Understanding Sustainable Fashion and everything that comes with the territory in an era influenced by social media!
What is Sustainable Fashion? I found myself particularly confused by this term. Over the course of the last few years, this term has been so widely used that most of our Instagram’s Explore is flooded with ‘Thrift Fashion’ and ‘Sustainable Fashion’ among other nomenclature. As I was browsing through, I remembered my school classmate, Tanisha Ghorpade, began a venture called Green In You back in 2019. I knew I had to have a conversation with her to bring some clarity to myself and to those around me regarding sustainable fashion.
Green In You is a Sustainable Consumerism Platform. The core team includes Tanisha Ghorpade, Srishti Malaviya, and Aarti Jain. Founded in 2019, they have had 3 successful seasons of Thrift Fashion Sales in Pune and aspire to do many more. Continue reading to have all your doubts regarding sustainable fashion cleared!
Can you please take us through the journey of Green In You?
I started, or rather envisioned, Green In You when I was in the second year of university. It began as a small-scale community-oriented project when I was back in Pune on a 2-week vacation from my university. Being a Major in Environment Business, I felt inclined towards giving back to society on whatever level I could achieve. This is something I study — the plight of the planet, the effects of climate change, and how things are surely not looking good - for us. And thinking about how it is our generation, who has to bear the consequences of a lack of climate action and how it is our responsibility to really make up for all the damage that we're causing. And it's the most defining challenge of our times. I decided to host a clothes swap in my society in Pune. We began as a team of 5 members, and the response we received was tremendous, so the event went from being a small-scale event to a full-fledged event. About 300 people took part in this event and we had our first sustainable fashion thrift sale in Pune.
Why did you choose sustainable fashion particularly?
Fashion is something that I have always been close to and studying the impact of the fashion industry on our planet is what led to this. Today, 73% of all clothing actually goes to landfills and incinerators. And which is just so ridiculous because clothing is 100% recyclable. It can always be repurposed. It is not something that should be termed as waste. In doing my research I found clothing worth $500 billion ends up in landfills or an incinerator, every single year! Green In You envisions bringing back the value for clothing so that it never ends up getting thrown out, but instead keeps coming back into the economic loop and thus closing the loop.
What is the biggest problem sustainable fashion faces in society?
Let me start by explaining what ‘Sustainable Fashion’ means: Sustainable fashion is any fashion that has a considerably lower impact on the planet and the planetary resources, i.e. natural resources. There are two ways that the world is going about bringing sustainable fashion into being more commonplace.
One- second-hand fashion which brings used clothing back into the economic loop; and Two- fresh, slow produced products that are made out of recycled fabrics, for example, or clothes that are made out of organic materials or clothes that are plant-based that are not synthetic.
The problem with the first, second-hand products, is the lack of awareness or the social stigma surrounding used clothes. According to a survey we conducted, most people under the age of 25 claimed the longest owned piece of clothing in their wardrobe is from only a year ago! This just reflects on how fast fashion is constantly changing and how clothes are not being utilised to their full potential.
When it comes to freshly produced sustainable clothing, usually the factor that counts as a problem happens to be the price. Usually, freshly produced sustainable clothing costs more than fast fashion products because they are doing their best to have the lowest possible negative impact on our environment, which increases the cost of the final product.
After 3 successful seasons, what is the next step for Green In You?
The next step is actually super exciting! The next big thing that's going to be coming up is going to be in 2022 when we have our season 4, this time we're hoping to have like a sustainable festival, and not a sustainable fashion sale or one small event, but instead, a festival where we're able to provide a platform to multiple sustainable fashion brands, multiple thrift stores ourselves included. So we would essentially be enabling sustainable consumerism through this festival! We are also working on a product that’s aiming to close the circular economic model for our textile waste. Ensuring that we don't continue to follow the ‘take, make and waste’ model, but we hope to close the loop economy for textile waste.
And with that, I leave you with something to think about. As we embark on testing times yet again in 2021, of which the crux remains to a biological imbalance, making conscious choices is the need of the hour, to say the least. Think sustainable, think long term!