Sustainability is making steady inroads in the Indian fashion industry with many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) partnering big fashion brands to launch collections made from ethical materials. However, these MSMEs still lag behind their global counterparts in adopting sustainability due to lack of technologies and materials to introduce responsible collections. Also, MSMEs struggle with inadequate infrastructural facilities including water, power, and lack of skilled workforce; limited up-to-date information; and unwillingness towards making a better, safer, and relatively-expensive choice. Hence, they are compelled to bypass sustainability aspects in their manufacturing.
Gradual shift to sustainable fashion
The shift from fast fashion to slow fashion is currently at a nascent stage. However, as consumers’ shift to sustainable fashion, more businesses and ecopreneurs are launching environment-friendly collections. Fashion marketers are also introducing sustainable marketing trends by creating awareness-building and educational campaigns on social media platforms. They are expanding their narrative beyond PR guidelines to unveil details about clothes’ manufacturing process. This has emphasized the importance of transparency in the industry besides boosting ethical fashion practices.
Recently, a famous international brand was lauded for its new collection made entirely from recycled wool and organic cotton, along with other fibers. Another brand was appreciated for making its list of certifications, first-tier suppliers, and fabrics. Many upcoming brands are also engaged in light-hearted conversations with their audiences through brand campaigns. They are creating awareness about sustainable fashion through traditional, digital and social media campaigns.
Introducing sustainability in fashion curriculum
Despite sustainability becoming a buzzword in the last few years, the fashion industry still has a long way to go in terms of becoming completely sustainable. It needs to introduce sustainability to New Age entrepreneurs during their learning stages. It also needs to attract new students by offering incentives like access to mentoring, funding, other services.
The industry also needs to collaborate with new entrepreneurs and encourage them to create sustainable fashion. They need to be enticed with better policies, lucrative business environments, and better pricing to help create safer, stronger and sustainable future of fashion.