sustainable fashion – A Conscious Effort towards mindful fashion consumption and living

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Saachi Bahl talks to The Telehraph about sustainability and how it can be incorporated by producers and consumers for a better world



Anannya Sarkar

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Published 21.04.22, 03:52 AM


The fifth edition of the recently concluded #ConsciousEffort conclave saw an interesting series of talks, a design show and a challenge on the sidelines — all with the objective to create and consume mindfully. Founded by Saachi Bahl who is an entrepreneur, a sustainability consultant and author of My Classic Closet, #ConsciousEffort  sees a mindfully curated showcase comprising top conscious luxury brands coming together to educate and learn how to up the ante when it comes to sustainability. This year saw a important discussion featuring Anita Dongre and her son Yash and a design show featuring names such as Anju Modi, Péro, Akaaro, Nicobar, November Noon, Oushk, Tahweave, Twenty Nine, Aakriti & Sukriti, The House of Aara, Gazal Mishra, Kiaayo, A.Diety and Shoonyam. More in the words of Saachi, who is founder, Saahra & Conscious Effort Series:

With conversation already having started about conscious fashion and sustainability, which are the roadblocks in that context that need to be addressed in 2022?

Globally, governments and world-leaders alike are putting serious emphasis on sustainability. From New York planning to pass a ‘Fashion Sustainability & Social Accountability Act’ to advocacy portals like Global Fashion Agenda or closer home, my circular fashion platform, #ConsciousEffort — the subject is finally garnering serious eyeballs. In my view, 2022 is a year not of roadblock, but of great opportunity. One of the opportunities, I believe, we need to emphasise on in 2022, that’s also the theme of the #ConsciousEffort Conclave & Design Show I hosted on April 9 at The Imperial, New Delhi is ‘Sustainability & Impact Leadership’. The industry needs to reassess its carbon and social impact. Leaders at the fore must take the role of being change-makers and they need to transparently address how they are balancing planet, people and profit.

Accessibility to sustainable fashion — both in terms of awareness and economics — have been a major concern since the beginning. How do you think these two issues could be tackled?

Awareness on sustainable fashion is still quite nascent, but the only way to do it is in the way we do it at #ConsciousEffort — we educate, engage and empower people. #ConsciousEffort is perhaps one of the only independent platforms with an advocacy-cum-retail immersive experience where people can shop conscious fashion, learn about sustainability in fashion and meet the change-makers. For lasting change, I believe we need to go out to educate the end-consumer and give them a better alternative. In terms of “economics”, how can we compare a fairly made product with another? A product made with ethical standard and using high-quality materials will come with a premium.

Tell us a little about this year’s programming for your conclave?

This year the Conclave and Design Show had some of the biggest names in fashion. Anita Dongre and Yash Dongre shared their story of ‘Building a Fashion Empire with Craft, Community & Sustainability’. Simultaneously, shoppers could shop all day from exhibiting brands at the venue, where we presented a stellar curation of approximately 20 brands across fashion, beauty and lifestyle that are aligned with the philosophy of creating mindfully. Some wonderful artisanal brands working on craft revivalism like Anju Modi, Gaurav Jai Gupta, Péro, Nicobar and more were exhibiting at the show.

In terms of the Clean Tech challenge, what are some things that this conclave has highlighted in the past and which are the new things we can look forward to?

For the first time this year, we ran the #ConsciousEffort Clean-Tech Challenge powered by GoDaddy to felicitate change-makers and innovators using technology to solve climate and environmental concerns. Each year we focus on a diverse set of areas. In the past, we have addressed defining sustainability, worker welfare, craft revivalism and as the industry rapidly changes, we are deeply interested in empowering innovators using technology to find answers to waste management, recycling to new materials.

Personally, what have your biggest learnings been from organising this conclave for so many years? How do you imbibe that in the making of #ConsciousEffort?

Being conscious and responsible is a journey that both consumers and producers need to recognise and collectively work towards to create a better world. For me, like every one, new ideas and thought processes are sparked through these interactions. There are some incredible brands doing incredible work. We have grown by leaps and bounds and will continue to create an inclusive conscious community built on the philosophy of empowering people to “do the best you can and when you know better, do better.”

Pictures: Courtesy of Conscious Effort



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