The fashion industry is one of the largest pollution causing sector. It accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the world’s industrial water pollution. Such environmental impacts made fashion designer, Purvi Doshi to look for ways to make fashion ‘more eco-friendly’ and to adopt a ‘sustainable’ module. Known for her label, ‘Purvi Doshi’, the 45-year-old has become an advocate to promote ‘sustainable fashion’ through her brand, offering opportunities to local tailors from remote villages. In a chat with NewsToday, Purvi talks about her journey, her creative process and her latest spring-summer 2019 collection.
1) What inspired you to dive into the world of fashion?
Being born to a humble family, self-reliance and independence became integral parts of my personality. The designer in me was born at the age of 18 when I dumped the tailors who stitched my clothes and decided to stitch a garment for myself, which made me so happy and content when I wore it.
Each time I walked the college corridors wearing the garment designed and stitched by me, I felt no less than a showstopper. With appreciation pouring from friends, I decided to make more outfits.
2) Walk us through how you start working on a design and until the final result – a stitched dress.
The whole production cycle becomes a hurdle at times as the process is slow – a single garment takes three-six months to get ready with hand-embroidered work being done in the remote Indian villages. We start with our design inspirations first and we start developing our fabrics which are hand spun and hand woven.
Then we develop our natural dyes in remote villages near Kutch, after which we get our designs printed on fabric. We deal with different type of hand embroideries which happens in villages across India. These embroideries take one-two months for the process and post that, it comes back to us where we stitch it and get the whole dress ready.
3) Where do you find ideas/motivation while working on a project?
Our major source of inspiration is from different art forms, cultures and traditions of India and other countries. Most of our designs are inspired by cultures and tribes.
4) You have embraced eco-friendly and sustainability as a vital work theme. Do tell us why is it important to expand this field of fashion and tell us about its benefits.
In today’s time, one of the most pressing issue’s our world is facing is environmental degradation. As we face climatic changes, pollution and water shortages with oceans filled with garbage, we look at our very own fashion industry, that has been touted as one of most environmentally destructive industries.
So change is necessary, changing for the better – with people who love fashion as much as they love their planet! With any new thing, there are two sides, its pros, and cons. Yes, there are a lot of cons and challenges that you face if you work on sustainable fashion but there are a lot of pros too. Like you create less water pollution while working with natural dyes which are non-carcinogenic. So you basically don’t harm any living being or the environment. You also work with a lot of hands, so you generate a lot of employment in the country.
5) Do suggest ways how ‘sustainable fashion’ be adopted by people without burning a hole in their wallets. Also, how do fashion designers in this segment thrive financially?
The whole process is a time consuming and involves a lot of hands, so yes the cost increases definitely. But there are ways of adopting sustainable fashion like ‘capsule wardrobe’ wherein you have a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion. So basically you choose well and buy less.
Also, my fashion includes things which are timeless, and the pieces can be passed on from one generation to another. We educate our customers regarding the advantages of the cloth. They don’t harm your skin, mother earth or any other living being. We convey our motto, ‘Looking fabulous should also feel great’. Customers are also well aware of eco-friendly products. They also want to buy what is right for them and for environment.
6) Share us about your latest spring summer 2019. What makes them unique?
Our SS 2019 collection ‘Marine Runway’ includes handcrafted garments which express the mysterious tales of aquatic animals in exquisite shades of ivory. The shades depict peace and calmness that lies beneath the water. Our collection is dedicated to PETA India’s ‘Fish in Tanks? No, Thanks!’ campaign. Together with PETA India, we express our support towards marine life through our collection.
Marine Runway is a collection of hand spun and hand woven khadi and cotton Kota showcasing many species of aquatic animals like gigantic octopus, quaint sea horse, playful penguins, and shining and glowing fishes. Air-whipped asymmetrical silhouettes, crisp pleats embellished with hand Parsi embroideries and artisanal tassels, carry soft, fluffy tales of a sustainable and ethical future where no fishes are in tanks.