Sustainable fashion in the limelight



The sixth edition of The Green Fashion India, an international conference on sustainable fashion by MKSSS School of Fashion Technology (SOFT), Pune got underway on October 5 at Kala Academy, Panaji.

The two day conference which had in its audience fashion design students from different institutes and an array of fashion experts was inaugurated by the chief guest, Goa tourism minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar, guest of honour, president Clothing Manufacturers Association of India CMAI and chairman, advisory board, SOFT Rahul Mehta, in the presence of president Green Fashion India (GFI) Mohana Kadam, chairman MKSSS, Promoad Gorhe, vice chairman MKSSS, N D Patil, managing committee member MKSSS, Dhananjay Kulkarni, secretary, MKSSS PVS Shastry and secretary GFI M Hundekar.

Green Fashion India which was earlier known as the Consortium of Green Fashion first came into existence in 2010 and over its previous editions has focused on different concepts like fashioning the future, the way of life, methods of sustainability through the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), green fashion in action and bringing khadi and handloom into the mainstream of sustainability of fashion. This time around the conference has introduced a new concept – ‘Green connect for social design’.

While Hundekar gave a run through of the previous editions and also spoke on India’s long and strong history of reduce, reuse and recycle through various practices like hand spinning, hand weaving, use of natural dyes and use of old saris to create godhris, Gorhe informed that the institute has been striving to arrange the conference in Goa for the past three years. He expressed happiness that this had finally come to bear fruit stating that Goa as a tourism hub was a strategic location to conduct such an activity besides being the first choice of the younger generation.

Guest of Honour, Mehta stated that many people have the misconception that sustainability refers to only saving the Earth. However it has three facets – economic sustainability, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. “For a business to be successful it first has to be economically viable this is economic sustainability. However just this is not enough. You also have to ensure that the people working at the place are also happy, wealthy and healthy. This is social sustainability,” he explained. Just these two facets however are not enough, he continued. “All this has no point, unless there is a tomorrow and here environmental sustainability comes in,” he said.

Mehta further advised the students not to repeat the mistakes that the older generations have made in terms of destroying the earth and further stated, “Think green today or else there will only be a black tomorrow.”

Ajgaonkar for his part stated that it is everyone’s responsibility to work towards being more sustainable today and he hoped that this conference paves the way for others to follow suit.

The inauguration as followed by the felicitation of special guests like chairman of advisory board MNDJDTR SOFT, Uday Jinanawati, owner, Vaidya and Associates Textile Cosultant Pvt Ltd, Suresh Vaidya and strategic advisors for Green Fashion India namely Rahul Bhajekar, Benjamin Itter and Meher Castelino.

This was followed by the felicitation of various artisans like Rajkumar Pandey (sanganer block print), Abdul Aziz Yakub Khatri (ajrakh block print), Ranji Vishram Vakar (pitloom weaving), Vitthalbhai Waghela (patola weaving), Anwar Hussain Inayad Hussain Sheikh (natural stone beads), Lovely (phulkari embroidery), Karthik Chauhan (hand appliqué), Rozwan Ahmad Qureshi (paithani himroo weaving), Sunanda (tribal jewellery) and Sanjukta and Antaryami (textiles).

The event will also witness competitions, films, fashion show, panel discussion etc themed around various facets of green fashion. A few stalls by various artisans are also on display.