The ReFashion Hub: Addressing Sustainability & Water Wastage in Fashion

Seven unique, forward-thinking Indian illustrators and artists collaborate with The ReFashion Hub to create awareness regarding water consumption in fashion, and to ask some pertinent questions in the garb of colorful comic artworks

By: Tripti Jangpangi

Posted on: February 16, 2021

As is known, the fashion industry is one of the major contributors of pollution. More specifically, it has a large appetite for excessive water consumption. For example – producing a single cotton shirt uses up to 3,000 liters of water and a denim jacket takes 7,500 liters - enough drinking water for one person for 6 years! According to the The Indian Sustainability Report 2020, even though 57% of the survey respondents were aware about the concept of sustainability, only 6% were interested in upcycling.

Priyanka Paul The ReFashion Hub

Priyanka Paul for The ReFashion Hub

Therefore young Indian artists like Priyanka Paul, Vinu Joseph, Giggling Monkey, Aditi Mali, Param Sahib and Sonali Bhasin collaborated with The ReFashion Hub to create a series of comic strips to spread awareness about water wastage by fast fashion consumption.

The ReFashion Hub – A Platform to Build on the Sustainability Dialogue 

The ReFashion Hub is an unique organisation that works on long term positive climate impact by waste water reuse and management activities in the textile industry. It was launched on December 10, 2020 by Re: Think, Act, Create. The ReFashion Hub collaborates with 10 thought leaders including Shefalee Vasudev, Nonita Kalra, Pragya Tiwari, Daniel Fernandes and Amrita Puri, in order to explore different themes around Fair Fashion, such as the impact of mental health on fast fashion, the scalability of sustainable fashion in India, etc.

The ReFashion Hub also launched India’s first five week fellowship programme called the “Fashion Forward Fellowship” that aims at waste water stewardship to create sustainable capsule collections. A photo series by photographer Prarthna Singh inspires audiences to rethink fast fashion consumerism versus more fair and sustainable choices. The organisation also continues to promote traditional crafts and support local artisans through its digital textile exhibit Karkhana Chronicles. 

Giggling Monkey The ReFashion Hub

Giggling Monkey for The ReFashion Hub

The ReFashion Hub X Indian Artists 

Organised by The ReFashion Hub and launched on various social media platforms, young Indian artists have been encouraged to take a critical take on fashion industry and their unchecked use of water, in a country where we face immense water scarcity. The project showcases the absurdity of the fast fashion industry, with an intention to sensitise the cause and the responsible decisions that could change the narrative.

Producing a single cotton shirt uses up to 3,000 liters of water and a denim jacket takes 7,500 liters - enough drinking water for one person for 6 years

Divya Thomas from The ReFashion Hub said,"We are delighted to have so many innovative artists and designers join the conversation on The ReFashion Hub. The artist and designer created comics intend to popularise the narrative on the different ways that fashion impacts our lives and the environment around us. By 2050, fashion will become the second largest water polluter. It's imperative for us as consumers, to come together to talk about the consequences of fashion on climate, as well as what each of us can do to make fair fashion choices."​ ​

Manasi Deshpande The ReFashion Hub

Manasi Deshpande for The ReFashion Hub

In a bid to raise awareness, this project asks audiences to question the source of clothes that they wear, and not just the final output. Furthering the thought, the project also aims to examine the damaging impact fast fashion can have on our natural habitats and look to develop solutions to bring about change. 

All the participants are popular social media influencers known for their satirical and quirky take on the society, in their own unique styles, therefore being the right fit for raising awareness.

Priyanka Paul, illustrator and poet with 74.5k loyal followers, makes a statement through her illustrations which brings focus on how buying sustainable, good quality is a better alternative to fashion industry climate issues, and therefore promoting season-less and perpetual clothing options.  

Param Sahib The ReFashion Hub

Param Sahib for The ReFashion Hub

Mehek Malhotra, a designer, visual artist and cofounder of Giggling Monkeys, presents a comic strip brings to light the amount of water that our clothes consume, stating how the Basic Tee is the Basic B for the Planet. Sonali Bhasin’s (cartoonist and illustrator) comic offers an amusing take, as frogs narrate the cause of the loss of their aquatic habitat, each leading to the clothes in her wardrobe.

On the other hand, Manasi Deshpande’s sarcastic comic addresses the issue of greenwashing in the fast fashion industry, quoting “you pay the bill, the environment pays the price.” Aditi Mali questions the desire of buying from fast fashion houses as she writes on her Instagram page that she has pretty much stopped buying new clothes. She explains even though it is difficult to go off fashion, we can make few changes to build a more green fashion wardrobe.

Priyanka Paul The ReFashion Hub

Priyanka Paul for The ReFashion Hub

The maximalist designer and illustrator Param Sahib, known for his quirky label PARAM SAHIB CLOTHING, depicts the world of “I have nothin to wear! I need to buy one more T-shirt” generation and its impact on environment.

And finally Vishnu Joseph, a political satirist, an independent journalist and story teller, creates a short animated film about a dumped trouser pants, narrating its love story to fellow mates; reinforcing the idea that 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year.

Sonali Bhasin The ReFashion Hub

Sonali Bhasin for The ReFashion Hub

There are many lessons to take from these hard-hitting creatives. It’s time we pay heed to these subtle cues, before we lose track of the planet’s health.

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