Ask any designer how much fabric goes to waste while they’re working on new collections, and you’ll be amazed. Now, in a bid to utilise this excess material, an NGO has tied up with designers who are participating in an upcoming fashion event to donate all their extra fabric to them.
Women’s Institute for Social Education, the brainchild of Mana Shetty, is part of the NGO Save The Children India. Women, who are trained under this program to create products for retail, will now get to utilise scraps donated by the likes of Manish Malhotra, Anita Dongre and Nishka Lulla among others.
“We make fun products like tray covers, batuas (wallets) and cushions, which help us generate a lot of money. The designers have given us fabrics like brocade, silk and zari, which are of great use. Around 6,000 women are benefitting from the program,” says Shetty, who came up with this initiative called Fashion Upcycled.
Getting designers on board wasn’t a problem either. “Our agency contacted the organisers of Lakmé Fashion Week, and they took us seriously. They checked out the NGO and then helped us in approaching designers. They have all showed interest, and once others see our stall at the event, I’m sure they will help too. I can’t imagine anyone saying no,” she adds.
For the designers too, there couldn’t be a better way of ensuring that their extra fabric doesn’t go waste. Anita Dongre says, “We sample a lot of material before we close on the final collection for a season. During this process, a lot of excess raw material is generated. I am happy to see it going to good use.”