Sustainability is a transformation
If one wishes to see a change, it comes with self-transformation. The fashion industry is going through a major conversion turning ethical. Apart from catering to the mainstream public, some are becoming ecological targeting the fashion-conscious group. Although an ideal sustainable system is yet to be achieved, we can witness organizations uniting fashion with sustainability. The mass market still seems to be unprepared to pay more money for fair and sustainable fashion. Uma, the founder of Upasana, has shared a different outlook towards sustainability.

1. ‘Sustainability is a niche market’. How does Upasana’s thoughts contradict to this conventional statement?

Uma – There is less awareness and acceptance of sustainable fashion as it seems right now. However, in reality, sustainability can never be a niche market. It is because of the mainstream notion of needless and conspicuous consumption followed since decades. We are dependent on the system and believe that it will deliver us a productive future. We have made ourselves comfortable with the idea of not being responsible. Pollution, poverty, farmer suicide, adulteration and chemical based food have become acceptable issues. Sustainability is not a far-fetched idea like asking for the moon. It is a very common discern that calls for ‘healthy and simple life for all’. Therefore, looking at sustainability as a niche market is absurd.

Adopting sustainability – Cease the notion

2. How is it possible to promote and uplift sustainable fashion in the community, among the consumers and in the industry?

Uma – The principle is, start with yourself and the world will follow. Change does not come to us served in a plate. Waiting for others to reform can lead us nowhere. The transformation that we wish to seek begins with self. We are familiar with the adverse out-turn caused to the biodiversity. Now is the time to act. It should be our chief concern to understanding and nourish the idea that sustainable fashion is not just material and technology. It exists in individual behavior, relationships and way of thinking.

3. How can the mainstream transform?

Uma – When organizations take up sustainable fashion as the business foundation rather than an add-on or a unique selling proposition, they ensure to align all their business activities in the favour of our biologically diverse ecosystem. Making sustainable practices transparent so that it is visible to their competitors but also welcoming collaborations will help in achieving this less chosen business format through joint efforts.

In the hands of the fashion brands lies the power to appeal the consumers that can be useful to make change desirable. They can be a motivational force in persuading consumers to adopt sustainable clothing that are guilt free and they can feel proud about. By highlighting sustainable practices using marketing and communication, brands will be close towards witnessing a horizon where consumers’ lifestyle preferences can meet ethical choices. Education of the consumers should be a primary responsibility of the brand. Knowledge about the need for conservation is vital in the process of achieving sustainability. This will also fix the various loopholes that draw a line between the consumers’ intention and their behavioral patterns.