The fashion industry gets a bad rap for promoting capitalism and a culture of excess. Various fashion houses around the world (Prada, Tsumori Chisato, Prabal Gurung) are preserving the art and heritage of indigenous people. Closer home in India, fashion designers like Gaurang, Krishna Mehta, Samant Chauhan and Shruti Sancheti are supporting families of traditional weavers and reviving textiles at the same time. They are proving that fashion does have a heart.
One such clothing line is Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s Being Human. Their latest #LookGoodDoGood Spring Summer ‘18 campaign supports 9 “unsung heroes” from around the country. According to Khan, they have “stood up to BE HUMAN for various causes”.
Being Human Clothing embodies six positive, simple and humane values: love, care, sharing, hope, help and joy. Each of these values form the brand’s DNA and the campaign endeavours to reflect that.
Take for example, Disability Rights Activist Virali Modi. Her perseverance has made many railway platforms, trains, and even restaurants totally accessible for the physically challenged through her campaigns for building ramps. Another unsung hero is Ankit Kawatra. He founded of ‘Feeding India’ in 2014 after he witnessed food for at least 10,000 people getting wasted in a wedding. His NGO serves nutritious meals to those in need by collecting extra food from restaurants, colleges, and homes in 57 cities with 8,500 volunteers. It has served 11 million meals till date.
Gopal Baranwal represents Manorama Paathshaala, a neighbourhood learning centre aimed at providing education and opportunity for some of the most vulnerable children in Mumbai. Gopal himself studied at this centre and now volunteers there. He teaches kids there. Seeing how he comes from the same background as them, the kids look up to him.
Azhar Maqsusi is the founder of ‘Hunger Has No Religion’, which provides free food to the needy in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and 6 other locations in different states of India. Under this programme around 100 men, women, and children are fed on a regular basis. The tireless Ashok Nayak founded ‘Raktdaan’, a blood call centre where you can get blood free of cost. “Blood is a valuable resource which cannot be produced in a factory. So it is our responsibility to make it available and donate for humanity,” says Nayak.
Beena Rao is the founder of ‘Prayas’ which conducts free coaching classes for the underprivileged. She started by giving moral education to slum children by conducting free workshops for them. Around 5,000 children have benefitted since she founded this organisation.
Shot by renowned photographer Prasad Naik and conceptualised by Pulp, the advertising agency, it puts the activists in the spotlight by having them model the clothes. The idea is to sow the seeds of Social Responsibility, especially in the youth, by bringing these everyday heroes into the limelight.
Khan added, “Their phenomenal work despite limited resources inspires me to do more. I hope it has the same effect on people reading their stories too.”
Said Manish Mandhana, CEO of The Mandhana Retail Ventures Ltd, the global licensee for Being Human Clothing, “The thought is always to get like-hearted people together and collectively create a stronger communication that inspires individuals to Doing Good while Looking Good. We shall further continue to grow, supporting the twin cause of Education and Healthcare that Being Human – the Salman Khan Foundation has initiated.”
Share your own socially responsible story or nominate someone you know and your “hero” could be featured in their next campaign. Ashok Nayak, founder of Raktdaan from Indore, who features in the current campaign, is the winner of the previous digital contest hosted for #5YearsOfBeingHumanClothing.