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27 May 2019, Edition - 1413, Monday

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Coimbatore

Do you believe in Ethical fashion? Do you create ethically

Indrani Thakurata

The term Ethical Fashion pops up every now and then and enough print space has already been devoted to brands such as M&S who are promoting Ethical fashion by setting an example. But we are still unclear of what Ethical Fashion is, and what is stands for.

“Ethical fashion to us is when you humanize the way artisans and garment workers are treated and involving ethics into every step of the production process as well as the supply chain,” says Veena Balakrishnan from Urmi Weave.

Elaborating on the same, Fashion photographer and blogger Prakhar P says, ” Ethical in dictionary relates to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these. But the boundaries of morality changes everyday. What may be moral today, may not be tomorrow.

Having said that, fashion industry is one of the most exploitative industries in terms of people as well as the environment–so it is time that we care about reduction in environmental damage, reduction in poverty.” With massive environmental degradation, it is time we embrace sustainable clothing along with ethical fashion. Many would argue the importance of ethical fashion, but “It is important in today’s time because, somewhere down the line, we have forgotten the values that we learnt as we grew up. Compassion, kindness, being fair and helping others is not really someone’s first instinct anymore.

The collapse of Rana Plaza served to thrust the challenges associated with apparel production back to the top of media headlines around the world. One could say that this incident has been an eye opener to many individuals and fashion brands to adhere to the ethos of sustainability. Ever since, many manufacturers and brands have been working towards an ethical fashion supply chain,” explains Veena. She adds, ” Clothing is one of the most important types of consumer commodity and people want to wear clothes that represent their personality, and so garments which are associated with values such as compassion and care is now getting popular among certain consumers.”

It is Ethical Fashion that makes the fashion industry socially and environmentally sustainable. Ethical fashion is not just a trend for the millennials, it’s become a necessity. Hong Kong has embraced ethical fashion in a big way. “There is a huge demand of sustainable clothing and accessories in Hong Kong. Most fashionistas and entrepreneurs want to create a caring,ethical and sustainable company where, along with the final product and making, the journey and how it is produced is equally important,” says Preeti Kona, a fashion enthusiast.

Furthering the conversation, Veena says, “Fashion is all about reinterpretation and even the basics have to be reinvented every once in a while. URMI uses the age old craft of basket weave, prevalent majorly in the the southern parts to India to create meaningful products with a twist for the modern woman. One thing we often forget when it comes to fashion is the importance of our environment and the people who make it. URMI ensures we are sustainable in every aspect – ecologically and socially.

We ensure we make 100% ethical and quality luxury bags Non bio-degradable plastic waste that has been generated for multiple other uses are recycled and upcycled to give it more value than it already had, hence we do not manufacture more plastic. This material is then taken to the homes of the weavers along with the designs that have been researched and developed centrally. Our weavers includes women in the insurgent areas in and around the city of Coimbatore. Some of them are extremely old that they cannot step outside their homes to find jobs. URMI ensures that our women have a shot at being independent and take care of their family in the confines of their home.”

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