How The Traditional Indian Saree Is Helping To Promote Sustainability

How The Traditional Indian Saree Is Helping To Promote Sustainability

The wants of humans are endless which is why demand and supply and the market work in tandem to continuously provide people with what they need and what they simply want. Whilst the freedom of choice seems socially and economically pious, it has not necessarily worked for the environment and its sustainability.

When it comes to the production and supply of clothes, fast fashion has hiked consumerism exponentially. An epidemic of sorts, fast fashion continues to dominate the fashion market for the common folk. To offer a viable alternate, the concept of slow fashion is being picked up.

Slow fashion is a facet of sustainable fashion, offering options to slow down our fashion consumption. One of the most traditional facets of this practice pushes us towards sarees and up-cycled sarees.

While we read about many brands repurposing sarees to produce new pieces of clothing, we tend to miss out on the sarees’ most advantageous properties for sustainability which are recycling, re-wearing, and repairing.

Image Courtesy: Amrapali Boutique

Why Slow Fashion

Slow fashion is mostly about investing in qualitative pieces of clothes rather than quantitive, ones to reduce the number of clothes we throw out to be processed as garbage. Spending money on one piece of clothing and sustainably wearing it long-term is exponentially better for the environment rather than buying five different pieces of clothing for cheap prices but throwing them out after wearing them a few times.

Dealing with mass consumerism, it also deals with mass production by encouraging people to replace their runs to malls filled with commercial, industrial and fast fashion brands with visits to local boutiques and purchases from small, organic businesses. The idea pushes us to support brands that put out quality clothing that lasts longer and is made ethically, benefitting the human capital involved and the environment.

Slow fashion proves to be economically viable as well, because despite it seeming expensive, in hindsight it costs the consumer less money to buy sustainable pieces of clothing compared to buying cheap, unsustainable clothing every other month. We grow to love our clothes and fashion more, as we cherish and treat the pieces of clothes we already have with a lot of care and love. We learn to break away from the superficial notions of having a new outfit every day to seem fashionable and choose to prioritise our environment and our clothes.

Image Courtesy: Shaadi Wish

Saree Supremacy

One of the most beautiful and viable pieces of slow fashion is sarees. With endless possibilities for repairing, recycling and reusing, sarees prove to be both a fashionable and sustainable choice. Additionally, diving back into the roots of our culture, wherein the most common piece of clothing was a saree, worn by people every day. It proved to be beneficial for the environment at the time and still continues to be.

Sarees also support local artisans and weavers, who embrace their traditional fashion and produce long-lasting, beautiful and evergreen sarees. It is the case with a lot of families, that women of the current generation wear the sarees of their grandmothers and the piece of clothing looks just as new.

The durability of clothes has been not prioritised in recent times and it is time that we explore more traditional ideas to help build a sustainable environment.

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