India Emerges as a Leader in Sustainable Fashion

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India Emerges as a Leader in Sustainable Fashion at BRICS+ Summit

| Updated: December 17, 2023 16:01

India Emerges as a Leader in Sustainable Fashion

In a time of political turbulence, soft power, exercised through cultural, scientific, and sporting interactions, is emerging as a significant diplomatic tool. Fashion, a language transcending linguistic barriers, effectively embodies this soft power, reflecting national identities. India’s rich cultural heritage, vast manufacturing capacity and modern technological know-how are coming together to produce some of the most exciting fashion innovations.

Last week’s BRICS+ Fashion Summit in Moscow brought together over 200 fashion players from 60 countries. The event facilitated global discussions on sustainable practices and ethical sourcing, facilitating collaboration across continents—and the Indian delegation was by far the biggest at the Summit.

The BRICS+ alliance aims to tap into this power, reshaping the fashion industry’s economics and establishing ethical norms. The alliance underscores the need for a holistic evolution of fashion, aligned with humane principles.

Fusing Cultural Identity and Sustainable Practices in Global Fashion Industry

Far from being a conventional business symposium, the summit metamorphosed into a dynamic fusion of global creative expression. In a departure from traditional panel discussions, the event offered an entertaining spectacle with the runway serving as an artistic platform for renowned personalities such as Chen Yuy from China and David Tlale from South Africa. The vibrant colors of India breathed life into this global tapestry, with designers Shruti Sancheti, Gaurav Khanijo, Naushad Ali, and Ritesh Kumar joining the fray. And let us not forget the enchanting collection by Alena Akhmadullina, which whimsically narrated Russian fairy tales.

India, China, and Russia are emerging as key players in the fashion industry, forging closer business relationships with countries attending the summit. China’s shopaholic reputation and being a lucrative market for luxury goods, combined with Russia’s presence in the global consumer market, create a formidable alliance when combined with India’s thriving manufacturing sector. Notably, the summit attracted participants from countries such as Egypt, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia, further enhancing its international appeal.

The summit epitomized the entire spectrum of the fashion industry, featuring over 60 sessions, 14 fashion shows, an intensive program for novice designers, a B2B showroom, the World Fashion Shorts festival, and much more. India played a pivotal role in this international event, fielding a highly representative delegation of over 50 members, armed with an ambitious vision for promoting sustainable fashion.

Unveiling India’s Finest Heritage in Fashion: The Showcase

Under the astute leadership of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), chaired by Sunil Sethi, and supported by board member Paras Baroliya, the Indian delegation orchestrated a captivating show that celebrated handloom and native craft techniques. Ritesh Kumar showcased an Autumn/Winter collection infused with designs crafted from hand woven merino wool, quilted hand-spun khadi, and pure silk. Gaurav Khanijo added an Indian touch by adorning models with aalta and ghungroo, while Naushad Ali masterfully captured the nation’s identity using textiles that incorporated block printing from Jaipur and handwoven fine silk, cotton, linen, and denim from Bengal.

In the front row, fashion enthusiasts from around the globe eagerly absorbed and discussed the runway spectacle. Among them, Shruti Sancheti’s showcase garnered significant attention. The designer, known for her emphasis on sustainability, presented a versatile, season-fluid collection where every fabric bore the mark of painstaking craftsmanship and intricate embroidery.

Shruti Sancheti had previously immersed herself in Russian culture and heritage, which is renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship. In 2018, she paid tribute to this rich legacy with a show titled “Anastasia.” Inspired by the elegance and flow of attire worn by Russian farmers, Shruti expertly infused her winter collection with a unique interpretation, featuring elegant gowns, tunics, and skirts. This marked her eighth outing at the esteemed Amazon India Fashion Week.

According to the designer, “The BRICS+ Fashion Summit is a brilliant idea and a beautiful platform for all creative minds and talented fashionistas to come together. All the delegates have something to contribute to the fashion industry. It is a melting pot of various cultures and crafts. My country has an unparalleled legacy of textiles and crafts, and my idea was to present that to the world.”

The fashion exhibition took place at The Pashkov House, an elegant neoclassical mansion, and welcomed a diverse audience, including Pavan Kapoor, the esteemed Indian Ambassador to Russia, renowned industry professionals, talented designers, and buyers. Ethnic music and the soft glow of blue spotlights set an enchanting atmosphere that complemented the collections on display.

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