New Delhi [India], June 5 : In today's time, when less is more in terms of the number of clothes we have, fashion designer Anita Dongre stresses on the importance of 'sustainable consumption'.
"For me, the keywords this World Environment Day would be sustainable consumption. All our buying actions must be accompanied by questions such as- Do I need this? Do I need ALL of this? Is there a greener alternative to this?," said Anita.
To promote sustainable fashion and out of the need to provide steady opportunities to India's skilled artisan communities for translating heirloom traditions from the heart of Indian villages into contemporary fashion, Anita Dongre came up with Grassroot.
Through Grassroot, she collaborates with independent artisans and NGOs across India to empower artisans with fair wages and pride, helping create better livelihoods.
"I have spent a significant amount of time on the road with my Grassroot team, traveling to the heart of Indian villages.
In our attempt to discover the heirloom traditions from the most remote villages of India, we discovered a way of life so simple (and) sustainable, it has begun to seem to me like the best way to live," says Anita.
Adding, "At Grassroot, all our clothes are created using raw materials and traditional processes which do not harm the environment, while also causing a direct positive impact the artisans who handcraft it.
My travels to the artisans' villages have taught me how little people can live with and thrive with. Start small, but we must start." She works with artisans in rural India to bring employment back, and reverse the effects of labour migration by embracing design that is good and craft traditions that go back generations.
The villages that give birth to these crafts, also influence the collections themselves. The powdery blue of the Narmada River, the pink of a sunset in the Thaar desert or the rich whites and creams of Kutch; Grassroot's colour palate derives heavily from the myriad hues of nature.
Natural dyes like indigo, madder red and charcoal black find their way into this collection, reminiscent of tribal Indian traditions.
Through embroidery, we see the birds, flowers and leaves that have lived in these villages longer than people have.
This curation of Indian craft stories presents easy breezy styles for easy breezy days. Handwoven fabrics, adorned with traditional handcraft, are seen in a truly universal light, as new silhouettes and fresh design with a global appeal take centre-stage.