There’s slow fashion, minimalist fashion, zero-waste fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion. And each of these categories overlap in their goals and practices. Slow fashion prioritises and honours the traditional fashion and artisans’ handmade work over machine-made goods.

Zero-waste fashion uses upcycled goods to minimise wastage, and although the boundaries are blurred between these various kinds of fashion, the goals are similar — to help maintain a bio diverse and healthy ecosystem. It is about being more informed and making conscious choices that go with a consumers’ value system. This ‘conscious fashion’ is when your participation is to act as a vehicle to bring about awareness and a positive change.

Today, many new-age brides are more keen to align their choices and ideas with what they actually wear, especially on their D-day. Women are acting with critical awareness and making decisions based on personal values, finances, choice and experience.

Tiya from Latha Puttanna Design House, says, “We have seen multiple young brides come to us with their mom’s age-old heritage handloom sarees and ask us to reinvent or rather reimagine it into a lehenga or sharara or even a dress that they can wear for their wedding day. The pandemic has brought a deep understanding and respect for the ‘slow-fashion culture.”

She goes onto add that brides are ready to explore options which gives designers a fabulous canvas to create one-of-a-kind garments. “The bond of a mother’s love cannot be showcased better than in these types of garments.”

This era of phygital fashion shows gives us a peek into the luxury fashion brands and their adherence to conscious fashion as well. The luxury brands have started encouraging resale as well and this grants a new lease of life to second-hand clothes that would otherwise end up as waste.

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Labels are producing wastage over the past few quarters, with designers employing locals who are skilled and manufacturing locally owing to the risky global supply chain. This is helping in generating employment, reducing carbon footprint and also saving skilled labours and craftsmen.

India has a rich heritage when it comes to weaves, textiles and motifs, and probably it should be leading the way up the ramp when it comes to sustainable fashion. From paying skilled weavers fairly, to embracing natural dyes and fabrics, brands are promoting ethical fashion. Neeraj Verma, CGM NABARD, says, “The Udupi handwoven sarees that are one of the finest examples of handweavers in the country were on the verge of extinction. The weavers engaged in the art were dormant primarily due to lack of design development, funds and inadequate marketing. It was in this background that in the year 2019, NABARD supported the initiative of Kadike Trust to revive this ancient craft. Owing to this programme the GI tag for Udupi sarees has been awarded to Talapady Weavers Society in 2020.”

The Udupi sarees revival also came up with the unique marriage of Kashmiri Aari work with the weaves of Udupi serving as a fine example of artisans’ impeccable craftsmanship. This shift in the design process coupled with a sustainable approach brings in a fresh whiff of stylish and colourful fashion, creating a diverse wardrobe for new-age fashionistas.