I subscribe to the Business of Fashion Podcast and the latest episode really interested me. Sadhguru is pushing for the use of sustainable and natural textiles in the fashion industry. He founded the international non-profit Isha Foundation and has campaigned for a host of socioeconomic issues in India and beyond.
The podcast explores how reviving Indian textiles can help to address the fashion industry’s sustainability problem.
As a part of New York fashion week, Sadhguru worked with designers to create designs using Indian traditional textiles many of which are under threat or about to go extinct. I didn’t realise that there are 136 distinct weaves from India; however, alarmingly 60 are nearly extinct. I believe that this collaboration will positively expose this material to the designers and consumers and make them aware of the many different looks that could be created using these methods.
There needs to be a move towards natural fibres, both for health and ethnological purposes. Sadhguru argued that wearing synthetic fibres can cause damage to our systems and could be the cause of disease. I was shocked by the amount of plastic in our bodies; on average 28g of plastic can be found in American bodies, both from textiles and food.
The podcast made the think about textile crafts in a different way – I am now more aware of the tradition of creating these textiles, many of which have been passed down from generation to generation. It is not just about how much we consume, but the issue also lies with the livelihoods of the textile makers who are presently struggling to compete in the fast fashion arena.
This conversation seems a timely one for me, I have since discovered it is the 150 year anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi; the Father of this great nation. I am going to research further into the extinction of Indian fabrics and also have a look at how many designers have shifted back to using natural fibres over the last couple of years.