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Introducing the WGSN Future Makers: Chetna Sinha

The Future Makers Mentorship Programme

Back in July, we launched and opened applications for the WGSN Future Makers programme, offering mentoring by the WGSN team to individuals around the globe. What was initially 10 spots across North and Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and Middle East became a bigger family. Following an overwhelming response from our community, we are happy to have 26 Future Makers on board with us.

Introducing the WGSN Future Makers: Chetna Sinha

If you’ve been following the series, you will have already met Raeesa, Sashenka and Jas, who have shared the stories that led them to be part of the mentorship programme. Inspired by a sustainable fashion future, fabric technology and traditional craft, we’re proud to introduce WGSN Future Maker Chetna Sinha, a fashion designer based in Haryana, India.

Firstly, we’d love to get to know a bit more about you. What’s your background in design?

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. 

Have you always been interested in fashion?

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.

What has been driving you, from school through university and into 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.

Is there a favourite project you’ve worked on so far?

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.

What do you think your mentor can learn from you?

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.

Keep your eyes peeled as we reveal more WGSN Future Makers over the coming weeks, here on WGSN Insider. Can’t wait? Get to know other Future Makers.

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