Actress Evelyn Sharma Wants Us To Be More Responsible With Our Clothes. Here’s How She Does It And You Can Too
A closer look at our parents’ fashion practices reveals how ethical they were in their buying behaviour. As a second child born just over a year after my big sister, I was bequeathed all of her clothes, hats, some and shoes, and one Ladybird bicycle. As families with limited means in the 90s, we all know how to reuse things till they disintegrate down to threads. While this habit has been the subject of countless “Deso Moms Be Like…” memes, the lessons we learned from our parents serve us well in today’s times.
Clothing is a very integral part of our life. We all know about the “dress to impress” tripe, but it is indeed true. The way we approach our clothing has a huge impact on our lives and the environment. While how fashion affects one individually is subjective, its effects on mother Earth are common across the board. Fashion is one of the top polluting industries in the world, after electricity, heat, agriculture and road transportation. So obviously we are doing something wrong
Addressing on part of the problem, Bollywood actress and responsible fashion activist Evelyn Sharma gave her take on the toxic buying cycle we as young people can get stuck in. In a quick chat about her initiative Seams For Dreams, we learn Evelyn’s way of being more mindful of your clothing and becoming a responsible shopper!
How To Be A Responsible Shopper
“I believe second-hand clothing is the future of fashion. It’s cool to shop at vintage stores, where you can spot someone’s grandmas dress from the 20s!” chirped Evelyn while talking about her biggest approach to reusing garments. This is especially good for high-end quality clothes that are classic pieces that are can be resold in great condition.
The Saaho actress’s solution to cut down in waste is simple… Recycle, reuse and upcycle. Your existing clothes, which you might throw away, can also be repurposed for something else, re- fibered (pure blends like cotton), put into pillowcases, mattresses, and much else. These clothes can also work as raw materials for other designs. I mean, who hasn’t used their mom’s old sarees to turn into kurtas? Yup, that’s smart and good for the environment.
Evelyn also recommends buying local. Pay attention to the quality of the garments, know the story behind them, get them stitched and designed in your neighbourhood and promote local designers. The lesser your clothes have traveled around to be produced, the better. This can help reduce one’s carbon footprint overall. She also recommends keeping your wardrobe versatile with solid colours so you do not have to buy complementing pieces again and again.
The Inspiration For Evelyn’s Shift In Perception
If you are wondering how a successful actress avoids the temptation to indulge in an expensive wardrobe, the reasons are multifold. Inspired by her big closet and overwhelmed with the amount of money spent on buying the new trend every 3 weeks, Evelyn gave up. The habit is unhealthy for our pockets, the money being much better off when invested in making informed decisions on how to shop.
A big component of fashion’s ill effects on the environment is the dumping of clothes in landfills. Today, less than 20% of clothes are recycled because most of the things we wear are blends, which when stuck in landfills will take a long time to decompose. This is in addition to fashion being designed to fall apart in 3 months, in colours that won’t match the next collection, making us buy more.
The need of the hour seems to be to inform people of the details of fast fashion and we are already feeling inspired.
The Vision And Mission Of Seams For Dreams
Evelyn also sheds light on the innovative way her initiative Seams For Dreams works for sustainability in fashion. They promote reuse, recycling and upcycling of clothing. The clothes donated to them are segregated to three piles:
- Appropriate clothing: Jeans, t-shirts kurtas, pajamas, sarees in good condition that can be donated to less-resourced communities of India in need of clothing.
- Scrap clothes: Damaged clothes or fabrics which can be upcycled and recycled to their fashion line, which works with fashion students to create new fashion.
- High-End fashion: Clothing donated by the film and fashion industry, high-end designers, red carpet gowns, movie costumes, lehengas, and much else. The money raised from these pieces is used for fundraising events, operations, outreach projects to distribute the clothes, awareness projects to create responsible behaviour in fashion at the consumer and production side.
With annual garage sales of high-end clothes (this year it’s on 14th December at Olive Bar & Kitchen, Bandra) focused on collecting donations and raising funds, their business model is self-sustained. They also hope to inspire new businesses to start their own reseller initiatives, in order to spread the message of wholesome fashion.
So, got extra clothes at home? Wash them, fold them, pack in a bins and call up the good people at SFD to schedule a pickup. Or just head to their garage sale, you might end up with a designer outfit in throwaway prices!
ALSO READ: 7 Vegan Shoe Brands For The Ethical Shopper
We certainly can’t wait to be part of their mission. Are you in?