Sustain - Ability: A Masterclass in Conscious Consumerism

A few days ago I was asked to give an inclusive direction and head the digital expansion for an upcoming sustainable brand that is building a platform to integrate the organic products market which is highly fragmented. I was ecstatic from the word go. I could say that this brand is aiming to become the Amazon (A-Z) of sustainable products.

They asked me for a presentation about what inclusion could mean to them from a fashion perspective. I told them if they are able to make clothes that are size-inclusive (No Size to be more precise) and non-binary i.e. gender non-conforming ie. genderless, gender-inclusive, or gender-neutral, they would be labeled inclusive from the onset. Obviously, I need to create a brand identity and work from within to create an inclusive brand image on the outside. The buck doesn't stop at that, but the concept to consumer processes in-between, the campaigns, marketing, and the ability to break stereotypes, in addition to authentically embracing the diversity in the real world... plus, I have always been drawn to the euphony of fashion and sustainability. Even the accessories, beauty & wellness, or lifestyle products I now use have the organic element in them, even if it is not 100%. I was the quintessential fast fashion consumer not long back. For a couple of years now, I have been mindful of my buying patterns, what and how much I buy. I tend to reuse and repurpose my clothes. I still prefer a mix of organic and non-organic fabrics, however, I inadvertently seek fabrics that are biodegradable, made with ethics(from sourcing, operations, supply chain, production, retail, employee, and customers' point-of-view), and part of a circular economy that is based on the pillars of Sustainable Development Goals

I have already started working with this brand. They are launching a healing and meditation line of clothing and accessories based on the tenets of a belief that clothes have energy flows vibrantly through them. Interesting concept!

We know for a fact the ability of global fashion brands to quickly turn around new collections at lower prices to encourage “instant gratification” and "runway to racks" consumer mindset, in particular, has proven to be detrimental for our planet. That is why, eco-consciousness, sustainability, and organic terminology is not just a trend anymore, it has become an absolute necessity for the preservation of our biodiversity.

Keeping that vision in their heart, this brand is heavily focused not just on exploring sustainability in the core of their supply chain and development process but also bring visceral healing and harmony through design in all dimensions, be it clothing, accessories, wellness, or lifestyle products.

Let us try and understand the core of that mission. You would notice that new clothes often make us feel happy. There is a positive enthusiasm also in wearing fresh clothes that are washed, ironed, and neatly stacked in our wardrobes. One would ask what is the connection between clothes and positive energy or, harmony? The connection is actually entrenched very deeply. Clothes are made of fabrics. In ancient times our clothes only came from natural sources. Natural fabrics were the order of the day back then. The industrial revolution brought the use of cheap textiles that were based on the indulgences of use and throw. Natural fabrics are defined as textiles that are able to sense stimuli from the body and react or adapt to our vibrations and energy field in a positive way. It’s the same effect as crystals, gemstones, and precious stones might have when they come in contact with the elements like air, fire, earth, and water via the energies of the sun and moon. There is a cleansing effect, similar to that is experienced when we wear fresh or new clothes. A lot of healing practitioners tend to use cleansing rituals like burning sage, incense, or energizing clothes in the sun, etc. before wearing them. They do it for a reason because clothes can affect both our psychology and physiology. Smart fabrics are also trying to capture this very essence. 

Natural fabrics are perceived to be abundant in sāttvik vibrations and can enrich our mind, body, and spirit in equal measures. In short, clothes take on the subtle attributes of our mind, body, and spirit as much as give back their own positivity. This is especially true for fabrics that are ethically sourced, lovingly designed keeping in mind the principles of divine consciousness. Often wearing such fabrics will give the wearer confidence, radiance, and fragrance that is natural. Fabrics that are not natural would leave a pungent smell because of sweat. Natural fabrics have a propensity to absorb pungency. Another deep-rooted benefit!

This is exactly the positive energy this global sustainable brand is seeking to spotlight in its collections. Their mission is to use natural fabrics and invigorate them to avoid causes like weariness, the draining of our vital energy, our ability to look confident, and above all, nourished in and out... stems from the source of all our creations – the natural fabric.

I am excited to be part of this brand's journey and would be sharing interesting facts about how I build this brand from the ground up, keeping a strict vigil on what I can share as per the non-disclosure until the official launch. Consider it as a masterclass on conscious consumerism as I learn and grow a sustainable business that is good for us and our planet.

More later!

Amit Anand