“Sustainability is the need of the hour, but at the same time it’s important to understand what sustainability is and how we can contribute to it by making eco-conscious choices while designing products and shopping.”- Rupanshi Agarwal
What compelled you to work towards sustainability?
Fashion is an integral part of everyone’s life, whether they are aware of it or not. People use fashion for self-expression, for representing their culture, and even for making a political statement. However, the fashion industry is also one of the most polluting industries in the world. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. It is also the second-highest consumer of the world’s water resources. It’s our responsibility to take steps towards making fashion more sustainable- as a brand by producing more sustainable products and as a consumer by being more conscious of our shopping choices. It’s also about making mindful decisions that are less detrimental to the environment.
At the same time, we should also be more compassionate and practice ethical fashion, which revolves around human and moral rights for the workers associated with the industry focusing on their daily wages, and working conditions.
How is Qua contributing to sustainable fashion?
For Qua, sustainability is a journey. It’s about taking multiple small steps instead of taking one big step. For me, quality matters the most, and at Qua we believe in the sustainable practices of slow fashion and focus on the longevity and versatility of clothes by sourcing high-quality fabrics. We have designed a line of trans-seasonal clothes that do not deteriorate after wearing once or twice and last longer with proper care. Through our digital platform, we also try to educate our customers about the materials that are being used at Qua and how to take care of them to make them last longer.
Another way Qua ensures sustainability is by downsizing the manufacturing of clothes. Studies show that almost 85% of the world’s clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators. Keeping this in mind and to reduce the wastage of textile, we manufacture clothes in small batches instead of stocking up the warehouses. We analyze our previous data and predict the demand. We are also constantly working towards minimizing the usage of polyester, as it is an oil-based plastic and does not biodegrade like natural fibers. Instead of polyester at Qua, we choose premium fabrics like Turkish cotton, viscose, linen, and wool blends, as they are biodegradable and offer optimal breathability.
The rapid surge in online shopping has led to an increase in packaging waste. Qua has been environmentally aware from the beginning and opted for zero plastic packaging for their clothing products. All online orders are shipped in 100% recyclable cardboard packaging.
As consumers how can we bring about sustainability in fashion?
o Firstly, you should make the decision of leading a sustainable way of life. You have to be a conscious shopper- before purchasing ask yourself whether you need it or is it just an impulse buy.
o You have to free yourself from the ‘trap of trends’, to practice sustainability. Buy less and choose well, it’s always quality over quantity. Invest in timeless, classic, and premium quality products.
o Always read the labels while shopping to know the materials used. If it’s not mentioned there, ask the brands and make well-informed decisions.
o I can’t emphasize enough the importance of normalizing repeating clothes. Invest in versatile pieces that can be worn multiple times in numerous ways. Do not throw away old clothes, donate them or sell them to thrift shops.
“The most important thing to take away from here is that practicing sustainability isn’t as hard as it might seem. By incorporating small practices like purchasing clothes made from natural fibers, letting go of the fast fashion trends, and breaking the myth that sustainable clothes are mundane, we can lead a more sustainable life. Sustainability isn’t just a trending catchphrase, but a way of living by making conscious choices for the betterment of the environment.”, says Rupanshi.