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Maneka Gandhi inaugurated 'India towards Sustainable Fashion 2020'
Damini Dawar | 23 Feb 2015

Gurgaon's premier fashion institute, Institute of Apparel Management (IAM) organized first of its kind 'India towards Sustainable Fashion 2020' on Saturday at Apparel House, with the aim of promoting sustainable fashion amongst young entrepreneurs in the country.

Fashion industry leaders around the globe gathered for panel discussions, with one goal in mind: sustainability. The event aimed at building sustainability as a short-term & long-term vision of the Indian fashion industry towards raw material to be used in future, new skills & competencies.

"India towards Sustainable Fashion 2020" was an attempt where fashion experts from India and around the world, designers, innovation and sustainability experts came together to be a part of this "New Think-tank" and create awareness amongst industry and the end users to wake up to this serious challenges that has already threatened our world with individual and family health, environment and even results in cruelty to humans and animals. The event was designed to help all of us safeguard our future, protect our environment and improve the lives of end-consumers, workers and suppliers around the world. Sustainable Fashion highlighted the fact that the fashion industry is locked into a cycle of unsustainability - using more and more of the earth's resources and in some cases exploiting cheap labor supplies in return for ever-decreasing profit margins."

The one day event was inaugurated by Maneka Gandhi, Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development, Govt. of India. The event had 3 round table discussions on Sustainable Planet: Role of innovation and technology in responsible manufacturing, supply chain and consumption, High Fashion: Designed for Make in India.

Dr. Darlie Koshy, DG, CEO ATDC and IAM, Rina Dhaka,Mr. Sunil Sethi, President, FDCI and MD's and CEO's of different fashion institutes and industry experts from NIFT, Pearl Fashion Academy, IIT Delhi, Wlamart, Adidas, Body Shop and fashion columnist were part of these panel discussions.

The last digital panel discussion had experts across the globe through Skype/Google hangout on various topics/areas of sustainability. It was attended by the fashion leaders from Italy, New York, Australia, UK and Havard School of Business.

The idea behind this digital panel discussion was to bring the experts from around the world together on one platform and discuss the need of Sustainable fashion and how to take this initiative forward in India and inspire the fashion industry to be a part of this 'Sustainable Fashion 2020' for a better future.

Apart from the panel discussions there were also unique workshops were also organized. ARS - Crafts Workshop: a live workshop of rare and exotic crafts of India which are on the verge of extinction because of industrialization and modernization. The event was aimed to promote the artisans and their invaluable crafts and techniques and help them sustain and survive in globally competitive and fierce market. 

A fashion show with the theme of Sustainability was the highlight of the event where the students of IAM designed and showcased clothes and accessories which were eco friendly. And in the end Sustainable Fashion Awards 2015 were organized to recognize the legends, designers, veterans and eminent professional in the fashion industry who has done tremendous work in the area of sustainable fashion across decades, who have outstanding contribution to crafts of India or to the fashion industry at large. 

Maneka Gandhi, Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development, Govt. of India talked about the event. "Sustainable fashion is the need of the hour. It is not about recycling and reusing but utilizing alternative natural resources and converting it into fabric. Khadi product needs to adopt new technology and come out with trendy designs and patterns."

Dr. Darlie Koshy, DG & CEO, IAM, ATDC also said, "India has got great potential to be one of the largest exporter of Textile. Though we are the second largest producer of Jute, silk and cotton but we are still unable to harness our potential in this arena. Sustainable India 2020 holds many crucial challenges for the global fashion industry with changing geography of production, falling prices and intrinsic values, climate and demographic changes, new technologies, and paradigm shift in theglobal economy. India is a global economy. Sustainability should be seen in a context. It is important to understand the context and geographical locations so that different modules can be developed for everybody. Reducing consumption is not the way for reaching sustainability in fashion. Sustainable fashion has to be taken as an approach. Tendencies of over shopping should be avoided."