Can Indian handlooms go beyond festive-wear for eco-conscious youngsters?
As the talks of sustainability are rising, the fashion industry of India is nowhere lagging. With sustainable fashion on the rise, both established and upcoming designers and brands are following the eco-friendly and ethical route.
The millennials are active in talking about climate change, and several reports are suggesting that they are willing to pay more for a sustainable fashion product. However, similar reports also say that although the youth of India would replace their regular T-shirt with an eco-friendly option, they have not yet embraced Indian handlooms with as big a heart. Handlooms occupy a small space in their closets. So, what could be the reason for this?
India has such a large variety of handlooms. So why are they not being able to gain a place in most young people's closet for office or hangouts or as daily wear essentials?
Firstly, most youngsters think of Indian handlooms as forms of traditional wear or festive-wear that can only be worn at weddings and religious festivities.
Secondly, there is the “cool factor”. It is often heard that sustainable fashion and especially Indian handlooms are not cool, sexy, and trendy enough! A lot of people consider handlooms to be all about loose and boxy clothes! Lack of variety in styles is a problem that handloom brands as well as sustainable fashion supporters cannot deny.
The thing is, everyone would like to buy a beautiful outfit and the youth is becoming increasingly eco-conscious. They are willing to make a change with their purchasing power by spending their money on sustainable and handmade products. The fashion industry needs to do thorough research about their wants and needs.
Encouraging people to respect and embrace Indian culture is good. However, it is still alright if the youth do not want to wear a sari or even a kurta daily. It is all about personal comfort. The personal choices of the young need to be respected too.
If most of the youth today feel more comfortable in trousers, is it too much to give them well-fitted pants made of handwoven fabrics? If they want to wear short skirts, how about handloom skirts?
Boxy is good, boxy is airy - but everything in handloom need not be boxy.
Firstly, innovation in handloom fabrics is necessary. Secondly, the brands need to bring in the stylish cuts and comfortable silhouettes. Thirdly, promotions need to be fun and youthful. And finally, collaborations with celebrities and influencers can prove to help make handcrafted fashion popular.
The young are applauding the honesty and transparency of fashion brands, and they are also willing to support goodness. All they need is handloom products to be a little more fun and versatile.