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Independence Day Special: Why Indigenous Fabrics And Textiles Need Promotion


India's 73rd Independence Day falls on August 15, 2019. The day when India awoke to a life of freedom. It is a day when Indians have a strong feeling of patriotism and set aside grudges that we hold against all the inconsistencies faced in the country. Among other causes on Independence Day, it is also a day when a lot of national and international brands have heavy discounts on their outfits. Attractive as it may sound, we should not succumb to these offers and buy something that does not come from our country.

Now that doesn't sound too independent, in fact, it hints at a refined form of slavery. A lot of freedom movements happened to escape from the clutches of the British Raj. And among those struggles put up by the brave citizens of our country, one such famous struggle was the boycott of foreign-made goods started by Mahatma Gandhi. He promoted the use of khadi - an Indian fabric - and today khadi is among the most demanded fabric and used by the top fashion designers of the country.

Khadi became more than just a fabric; it became a symbol of independence. Subsequently, many stores called the Khadi Gramudyog opened in different parts of India.

With the help of environment-conscious fashion designers, we have learnt about so much more that our diverse country can offer in terms of fashion. These designers have opened our eyes to so many techniques and materials that make India stand apart in the fashion department.

In fact, one of the themes of the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2019 edition in Mumbai is Khadi, through a new designer who promotes sustainable fashion.

Should we still buy a branded cloth or should we give it a thought and purchase a tie and dye outfit? The latter sounds like a more refreshing and eco-friendly option. When we buy the brocade work attire or phulkari dupatta or pashmina shawl or a mashru ensemble, we are not only indirectly improving the livelihood of artisans but also celebrating the cause for which our great ancestors lost their lives for - Azad India.

As responsible citizens of India, we should make it a habit to promote what is ours before anything else.

And for those of us or most of us who want heads to turn, nothing can make it turn more than wearing indigenous clothes. However, when the term 'cloth' is used, let us not just restrict it to traditional attire only.

Today, after so many debates and still-questioned 'freedom of expression', we can also wear western or fusion, or gender-fluid ensembles, provided they incorporate Indian textile ingredients.

Even from a health point-of-view, most of these domestic fabrics are made out of natural vegetable dyes and organic textiles that make the clothes lightweight and soothing to the skin. Actually, these clothes are made in tune with the Indian weather, so it makes more sense to buy these indigenous outfits.

Also, by adopting the Indian techniques like the Maharashtrian tapestry technique of Paithani and by celebrating the earthy colours used by the Meitei community of Manipur, you can get vibrant attire and also muted-toned ones.

In other words, Indian textile heritage gives you a lot of liberty and versatility - it empowers you. So, celebrate it this Independence Day!

So, while the branded stores are what trends these days, being a citizen of this country, let's make it a point to make our Indian fashion heritage trending and more relevant this Independence Day and onwards too. After all, it starts with you!

Happy Independence Day 2019!

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