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This Sustainable Fashion Initiative Re.Purposed Aims To Reduce and Refurbish Textile Waste Into Covid Masks. This Needs To Be The Way Forward In Fashion

October 29, 2020 | by Anjali Agarwal

In case you didn’t know, the fashion industry makes for one of the heaviest polluters in their world, impacting water bodies, air and soil. It’s not as if it was oblivious to the word sustainability but the concept has been only a theory until now for most brands. However, the pandemic has forced the industry to rethink its ethics and sustainable fashion choices.

With stock piling up due to shutters being shut in the lockdown and stores closing on zero sales most days during the unlock phase, it has finally prompted the designers and brands to take the road less taken—the road to sustainable fashion. As a result, plenty of brands announced they would give up the seasonal calendar and go season-fluid to save themselves from bankruptcy and do their bit for the planet.

However, that’s far from enough. It will take us a long time, much conscious efforts and a lot more brands taking the plunge to undo the severe damage the textile industry has caused in the past decades. Some designers understand this and are coming up with impactful initiatives to make fashion more sustainable and promote this thought further.

We are talking about two of the leading Indian fashion designers, Leena Singh and Rina Dhaka who have recently extended their support to Re.Purposed, a sustainable fashion initiative by COVID-19 response campaign called ‘RE-Think. Act. Create’ that works on reducing textile waste and repurpose it to fight pandemic. It is basically killing two birds with one stone.

Through Re.Purpose, Singh and Dhaka want to promote the concept of slow fashion, importance or waste reduction and environmental responsibility not only among the customers and buyers but also the industry leaders. It also aims to promote the rich heritage of crafts and textile of India that has been longing to get a spotlight they deserve.


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As a part of our ongoing campaign, we are collecting old cotton sarees which we will be repurposing into making face masks and other fabric products! Join us in this movement to reduce fashion waste and do your bit by donating old cotton sarees and dupattas! We would be upscaling the sarees & selling them at our boutique & online platforms to support our women financially, help empower them while also doing our bit for the environment! 🌱 #Repurposefashionwaste #turningsareesintomasks #impact #pledgeaperiod #socialimpact #periods #saree #COVID19 #pandemic #awareness #education #menstruation #mumbai #india #govandi #community #women #support #funds #fundraising #philanthropy

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Celebrity designers Leena Singh of eponymous clothing brand Ashima Leena and Rina Dhaka have become the frontrunners of the initiative. The waste from the textile industry will be refurbished into making Covid face masks, bag pouches, hair accessories like scrunchies, pillow cases and bedsheets. Repurposing waste could help the environment by reducing the levels of fashion emissions. The initiative has also roped in two women-oriented NGOs, Srujna and Myna Mahila Foundation for the recreation and selling of these products by the NGO workers. It will also spread awareness about sustainable fashion among customers.

Plus, the other great thing about this initiative is that it will give a platform to the local artisans and karigars and small fashion businesses. Talking about the same, Rina Dhaka told in an interview, “The Government of India had announced it’s ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative encouraging people to buy local products, thereby supporting local communities. The RE.purposed initiative ties in with the government’s vision of boosting support for local communities and their craft. This initiative is a perfect blend of tradition and craft.”

Also Read: Huda Kattan Forays Into Pre-loved Fashion, Invests In Online Luxury Resale Platform. This Is Such A Cool Concept For Sustainable Fashion

Iman Sayed of Myna Mahila Foundation, one of the NGOs working for the initiative told Business News This Week, “We, at Myna Mahila Foundation, recognised the immediate pandemic needs of our communities, and in March, started the manufacturing and distribution of sustainable masks. With the long-lasting effects of single-use masks on the environment and the projected period of wearing masks as a necessity, we as social organisations must meet these needs at a minimal cost to the environment.”

This initiative is an example of how the industry can to take advantage of tough times like the pandemic in the most effective way. This not only creates social sensibility towards fashion but also has a larger impact on the society. By reprocessing textile waste into products not only this initiative is helping the environment but also aiding society to cope with the coronavirus and creating job opportunities for women of NGOs and local artisans. This will lead a social change and promote sustainability in the fashion industry. About time!

Also Read: Luxury Brand Gucci To Dress Sims 4 Players In Eco-Friendly Clothing. What A Great Way To Promote Sustainability Through Virtual Fashion

Anjali Agarwal

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