Pooja Khanna: Promoting Sustainability In Fashion Industry
While our living standards are rising high, conditions for healthy living are drifting away as the earth suffocates under the weight of pollution. The concept of ‘fast and more’ introduced by technology is the biggest reason behind the ever-increasing pollution. For instance how many of us actually stop to think about the kind of damage something as everyday as clothes may be doing to our environment? Many textile industries dump untreated chemicals into the water bodies, amounting for major water pollution.
So what is the cure to this? The answer is sustainable living. Adopting sustainable methods can help improve the ecological scenario that we humans have worsened with our unethical actions. Sustainability in fashion can be achieved by discarding pollutants involved in the production and manufacturing of clothes. A number of fashion brands are hence coming forward with sustainable products that are manufactured using eco-friendly methods. One of them is Venn Clothing. SheThePeople.TV spoke to its founder Pooja Khanna about sustainability in fashion and how her brand is promoting the same. Here’s what she says:
How do we as a people respond to sustainability?
Awareness about protecting the environment is gradually increasing however sustainability is still a new concept for most people. While this awareness has started playing a part in the choices consumers are making, convenience is still the overpowering factor when it comes to purchases. So while the consumer might be against the use of plastic and may not want to use plastic water bottles; at the time she is thirsty in a market, the determining factor of purchase would be the closest shop and not the glass bottle.
Sustainable fashion is the need of the hour. Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. As businesses, we have the responsibility to educate the consumer about the ill effects of fashion and what they can do to prevent these.
What must be done to raise awareness about sustainability in fashion?
Sustainable fashion is the need of the hour. Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. As businesses, we have the responsibility to educate the consumer about the ill effects of fashion and what they can do to prevent these. The fashion industry is perhaps one of the greatest examples of marketing where we convince people across the globe to buy a certain trend in a certain year. We now need to use that platform to raise awareness of the damage that has been done and the steps we need to now take. We need more publications talking about brands who are taking steps in this direction. Initiatives like clothes swapping, up-cycling and recycling need to be promoted.
What have been the challenges of educating the customer about the concept?
As a sustainable company, we are trying to bring a massive change in behavior which is a long and hard road. We have environmentally aware customers but not many would consider actual details like how the cotton is grown or what chemicals are being used in the dyes. Today everyone is so busy in their lives that getting their attention to educating them about the concept is perhaps the biggest challenge.
Women need to start building strong support systems for themselves both professionally and personally so they are able to achieve the goals they set out to.
What is the resistance-either price or the concept, that is faced?
There is no such resistance from the customer towards sustainable products. Fast fashion has taught customers to look for the cheapest item without actually considering the value of the product on the environment or even its longevity. Breaking that mindset is the hardest.
As a woman entrepreneur, do you think there are specific mind blocks that hold women back? How did you tackle them?
Woman have started to take a lot more initiative when it comes to professional life and are taking leadership roles in companies. While professionally their roles are evolving, their traditional role of managing the household and family is not diluted. Women are still expected to take the lead when it comes to home and family. Managing both becomes a challenge for most women and that tends to hold them back. Employers need to create support systems at the workplace that slowly enables women to take up larger roles professionally. Having my priorities defined has largely helped me.
What advice would you like to share with the budding women entrepreneurs?
The only advice that I would give is that, it’s time that we stop categorizing this as women entrepreneurship, and call this entrepreneurship. Women need to start building strong support systems for themselves both professionally and personally so they are able to achieve the goals they set out to.