The fashion industry today is one of the biggest industries in the world. Currently valued at $1.5 trillion, it shows no signs of slowing down. As positive as it sounds, it is alarming to see the consumerism the fashion industry experiences. An industry of this size also produces humongous waste. Statistically speaking, 92 million tons of textile waste is dumped on the environment every year. This World Environment Day, we realised fashion is something which is very personal and thereby individual efforts will also show big results. Speaking to three fashion creators, we learnt about fashion choices that align with the trends at the same time are environment-friendly. 

World Environment Day with Fashion creators for sustainable fashion

The fashion industry has evolved tremendously. It caters to all kinds of needs- including sustainable fashion choices. From sustainable brands to thrift stores to capsule wardrobes, many trends have emerged in tandem with conscious living. This World Environment Day, we have explored these environment-friendly trends with fashion creators Susmita, Akancha Sharma and Mehr Panchal who are known to be fashion icons without pushing the buttons on the environment. 

SN: How would you define a ‘capsule wardrobe’?

Mehr Panchal: A capsule wardrobe, to me, is a carefully picked collection of essential apparel items that are flexible, timeless, and of excellent quality. It not only makes it easier to choose your everyday outfits, but it also significantly decreases clothing waste!

SN: How practical are capsule wardrobes in a profession like yours which requires multiple outfit changes? How do you manage it?

Susmita: I often get asked how practical a capsule wardrobe really is, especially in a profession that demands multiple outfit changes and staying on top of trends. The key is in the mix-and-match potential of the pieces you choose. 

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Accessories are your best friend! Scarves, jewellery, belts, and bags can completely transform an outfit. I also rotate a few statement pieces that align with the latest trends. This way, my wardrobe stays current, but I’m not constantly buying new items. Sometimes, for special shoots or events, I collaborate with sustainable brands or use rental services. By adopting a capsule wardrobe, I’ve learned to be more intentional and creative with my outfits, and it’s a wonderful way to contribute to a healthier planet!

SN: What are the 5 things that are a must-add to a capsule wardrobe?

Mehr Panchal: As a fashion content creator passionate about sustainability, I’m glad to share five essential items that must add to your capsule wardrobe.

  • White shirt
  •  ⁠A little black dress
  • A quality blazer
  • Classic loafers
  •  ⁠Straight-legged jeans

A capsule wardrobe is all about quality over quantity for me.

SN: For someone who is just starting to build a capsule wardrobe, how would you recommend going about it?

Susmita: Capsule Wardrobe is an amazing way to simplify your life, upgrade your style, and do your bit for the planet. You can start with

  • assessing your wardrobe. 
  • Think about your lifestyle and personal style. 
  • Stick to a cohesive colour scheme. Neutrals like black, white, navy, and beige are great because they mix and match easily. 
  • Opt for sustainable brands or second-hand options.

SN: Thrifting is yet another way of making a difference. How do you ensure you thrift the right pieces and get your hands on more practical outfits?

Akancha Sharma: Yes I have tried thrifting! Thrifting not only helps reduce waste but also lets you find unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that you won’t see everyone else wearing. Plus, it’s budget friendly. Here’s what I have in mind for a successful thrift shopping:

  • Before heading to the thrift store, just know what you’re looking for.
  • Make a list of the types of items you need. This will keep you focused.
  • Even in thrift stores, look for high-quality materials and well-made pieces.
  • Focus on finding versatile pieces that can be styled in multiple ways.
  • Thrifting is like a treasure hunt. Sometimes you’ll find beautiful pieces right away, and other times it might take a few visits. So, be patient!

We are experiencing the repercussions of the abuse we and our ancestors have done to the environment. With every passing day, it only gets worse. However, there is still hope if we collectively do our bit to safeguard our environment. This World Environment Day, let us all pledge to do better for a better tomorrow. After all, the tiniest actions can sometimes yield the biggest results.