There really is no option
There really is no option. The fashion industry – everything from designer lehengas and embellished gowns to printed PJs and you new favourite jeans – is now focusing on the sustainable. Organic fabric, natural dye, fair-trade materials, low-polluting processes, small-batch manufacturing. But sustainable shopping is often not-so-sustainable on the wallet. How does one do right by the Earth and by one’s budget?
Stylist Divyak D’Souza and Kirti Poonia, co-founder of online thrifting platform Relove.in, offer tips on staying chic and conscious on the cheap.
Pick smartly, even at the mall: Fast-fashion brands are notorious for violating pollution norms, overusing water, making everything (even mistakes) in gigantic batches, underpaying garment workers and branding it all as eco-friendly. If you absolutely must shop from them, let it be for natural materials. A cotton outfit, at least, will decompose faster than polyester.
Buy from factory outlets: It’s one way to reduce manufacturing surplus that typically ends up in a landfill. Many fashion brands throw away stock that has even a minor, unnoticeable flaw and many stores sell it, with labels removed, for cheap. It takes the sting and guilt out of patronising big brands.
Spend more on everyday wear than festive wear That crystal-dusted ghagra choli or sherwani that you bought for your brother or sister’s wedding won’t serve you as often as a well-fitted shirt that gives you an edge at work. “It makes sense to spend more on garments that you will wear more often,” says Poonia.