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Speed limits needed in fashion industry

Fast fashion has resulted in mindless consumerism and environmental hazards, say designers. The fashion industry was estimated at over Rs 720 crores in 2015. With two major fashion weeks happening every six months in the country, and, with top fast fasion brands like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara opening shop in India, a new generation of shoppers have emerged. Top designers like Rahul Mishra, Ritu Kumar etc say, fast fashion, with its quick production cycles, not only hurts resources but also employs less people, as these processes are usually highly mechanised. Adopting a slower process of creation, such as hand weaving and hand embroidery, slows down the process of creating clothes and, in turn, empowers talented artisans who are in need of jobs. It also provides work and employment to the economy.

In places where the need to replenish is required, the change of fashion is a boon. But where it is triggered out of a need to feed multinational interests only, it is a bane.

In western countries, especially temperate countries, clothes fray and fade less often, as they are now constructed with manmade synthetic fabrics. So, fast fashion, mindless consumerism, was initiated in those cultures to ensure that wardrobes are replenished. Hence, the need to make people feel that their clothes are obsolete.

Fast fashion can dampen the spirit of the fashion industry in the days to come. Probably the time is ripe for people in India to start taking individual pieces and styling them differently for different occasions as opposed to buying a new thing every time for every occasion.