22 hours ago | By WGSN Insider
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I graduated in fashion design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Hyderabad, India, and currently work as a womenswear designer with an export house in Faridabad, Haryana, India.
I am really passionate about learning how sustainable fashion works, while a lot of people today use sustainability for their own benefits, I believe it’s not a purpose until you share & pass it on. During lockdown, I’ve read about a lot of Fibres and fabrics made from lotus roots, milk fibres, banana leaves, bamboo shoot, orange peel, pineapple leather, mycelium from mushrooms, grape skin etc, which are not only biodegradable but also healthy for our skin. These have been developed over years for the better and I want to strive to spread and use all of this in any way I can for a Sustainable Future.
When I was in high school, my class teacher asked about our life goals. While some wanted to be doctors and engineers, I stood up and said “I want to become a designer”. I was confident then; I am more confident now and I love my work.
There have been ample moments in my life when people ask me to stop, or they felt I would not be able to design or sustain in this field. I look back to the day when I used to lie in bed and throw up due to my chemotherapy session and I feel I have already passed the biggest hurdle. That drives me and I don’t want anything to stop me. I am my biggest inspiration, even being exhausted won’t stop me. The challenges that come my way, I treat as opportunities. I’m determined to learn something new at every step of the journey. This has not only helped me gain immense trust towards myself, but also taught me to be very grounded and humble.
When I was in college, I worked on a project involving an Indian handloom, the Warangal Durries. The name comes from Warangal, a very small town in Telangana, India, and ‘durrie’, a rug. I studied this traditional craft, weaving with the Warangal Durries, to develop fabrics that were equal to the weight of 6-ounce denim so they could be used for garments. I then used natural dyes and denim washes to create a lookalike denim from an Indian handloom. I am particularly proud of this project as I was able to bring out an Indian craft from a very small scale to a larger view.
Since we belong to two completely different cultures and places, I will be able to share a lot about my experience of living in India; the beauties, the craftsmanship, the society, the good as well as the bad and how things here are so different. I am glad we will be able to share bits of our cultures, which is something I am so looking forward to.
Chetna is mentored by Liv Barnes, Materials, Knit & Textiles Analyst at WGSN, based in London, England. Liv is passionate about sustainability and believes material innovation, creative thinking and conscious production are integral to a more sustainable future.
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