If there’s one thing Millennials and Gen Z wholeheartedly agree on, it’s love for the environment and it all woke up. On the road to sustainability, a common problem is that of uncontrolled fast fashion which pollutes the air, water and land in unthinkable ways. As the fashion industry continues to seek viable alternatives to fashion pollutants, an artistic intervention brought together seven artists to raise awareness of the urgent issue of sewage in the fashion industry and urgent climate action to reduce damage.
The ReFashion Hub collective recently collaborated with talented Indian artists and graphic designers like Priyanka Paul, Aditi Mali, Manasi Deshpande, Mehek Malhotra, Vinu Joseph, Param Sahib, and Sonali Bhasin to create a series of commissioned artwork and comics. fashion business. The sarcastic view of the absurdity of the fashion industry prompts modern consumers to shop responsibly and think about the environment before purchasing inexpensive mass-produced clothing. Divya Thomas of the ReFashion Hub informs: “The works of art aim to popularize the narrative about the different ways in which fashion affects our lives and the environment around us. By 2050, fashion will become the second biggest water polluter. “
“It is imperative for us as consumers to come together to talk about the impact of fashion on the climate, as well as what each of us can do to make fair fashion choices,” says Divya.
Did you know that about 2,700 liters of water are used to make a cotton t-shirt and 7,500 liters of water are used to make denim clothes? When such facts are presented to a consumer, he thinks many times before supporting the fast fashion industry which is responsible for water waste and pollution. Fast fashion is cheap, but it comes at a cost. We check labels and ingredients before purchasing each food. Would we reconsider this little black dress if the label also mentioned its environmental cost?
Artist Manasi Deshpande, who did a little survey of his friends, was surprised to learn that few of them knew that such huge amounts of water were needed to make clothes. She shares the story behind the artwork: “I realized that the problem is that we need to raise awareness about the water crisis, especially the impact of fast fashion on the environment. Many people are unaware of the environmental crisis and keep piling up stocks because they are cheap. Fast fashion not only harms the environment, but also garment workers who receive meager wages for working in horrible conditions. The illustration also takes this perspective into account and evokes the insatiable thirst of the fashion industry which harms the environment through pollution and waste. I tried to sum up the irony behind the production of “Save Water” cotton t-shirts and the environmental price. To tackle the problem of excess in the fashion industry, we need to buy less and explore options like peer-to-peer clothing rental or borrowing. Saving or buying pre-loved clothes is also a great option for reducing waste, and has recently started to gain popularity in India. “
Not so funny anymore
Globally, fast fashion consumption is projected to increase by 63% by 2030, which would also stress the world’s water resources. In a comedy series from designer Param Sahib, the art pokes fun at the fast fashion industry’s trap on people’s mindset and how consumers have become a part of an industry. a billion dollars without environmental awareness. He explains, “The artwork is a minimalist-style comic book series depicting water waste issues in a fun and light-hearted illustrated series. The color scheme is a classic blue, black, white and gray to keep the message clear. I don’t see fashion as just a momentary gig, but also as a designer, the responsibility is more difficult to create a life and a self-sustaining ecosystem. The need of the hour is to look for alternatives for materials that cause damage. We may not see it now, but in a few years the effect will be more visible and obvious to us and by then it would be too late to replenish resources.
Stop buying, start recycling
Swapping clothes with friends, donating clothes, getting your clothes sewn, reuse, rearrange, paint on your clothes and more are ways to stop fast fashion consumerism. Artist Aditi Mali points out that all funny t-shirts with basic quotes are so redundant, and through her artwork she hopes to see a change in the over-buying habits of buyers. She says, “The comic book t-shirt has a ‘t-shirt quote’ with a smiley face. It may not sound harmful to you, but it has its ways to add more harm to the planet. The colors in the comic are fun and pastel because I wanted it to contrast with the content. “
Likewise, the work of artist Mehek Malhotra aims to start the conversation around the alarming reality of the terrain of the fast fashion cycle. “I use language that speaks to consumers of fast fashion. We can afford a Rs 300 t-shirt, but we cannot afford to repair the damage it causes to the environment, ”notes Mehek, and sums up his art history.
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