current trends.

4. How can you, as a consumer, find out whether a brand is sustainably and ethically producing merchandise?

1. Read the brand’s About Us page on their website. It’ll tell you a lot about how transparent they are in their manufacturing process, and it’ll also tell you the kind of raw materials they’re using for the manufacture of products. 2. Try to find the factory information. If a brand is open about its manufacturing process and willing to share information about its factories and workers, then chances are that it’s an ethical brand. 3. Find out where they’re sourcing their fabric from. Though it’s not a necessary condition, they’re definitely ethical if they’re GOTS certified, OEKO-TEX and Standard 100 certified.

5. How can existing fashion labels & ventures go green with sustainability?

There are several measures that fashion brands can take to become more sustainable. Let’s start from the beginning i.e. the supply chain. If you can make your supply chain more transparent and know where the raw materials for your products are coming from, you can ensure that they are produced in an ethical, sustainable way.

6. What are some small steps you can adopt as a consumer to stay true to sustainability while shopping?

1. Always check the product labels to see what materials have been used during the manufacturing process. Rely more on natural fibres and natural dyes than synthetic ones. 2. Vintage is back in fashion, so the best thing to do would be to buy second-hand clothes. Not only would they give you the chic look, but they’ll also cost considerably less. 3. Shop locally. Not only is that good for the country’s economy but it also saves plenty of fossil fuels that would otherwise have to be burnt to deliver you a dress from overseas. 4. Buy clothes that would last you a long time and don’t fall into the fast fashion trap.

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