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  • MAP Asia Pacific Ltd

Indian millennials lead movement for slow fashion-Fast fashion industry’s toxic footprint on India

Global warming and environmental degradation is frequently blamed on major issues such as deforestation or emissions of greenhouse gases as well as sectors like energy or transport.

However, there are some sectors that broadly escape scrutiny and cause significant ecological damage. The fashion industry is one such sector, responsible for 10 pc of the world’s annual carbon emissions, five times more than aviation. The extremely polluting, waste and water-generating techniques employed by the industry get multiplied by “fast fashion,” or clothes that are produced quickly and inexpensively in often controversial, deplorable working conditions. Famous global brands such as Zara and H&M, which have been at the forefront of fast fashion for years, are now competing against even worse ethical practices of internet shopping companies like Zaful and Fashion Nova that have exploded in popularity, especially among the youth.

Companies leading the sustainable fashion effort

Sustainable or “slow fashion” on the other hand, involves making clothes from eco-friendly or recycled fabrics, using organic (chemical-free) dyes without any animal testing, and using fair-trade practices such as fair pay and without child labour.

Over the last decade, there has been an increase in Indian brands adopting sustainable techniques and raising awareness among consumers. One such company, Doodlage, was started by Kriti Tula in 2012.

“As a designer, I was always inclined to find solutions and Doodlage started exactly with that agenda. Our aim was to start a conversation around ways to bring circularity in fashion and raise awareness around the impact of a linear fashion model. As a bootstrapped firm, we worked with one problem at a time with very limited funds and carefully curating our supply chain,” Tula tells Media India Group.

If factory waste from India, China and Bangladesh was used to make fresh garments, the multinational fashion companies could make clothes worth millions of dollars, trading all the resources that go into making fresh fabrics and saving tonnes of pieces from their fate of down-cycling.



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