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Being stylish & sustainable

Why should you opt for wearing natural, sustainable fabrics? Here are different ways to style them...

Natural fabrics like cottons and linens make for breathable clothes that are ideal for everyday wear.

The longevity of the sustainable fashion movement has outlived the cyclical wheel of trends to become a mainstay on the sartorial scene. In a world dictated by fast fashion, the ethical fashion movement heralds in a breather, inspiring consumers to make more conscious choices when shopping. Adopting greener wardrobe practices becomes the need of the hour in this context, with organic production techniques minimising any adverse effects on the environment. The notable absence of toxic dyes further makes sustainable clothing kinder on the skin by warding off allergic reactions.

Eco-friendly is the way

Today, there’s a rampant use of synthetic fabrics in apparel that leads to allergic reaction for most people. It is in the manufacturing of these textiles that harmful toxins are released into the environment causing long-term consequences, such as soil pollution by non-biodegradable additives as well as wastage of copious amounts of water during production.

In these troubled times, the benefits of organic clothing are many and varied. The cultivation of these fabrics involves lesser pesticides as the seeds are not genetically modified. This, in turn, helps lower potential damage to the environment by limiting the release of harmful chemicals.

Indian weather is mostly warm and tropical, which contributes to harsh heat waves and humidity. Natural fabrics like cottons and linens make for breathable clothes that are ideal for everyday wear. Cotton is soft, breathable and soaks up sweat, allowing the body to stay cool throughout the day, and is also easy to wash and maintain. Khadi serves up an easy candidate for the summer as it is handspun, skin-friendly and organic, which helps keep the wearer cool in summers. On the other hand, silk and wool make for an ideal choice during the cooler months on the calendar.

Care for clothes

As with other options in the everyday wardrobe, natural fabrics require a certain amount of care to make them last longer. Therefore, it is always recommended that linen garments are hand-washed or dry-cleaned. Cottons can be washed in the machine using gentle liquid detergents that are chemical-free. The clothes should be dried on a line for the fabric to maintain its softness and natural strength.

Style them right

Natural fabrics provide a wide range of styling possibilities:

• Cottons and linens, being soft and easy to drape, can be crafted into beautifully cut tops, blouses, dresses and trousers for women.

• Linen blazers can be styled with slouchy cotton pants and a blouse or a tank top.

• The easiest way to create a fusion look is to pair a well-cut cotton blouse with a beautifully draped hand-woven sari.

• For men, a tailored linen shirt is best styled with a pair of tailored cotton trousers.

• Also, a cotton scarf or neckerchief makes for a great accent piece and works well for all occasions.

In the future, we can look forward to innovations in the handloom sector with the use of natural fibres. The industry will be further familiarised with the combination of various yarns to create innovative weaves and drapes. Moreover, designing for longevity with sustainable fabrics using high-quality production techniques will continue to rise.

(The author is founder, ANOMALY)

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