RENASCENCE

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With Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement on Climate change the world has gained perspective of what’s really going on. It’s great to see people coming out in support of an issue that not only affects us but generations to come but the bigger question remains- is support enough? Is putting a status cursing Donald Trump enough?Is venting out on the streets of New York in protest enough?

We’ve reached a point where we no longer have the luxury to ignore climate change as a “Chinese Hoax”. The ice caps are melting, the temperatures are rising rapidly, the air is laced with pollution and we still want to turn a blind eye to it all. Well not anymore, it’s time we wake up from this slumber and face reality. They say ignorance is bliss but at what cost? How far will we let our egos and pride come in between doing what’s right.

Fashion, in general is seen as a superficial commodity- recognised only for it’s face value. There is so much more to fashion than what meets the eye. It may come as a surprise to you but fashion is a major contributor to global warming.When we think of pollution, we envision coal power plants, strip-mined mountaintops and raw sewage piped into our waterways. We don’t often think of the shirts on our backs. But the overall impact the apparel industry has on our planet is quite grim. It can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton; equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans.

Even with the situation this severe there is still hope for all of , it’s not too late to make the right changes and stop seeing fashion as a disposable commodity. My collaboration with Nirjara comes at a great time because it shows how people are moving in the right direction to help solve a problem that will haunt us all.

From ill-fitted tunics and kaftans to loosely-carried tops and scarves, Iha by Nirjara drapes endless moods and classic eras in its splendid layers and crude motifs. The sustainability of ecological printing and sensuousness of minimal designs not only highlight the functional aspects of silhouettes, but also celebrate the unique identity and effortless style of the wearer. Purposefully rooted in the little nuances of nature yet abreast with the experimental spirit, Iha truly validates its Sanskrit connotation, desirably natural, in more ways than one!

The ritual begins with gathering of fallen leaves/flowers adorning earthy tones which are soaked in water to yield an organic look-and-feel to the silhouettes. The misty leaves/flowers are then laid out on wet silk in a haphazard manner in order to grant a unique design every time. After being firmly blanketed with another piece of tender silk, the mixture is seamlessly rolled along and tied to a long cylindrical rod and boiled in a steamer for few hours to allow the colours and prints to blend with silk. In the solitude of the night, the raw pigments and artistic motifs weave their magic onto the fabric. What awaits in the morning is a scintillating amalgamation of pigments, motifs, and textures on silk when the leaves/flowers are separated from the mixture. The beauty of ecological printing lies in the randomness of colours and designs that meet the eye everytime. Though a highly intricate process, it always leaves you with a surprise and a distinctive style.

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Nirjara literally translates into -“ one of the seven fundamental principles, or Tattva in Jain philosophy, and refers to the shedding or removal of accumulated karmas from the atma (soul), essential for breaking free from samsara, the cycle of birth-death and rebirth, by achieving moksha, liberation.” Their brand is about making sustainable fashion seem and feel luxurious and I think they’ve knocked it out of the park when it comes to that. 

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Photo by Gorkey Patwal | Piyush Gwari | Prateek Verma

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