Designers who have a passion for creating a
world where garments have a clean and positive story to tell are set to
converge Down Under from November 23 - 27, 2017 for the inaugural Eco
Fashion Week Australia (EFWA). Park of the eco mindset and mandate is a
"zero-waste" policy for most eco designers. Well-known Indian
designer, Shravan Kumar says he's looking forward to raising consumer
awareness in this area and feels draping is one of the best ways to
achieve material usage.
EFWA writer, Marilyn Wilson asks Kumar about his upcoming appearance at Eco
Fashion Week Australia this November...
What drew you to become a fashion designer?
I think I was destined to become a fashion designer. I am honoured to share through my work as a designer about India textiles – what goes into weaving an Indian fabric and how organic, how pure and how Eco friendly these textiles are. Back when I started, people didn’t know what sustainability was, what Eco friendly meant or what biodegradable products were. Even back then India was producing all this. The amazing textiles in India as well as the nature around me also inspired me to become a designer.
As well, seeing the people around me in India struggling also was a factor. I don’t think I could have become anything other than a fashion designer – not a chef and not a doctor which was my game plan B and C. My business is supported through the hard work of over 100 families. They are the reason for my existence. They are the reason for my peace. They are the reason for my identity.
Why was it important to you to offer a sustainable, responsible, Eco fashion line and how do you incorporate ideals such a Zero Waste into your work?
To raise consumer awareness in relation to sustainable fashion. Its impact to reduce global warming. Natural dyed organic fabrics positive effect on every individual health. When it come to zero wastage understanding textile dimensions and carefully arranging patterns like a jigsaw puzzle to for maximum fabric usage with zero wastage without compromising on style. Draping is another best way to achieve zero wastage approach.
Where do you find inspiration for new work?
This time i am drawing inspiration from the remarkable homes of Chettinad. The grandeur and fine details of the mansions. This collection covers all aspects of Chettiar community culture, heritage and lifestyle houses over the past 150 years. It serve as an visual interpretation to the unique Architecture of Chettinad.
What materials do you work with – organic, reclaimed, etc.?
This season I am working with certified organic cotton fabric for silhouettes, natural colour dyed yarns and wooden beads for surface ornamentation. What are the biggest challenges you face as a sustainable designer?
Zero wastage approach towards designs without compromising on styles, minimal seam construction, multi-functional and longevity.
How do you help customers understand the higher cost of sustainable garments when they are so inundated with sweat shop-produced cheap merchandise?
By showing various steps involved in making the final product will certainly educate the customer. I’m working on this process, making a fashion film which shows the entire process involved in farm-fibre-fabric-fashion keeping sustainability concept in mind. What can we look forward to seeing on the runway at Eco Fashion Week Australia?
A complete visual treat to the viewer on different dimensions of sustainable fashion.
How do you incorporate sustainable living in other areas of your life?
By using reusable items involved in day to day life, giving minimalistic approach for materialistic possessions which creates clutter in life. Using organically grown foods. Anything else you would like readers to know?
I am hoping it will create awareness about sustainable fashion on platforms like this will have more reach.