The world has changed a lot in the past two months or so. Our lifestyle has been altered and most businesses too have been fairing poorly. The COVID crisis has impacted all sectors, which has compelled industry experts and employees to go that extra mile to bring back some normalcy.
Talking at a recently held webinar by MIT World Peace University, Rasika Wakalkar, founder of Studio Rudraksh, a multi-designer store, spoke about how the world of fashion has been hit and, more importantly, how it can be revived by individual efforts.
She points out that the ongoing crisis has given the sustainable fashion movement a boost with people understanding its importance even more today. “As people living in the 21st century, we need to understand that our fashion sense is heavily dominated by how ‘others’ perceive fashion and style, however, that shouldn’t be the case. Fashion and style are unique to individuals. What we need to do is to stop buying the latest trends and focus on what we have and what we actually need, understanding this could be your first step towards sustainability,” she says.
Sustainable fashion does not mean one has to stop being fashionable. It simply means giving fashion a new definition of responsibility.
“Sustainable fashion is not rocket science, it all comes down to your approach. By sustainable fashion, we simply mean going by the way our previous generations lived, they never bought trending clothes, instead they bought things that were needed, affordable and sustainable for a long time, such is the approach — simple,” she says.
Change begins with every individual and if one takes the step towards sustainable living, it is going to create a huge difference. “Start with small steps, you don’t have to get rid of your existing wardrobe and start shopping for expensive things. Simply start by de-cluttering, keep things that you truly need and make use of them. Start looking at labels and understand them, ask questions, look for the source. Do not indulge in buying too many outfits, simply buy one that can be restyled and can sustain for longer periods,” says Wakalkar.
Talking about COVID crisis, she says that it is a difficult time for every industry out there in the world. “As a community, we need to stand together and be able to support local talent more and more,” she says, adding that going local can not only help revive the industries and the economy but also help people even at the grassroots level and bring in a sense of stability.
“The fashion industry gives you this option at large since there are lots of craftsmen, tailors and designers, who are majorly local, and to be fashionable it isn’t necessary to shop from brands. You can simply go to a tailor and get it done,” she says.
She is of the opinion that people steadily should move away from fast fashion brands since there are a lot of concerns that are highlighted with mass-production in factories that have replaced people altogether.
The fashion industry is such that it can create a lot of opportunities even for people without prior knowledge of fashion. “This is one such dynamic industry that can offer creative opportunities in terms of design, technology, communication, graphic and creative design, so the options are endless even for newcomers and students,” she says, adding that all they need is ‘passion’. “Students and fashion freshers must be willing to work hard and gain relevant knowledge and keep moving ahead and, more importantly, support, explore and evolve,” concludes Wakalkar.