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Show some love on Earth Day: An expert guide on how to be a responsible consumer of fashion

As consumers, we must try and reduce the harm we inflict on our environment. On Earth Day (April 22) fashion experts give us suggestions on how to be responsible buyers.

fashion and trends Updated: Apr 22, 2018 13:09 IST
Snigdha Ahuja
Snigdha Ahuja
Hindustan Times
Fashion,Earth Day,Fashion India
A Payal Khandwala creation.

Being environmentally conscious is not a choice anymore, it is an unignorable duty. Terms like eco-positive, all-organic, sustainable, conscious and eco-positive might be public knowledge, but many of us still struggle to do our part. But, all it takes is small steps to make a big difference. And, while consumption is prevalent in all aspects of life, fashion is one realm which needs special attention. How do you shop? Do you know who is making your clothes? Do you care if the fabric is made by hand or machine? Are you asking yourself all these questions? If no, it’s time you do. Here, we have ten design experts tell you how you can consume fashion, while being a responsible shopper, a responsible human being.
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, and is now observed in hundreds of countries. End plastic pollution is what the day is campaigning for, this year.

1) SLOW FASHION
In a perfect scenario as customers we must question the products we buy, follow the philosophy and brand stories of the labels they support. Conscious consumption is key. But in cases where that might be difficult the simplest rule to follow is buy less and buy carefully. Slow fashion is the only way to reduce the landfills that fashion is guilty of. Learn to repeat , reuse and repeat. Recycle your clothes, upcycle your favourites... rethink how you choose to buy. It’s our responsibility.
Payal Khandwala

2) GET THE DETAILS
It’s important to understand the longevity and quality of the product before buying. If one gives two minutes of their time to understand the content of the product I feel the world would be a cleaner place very soon.
Amit Aggarwal

3) WHAT’S THE STORY
Ask the people you consume from. Who is making your clothes? What is the story behind your label? Rather than buying more, buy less, but always go for quality. What kind of happiness is it generating for the craftsmen who are making it? Ask these questions.
Rahul Mishra

Grassroot by Anita Dongre jacket. (Rajjessh Kashyap/HT)

4) KNOW THE LABEL
Being environmentally conscious always starts with understanding the label that you are investing in.
Also, knowing the brand’s philosophy and what it stands for. Being more mindful about what goes behind putting the garment together is of prime importance.
Anavila Misra

5) LABOUR LAWS
This world earth day we need to make sure we buy from brands that promote dignity of Labour in their production. hundreds of thousands men, women and children are forced to work as bonded labourers in fast fashion factories often suffering extreme exploitation and abuse. Human are damaging humans in the name of fast fashion which needs to stop.
Anand Bhushan

6)BE HUMANE
I feel there is so much damage to our environment everyday from the plastic overflow in our oceans to the deforestation on land and contamination of the air we breathe - not only will this effect all our healths - it will effect several future generations too. As consumers of fashion or otherwise- it’s really important to be aware of what goes into the products we are consuming. I would say to start will we must be aware of animal rights and protect them to secure their future. Say no to leather, fur or any kind of animal skin products.
Suneet Varma

7) JUST BE SMART
I think the key to buying smart is to buy quality that you can use over many years in different ways. That way you encourage fair wages, minimal waste and encourage artisanal quality. Buying smarter is essential than buying more.
Nachiket Barve

8) USING VEGETABLE DYES
Sadly, your whites require bleach, as does dyeing and washing clothes. All oof these processes use chemicals. However, there is always an alternative, more sustainable way. There are few artforms like ajrakh, which uses vegetable dyes ,that would be closest to reducing damage by dyes and binding glues.
Rina Dhaka

9) AU NATUREL
Have a clear perspective while buying, know why you are buying. Clear perspectives can help us grow a better, cleaner world. It‘s important for us to stay as close to nature as we can to keep our souls alive. So, each day needs to be celebrated as the earth day.
Ritu Beri

10)KNOW YOUR FABRIC
There is an increasing number of brands that are going green. Go for garments made from recyclable, renewable materials like linen, hemp, khadi, organic cotton, silk or bamboo. Or, go for clothing that is made from vintage, upcycled or waste fabrics.
Ritu Kumar

11) MADE BY HAND
Buying classic, good quality garments, basically handmade in small batches will assure you stand out as an environmental pro. Using natural fabrics preferably in natural dyes soothes your skin and relatively easier to decompose minimising land fills.Live gently. Love Earth.
Divya Sheth

First Published: Apr 22, 2018 13:09 IST