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“What we wear will change the way we live.” - Professors Helen Storey and Tony Ryan
The convergence between practicality and fashion isn’t always compelling. One can say that the outcome will lean towards comfort and utility. But seeing the alarm clock ringing on health risks due to rising air pollution, it’s unavoidable for the fashion industry to not pay attention to it.
If you have been thinking that pollution has nothing to do with the clothes you wear, get ready to change your opinion. It has its share in polluting the environment. However, with the measures the industry is taking to improve the situation, we can hope for a positive change on a mass level. Here are a few initiatives that are appreciable and you should know about them for better results.
With the increase in technology, we understand that fashionable clothing is just a click away from you. Multiple designers and brands all over the world are attempting to invest in environment-friendly designs and fabrics. Brands such as Levi’s, Stella McCartney, péro by Aneeth Arora, Anokhi, Doodlage and No Nasties are championing the cause.
1. One of the most effective ways has been recycling your clothes instead of throwing them. Take good care of your less-worn outfits such as occasion wear, formals and maternity clothes. It will give you an option to resell them at a second hand retailer shop. Share them with a friend or someone who needs them. It’ll help in reducing both, wastage and consumption.
2. Shop the good-quality clothes that will stand the test-of-time. While some think that purchasing from good brands who encourage better fabrics is an expensive option, you must know that it’s always a profitable investment to buy good quality. If you are a typical fashion-girl, buy styles that keep coming back in trend.
3. Getting onboard for sustainable materials is the best. What makes a textile sustainable? They have good quality production practices and are respectful towards the worker’s rights. They come from renewable sources and encourage waste reduction. Go for organic, eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, industrial hemp and soy cashmere. Many such materials are popping up in the industry - for example, pineapple byproducts are being used to create a fabric that has a leather-like texture.
China is a few steps ahead of India in both population and pollution. So, it makes sense that they began taking care of the issue much before on their runways as well. While people wearing face masks isn’t uncommon in most of the Asian countries, they still don’t blend in with the look, which demotivates people from wearing them. And they end up shifting to a cheap rectangle disposable mask which is in some cases, is useless.
Designers like Qiaodan Yin Peng and ILOVECHOC Wei Chao at China Fashion Week have been presenting their collection with well-designed masks since a while now. It was a prominent trend in 2014.
A few months back, urban breathing mask by the Swedish company Airinum was introduced with an agenda of promoting air masks. The market for more attractive, effective and pricier masks has risen.
Designer Wang Zhijun has been in the headlines for creating upscale designer versions of these masks and make them more relatable to fashion. In fact, last year Designer Manish Arora designed an actionable range of respiratory masks with nitrogen filter for Vogmask, a California based international brand. While as humans we try to curb, delay and stop the consequences of lung-choking smog problem, this is the temporary solution we’ve got.
POPxo Recommends: Airinum Urban Air Mask (Rs 5,530), Butterfly Manish Arora Design N99 CV Single Valve Vogmask (Rs 2,500), Chakra N99CV Single Valve Vogmask (Rs 2,000)
Professors Helen Storey and Tony Ryan, founders of Catalytic Clothing believe that it is possible to purify the toxic air through the outfits we wear. This artist and scientist duo has managed to develop a fabric that is capable of filtering the air around it and can be used for clothes, interiors and installations. “We will purify the air we breathe as we move,” the duo promises in a video shared on their site.
The key: Titanium dioxide that’s added to the fabric neutralises harmful pollutants around it, when exposed to light and air. Later, the toxin simply wash away when the fabric is tossed in the laundry.
Need of The Hour: To see the impact, a huge number of population needs to wear the treated clothing.
Work in Progress: Since the inception of this purifying formula, it was turned into a spray-on and now, is being developed as a laundry additive. Soon, more fashion designers will be able to use it, conveniently.
Kudos to the duo, who are putting technology to good use.
We are certain, with collaborative efforts, we can improve the situation. The process is slow but steady.