• Aarushi Saxena

Fashion Being ASAP in 2020

‘Sustainability’ – the buzzword in 2019, might be overwritten by ASAP, for ‘as slow as possible’. Barely six weeks into the new year and the fashion industry has already showcased how seriously it plans to take ethical and slow fashion in this turn of the decade.

Starting with Milan Fashion Week, where trade show WHITE MILANO, for the first-time dedicated itself to fashion circularity and sustainability; In 48 hours of talks, workshops, and showcases by eco-solution start-ups from Orange fibres to Dress You Can, I had the chance to chat with a great many interesting names like M of Copenhagen, Care by ME and Vegan Tiger. Exhibitions by designers like Ferragamo, Vivienne Westwood and other known names aided in hyping up the already buzzing event. 

Fast forward to Paris Haute Couture Week, where Rahul Mishra, hopefully the first of many Indian designers, was invited to showcase his ambitions towards slow fashion in a staggeringly beautiful collection! (Some of which I really really wish I was could afford) Mishra, like a fair few other names in the Indian fashion industry, empowers local artisans and craft clusters by merging traditional textile and handicrafts with contemporary international silhouettes. In his words ‘pre-industrialized production’ and sense of ‘participation’ are at the heart of Haute Couture. If each design takes up to 5000 human hours and is less volume-centric, ASAP already exists in the designer’s vocabulary.

The biggest sustainability bomb was dropped by Copenhagen Fashion Week, which in a three-year action plan aims to reduce its climate impact by 50% and to make the event 100% zero waste. Based on the UN SDG, the event plans to limit curation of brands to those that follow specific ethical guidelines such as - use at least 50 percent-certified organic, upcycled or recycled materials, only sustainable packaging by 2023 and brands must stop destroying unsold clothes.

I’ve been to Scandinavia before and have witnessed their appreciation for slow-living among other earth-friendly habits. If Stockholm Fashion Week can shut down altogether in the name of sustainability, CPHFW can definitely make this progressive change.

After all, one small step per designer is one giant leap for mankind.

Though it’s not just designers and fashion weeks playing their part, recent BAFTA awards required attendees to maintain a sustainable dress code on the recycled red carpet.

Kudos to us all for growing a bigger conscience?