A discussion and workshop about the local cotton in India

Upasana – The Conscious Fashion Hub hosts the first event of the year – Desi Cotton Workshop. The Conscious Fashion Hub is based on principles of ethical business, slow fashion, fashion revolution, fair-trade and community empowerment. It is a platform to open discussions and answer questions to tackle present day social issues such as farmer suicides in India, plastic pollution, fashion waste production, women empowerment and employment, craft empowerment and many more.

We have recognised that one of the most crucial social problems we face in India is the replacement of local organically grown cotton with BT cotton. Genetically modified organism (GMO) variety of cotton was introduced in India a long time ago and has taken over the country’s cotton industry since then. India is now the second largest country in the world cultivating Bt cotton. Investing in these expensive hybrid cotton seeds have led to farmer bankruptcy across the country, which leads to alarmingly increasing farmer suicide rates. Since 1995, the total number of farmer suicides in the country has crossed the 3,00,000 mark in 2014. Annual suicide rates in rain-fed areas are directly related to increase in Bt cotton adoption.


The Desi Cotton Workshop at Upasana is an initiative to discuss and inspire the community, and spread awareness about the local cotton farming practices. This workshop is born from the concern of what the fashion industry is capable of, and what it has fallen into instead. Glamour and vanity has taken over the industry, diverting us from what is important – the well being of our society. The fashion industry is now involved in many unethical practices such as child labour and manpower exploitation. The fashion industry is also the second largest polluting industry in the world. Upasana wants to help change the direction of this industry, where we head towards responsibility and consciousness instead.

To celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, Upasana launches the Conscious Fashion Hub, where people come together to practice and discuss sustainability in fashion, thereby changing the impact of the fashion industry into a positive one. We bring together textile and fashion enthusiasts, students, artists, designers, social workers, farmers, businessmen, environmentalists and everyone with interest in the country’s future to discuss, brainstorm and participate in this hands-on workshop including natural dyeing, conscious styling and upcycling. Eminent people from the field have also been invited to inspire participants with their path-breaking journeys. The workshop will be held at Upasana Design Studio in Auroville, on the 24th and 25th June 2017.

Register for the workshop here