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Gen Z is at the forefront of sustainable fashion movement. Brands are adopting changes too

Campus Voice is an initiative by ThePrint where young Indians get an opportunity to express their opinions on a prevalent issue.

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Sustainability is practiced in India in most households. To cite an example, a T-shirt in an Indian household undergoes a transformation from being a wearable garment to a dustcloth as it ‘ages’. But with headlines like ‘Delhi heat Breaks 72- Year Record as Temperatures soar in Early April’ and ‘Rising seas to wipe out much of Mumbai by 2050’, Gen Z has to step out of their classrooms or workplaces with placards, undertake plantation drives, establish environment clubs, and most importantly, switch their lifestyle choices.  While most of the consumers belonging to this generation refuse to have an ‘I want it and I got it’ attitude before purchasing any product,  luxury brands too should devise ways of promoting sustainable fashion to lure their customers.

H&M recently introduced a biodegradable and sustainable line of baby clothing. The collection is made using materials free of chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment. The items are produced with 100% recycled water and renewable energy. H&M’s head said, “The company is in a position to enable big changes in the fashion industry and we hope to be a leader in sustainability and keep clothes out of landfills.” Automobile giant Hyundai too launched an annual fashion collection made of discarded vehicle materials. To create these fashion items, Hyundai and its partners used leftover materials from car manufacturing such as airbags and seatbelts. Additionally, eco-friendly materials incorporated into Hyundai Ioniq 5 such as Bio PET and recycled fibers were also used in enhancing the wearability of fashion items.

Such initiatives make me happy as our generation is not usually considered change-makers. But we are influencing major brand strategies with our conscious choices and consumption. However, the only way forward if we are going to improve the
the environment is to get everybody involved.

Also read: Sweatshops behind Sarojini: Masterjis and women who run Delhi’s ‘pocket-friendly’ fashion

The fight is not over

Hiring women at low wages, no job security, and exploiting child labor our generation has been and is still fighting against such evils practiced behind the curtains. We demand
employee and consumer safety along with sustainable products. Thus, many brands have even collaborated to promote girl-child education like the collaboration between Sabyasachi and Starbucks.

While the trend of influencer ‘wave’  has its drawbacks, we have also learned various ways of styling our mundane clothes and transforming them into stylish looks. I am elated to witness the phenomenon of ‘from take make dump’ to ‘take make remake’ and I strongly believe the answer lies not in pointing fingers but in providing alternatives or solutions. The youth holds immense potential to bring positive change in the desired direction with their innovative ideas and progressive approach.

The author is a student at Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi. Views are personal.

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