Let’s rewind our clock to circa 2000. The times when crop tops were called short tops and dungarees were chic! I was a young kid back then and the only fashion I could relate to was clothes than my cousin handed us down from the ones she designed at a premier fashion school in India.

Back then those clothes told a story. They were designed in a way that they appealed not just to me, but they had the aesthetics to appeal to and provide for at least a couple more cousins who could wear them as hand me downs even after I outgrew them. They were handstitched by our local darzees and they used to be thoughtful, they used to be sustainable.

20 years hence, the world has taught us a lesson, a lesson to make us realize what happened in the last two decades, what went wrong? Or did we do wrong? As we grew up in a world of upcoming malls with access to all kinds of clothes and all sorts of brands, profligacy took over. Clothes that were probably imported from across the world made their way into our homes. A casual trip to the mall meant coming back home with bags of clothes that were in trend or probably hip. Buying clothes for occasions simply meant racing down to the market to pick up something that celebrities wore on their social media. As frequent sales at our favorite brand became rampant so did our thirst to overbuy, overconsume.

Today the global fashion industry is worth an estimated US$2.5 trillion annually. What we failed to notice was the thrust at which we were feeding this fast fashion industry. But as March 23rd, 2020 happened, everything came to a grinding halt. What we didn’t notice at the time was the hit it took when we stopped going to those malls. The hit it took on the fashion industry which is behind the fashion faces we see. Today, the fashion industry is in despair, hard hit by close to no demand in the last few months.

However, as we brace for economic recovery from these times, its high time to not go back to the old ways. To make conscious living a feeder for the fashion industry so that we transition from fast fashion to conscious fashion. With the pandemic taking over our lives, its time to reflect, to look back and open our cupboards to see, did we really need to buy that t-shirt for INR199 because it seemed so cheap? Did we wear it even 2 times? Or is it just like some other clothes we already had which were lost in some corner of our cupboard?

The number one lesson lies in reevaluating our life choices, taking it as a signal from the world that something just wasn’t right. It is time to reimagine and rethink that we need to change, we need to move from overconsumption to conscious consumption. Its time to correct those unconscious mistakes which without our knowledge lead to landfills of clothes. Its time to accept that a sustainable future for our kids will not be possible if we keep behaving the way we did in the last two decades.

These pandemic times have given us a chance. A chance to ponder over our consumption, a chance to reevaluate our fundamentals, and determine for ourselves, Is Fashion a choice or a luxury? Is overconsumption leaving room for our younger generations? Today, being smarter and more sustainable might just be the way to recover from staggering losses caused by COVID-19. Its time to support the fashion industry with the ethos of contributing to the environment not just taking away from it.

Making a sustainable lifestyle a part of your being is vital today. It shouldn’t become a buzzword that everyone likes to use because it’s trendy! It shouldn’t become like those unworn clothes in our cupboard. It should instead become a conscious hand me down that we pass on as heritage to our younger generation.

Let us join hands in this monumental shift and learn to adapt our lifestyle to sustainable choices. Collaborate with UPCYCLELUXE and join our sustainable community. Make that transition today!

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