The roots of fashion are deep and pervasive. Before you scoff this off, keep in mind the iconic dialogue of Miranda Priestly, “…that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of ‘stuff’.” No matter how far you think you have distanced from fashion you are really not that far.
Fashion is an irreplaceable factor in the evolution of culture and lifestyle. This is why the impact that fashion can make is always under scrutiny. Recently, fast fashion retailers have come under fire from environmental campaigners for encouraging a market that sees around 300,000 tonnes of clothes dumped in UK landfills each year.
A small consolation is that under the guidance of French president Emmanuel Macron at the recent G7 summit in Biarritz, 32 fashion companies signed a “fashion pact” to emphasize sustainability in the industry. These included some of the largest luxury brands in the market – Chanel, Ralph Lauren, and Prada – as well as “fast fashion” producers, including H&M Group and Zara.
According to a United Nations study, the fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, 20% of all wastewater, and consumes more energy than the airline and shipping industries combined. With clothing production expected to hit 102 million tonnes a year by 2030, sustainability efforts need to accelerate to avoid even more strain being placed on the world’s resources. Add to this the fact that red carpet (and several other ‘carpet’) looks are rarely ever repeated, until recently, the magnitude of fabric waste leaves one stumped.
Although industrial czars have taken steps to change this dismal situation, the onus lies on young aspiring couturiers to take the front lead. They are the ones who are better capable of inventing ways in which sustainability and high fashion can be weaved together to design the spectacular fabric of tomorrow. Thus, it becomes ever more crucial to identify those fashion and design institutions that are capable of guiding and shaping young fashionistas.
In this issue of Higher Education Digest, we have buttoned down a couple of institutes that have proved its mettle. We present, with the help of our advisory panel consisting of senior academicians and practicing industry professionals, a list of “10 Must Watch Fashion & Design Institutes in India”.
We hope the names listed here will continue to be game-changers and bring together a community that can not only dazzle the runway but also take care of the environment.