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The Need Of Ethical Fashion In India.

The Need Of Ethical Fashion In India.



Every year, around 60 million tons of new fibres are used to make our clothes. According to the National Climate Change Journal (2018), the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries of the world and is responsible for 10 % of the annual global carbon emissions, more than what is released by the aviation and shipping industry combined. At this pace, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50 % by 2030, says a UN report.
India is one of the largest textile and apparel producers in the world, supplying to major global brands. But most of it exists in the unorganised sector with little or no regulation control. The industry has the most opaque supply chain. The domestic market consumes more than 40% of the industry’s products.
India, with its large population and cheap labour, is no longer only a sourcing hub but a consumer as well.

The industry employs 38 million people, according to a 2020 report by the US International Trade Commission. Many small and medium-sized organisations have abysmal labor practices with workers treated almost like forced labour. Women form a a major part of the labour force and are paid low wages , provided no facilities and subjected to sexual harassment. There is rampant debt bondage and child labour right from cotton farms to production units.
Consumer spending has increased in India with a burgeoning middle class and more access to capital. The fashion industry has expanded with new fashion trends and ready-mades in machine-made fabrics flooding the market. People have access to a wider variety at cheaper prices.
A UN report says that an average customer is buying 60 percent more clothes than what s/he did around two decades ago. Sadly, the practice of longevity and recycling has been abandoned. More garments are bought, worn for a lesser time and discarded faster in current times..
With many home grown brands coming up, revitalising our cultural heritage and textiles, it is imperative that the people in the industry promote more sustainable practices. Use more organic methods, ingredients and chemicals. 
With climate change a reality rather than a distant future, it becomes doubly important  that the garment industry adopts more sustainable practices and the unorganised sector is brought under greater control and more environmental best practices are promoted and adopted.

About the Author: 

Thasneem Masood, Founder of ROSSBELLE, Author and a Transformational Coach. Having garnered over 12 years of experience in the fashion industry, she chose to launch ROSSBELLE where fashion and sustainability can coexist.She is also the Regional Co-ordinator South for Fashion Revolution India and President of WICCI TN – Handloom council