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United Nations Engages With Fashion Week

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As consumer demand grows for responsibly sourced clothes, big fashion brands are starting to think about sustainability. More fashion startups and initiatives built around the business idea of sustainable fashion will break new ground this year.

The United Nations in India, in association with Reliance Industries’ ‘Fashion for Earth’ initiative, launched the ‘Circular Design Challenge’ at the Lakme Fashion Week. It’s all about innovation in waste materials and solutions to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry. The design challenge was launched at the dialogue on ‘Fashion and Sustainable Development’, hosted by the UN in India and LFW, with the aim to promote circularity in India’s fashion industry at the inaugural Sustainable Fashion Day, in Mumbai. This is the UN’s second engagement with Lakmé Fashion Week, and forms part of a broader collaboration on the groundbreaking potential of sustainable fashion to showcase the vibrant potential of India’s intangible and textile heritage and build sustainable livelihoods, especially for women. Thought leaders from diverse fields related to textiles, apparels and fashion industry including designer Anita Dongre and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, actress Dia Mirza, presented their views and commitments on sustainability in this forum.

“In a world that is increasingly running out of natural resources, the linear system of take-make-dispose needs to be replaced with a traditional one, where reusing and recycling is almost second nature in India,” said Atul Bagai, country head–India, UN Environment. Designers participating in the challenge will need to submit a proof concept of a sustainable fashion collection, which must encompass key principles of circularity, sustainability, aesthetics and scalability. The designers can use any material for their collection, as long as it is up-cycled from diverse waste sources, including plastics. The designer will win an opportunity to showcase the sustainable fashion collection at the Lakmè Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019.

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