Sometimes beauty can be born from misery. The fashion industry couldn’t have been more in sync. Necessity has created a space where designers are charting uncrossed paths. From Donatella Versace to Prabal Gurung everyone is rediscovering fashion as what it should be rather than returning to where it was.

For decades fashion cycle has been moving faster and faster, reaching to a point where ‘more is less’ has become a mantra. To say the least, fast fashion is ending around the corner of this quarantine and it seems like the trees are bearing new leaves of sustainability. This leisure time has given us all a moment to step back and rethink.

When was the last time you repeated an outfit instead of giving into the urge to go shop for one? I thought so! Right now the absence of availability has made us value the presence of everything we own. As a result, from a handful ‘environmentally conscious customers’, we are moving towards the masses. It isn’t surprising though, while the pace was slow we were already moving towards it but a little pandemic boost was a welcome anomaly.

Long lasting and classic are everything fashion will represent once again. Its time our eyes are wide open to see “seasonality”- different collection every season, is outdated. Practicality is going to be all the vogue. Those loose kurta and comfy salwaar you thought could only be rocked in the closed confines of your home are going to see the light of the day, loungewear will soon become a fashion essential. Times are changing, so is the definition for comfort. It’s safe to say, trend-following will make a longer pit stop at the back of your closet.

Think of it like this, in thirteen years from now, how much water would we have consumed drinking individually? About 20,000 litres, the same amount to make just a pair of your favourite t-shirt and jeans! From farmers exposed to exponential fumes of chemical pesticides to us breathing in those toxins just for a mere pair of that t-shirt and jeans, we have made the fashion industry a living, breathing ticking bomb. How do we diffuse the situation?

The future is going to be eco-friendly fibres like hemp, bamboo, flex, organic cotton etc. which will ensure a longer apparel life cycle. Just from wearing a garment a little longer you can save this planet a little longer. Also the recyclable nature of ‘soy silk’, the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of bamboo fibres and the absence of chemicals in the growth phase of each one of them is everything we need in a time like this.

With one in every six of the six million employed from developing countries is underage, poorly paid with hazardous work space, that’s approximately the population in a small third world country! Understanding sustainable isn’t just for the namesake ‘environmentally conscious’ but to make an ethical difference in the working of the people down the line in the industry is the need of the hour.

But habits die hard and maybe there will still be a part of us that will crave the luxury and the fickle fashion moments. It’s hard to let go of things we have been holding on for a long time. At the end changes will always find resistance, we just have to find it in ourselves to accept that the rules written down a long time ago no longer stand. The focus has shifted from quantity entirely towards quality. And maybe it took a ‘forced isolation’ to make us realize that. This pandemic wasn’t so bad after all.

Khadija Kagdi
B.tech Fashion Technology
Batch 2017-20

Amity University Rajasthan