Sustainable fashion need of hour: Tarun Tahiliani

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New Delhi : Ace designer Tarun Tahiliani says it is time for sustainable fashion, but it doesnt mean creating disposable outfits "for some silly fashion fantasies".

His comment comes amidst the backlash that international luxury brand Burberry is facing for burning unsold clothing and beauty products worth millions of pounds. Social media users have criticised the company for wastefully destroying clothing instead of putting it on sale or donating it to a charitable cause, as part of a practice used by luxury brands to keep their products in the hands of only those who can afford them at full price.

"The need of the hour is sustainable fashion. I think the need of the hour should be sustainable everything," Tahiliani told IANS over an email.

"We know that we are living at the limits of what this planet can take in terms of the over-plundering of its resources, so I think we are way past the time unless we want to risk further dire consequences of unpredictable patterns of weather which result in crazy rainfall, drought, water shortages and food shortages at a very basic level before we get to anything else, and all the other repercussions which we don't even understand from global warming," added the designer, whose creations represent modern India in a glamourous way but have Indian heritage art and craft at its core.

For Tahiliani, sustainable fashion is all about using largely natural materials.

"But also quality fashion as opposed to disposable fashion where billions of pieces are made and discarded every year for some silly fashion fantasies.

"I think sustainable fashion supports elegance; it supports people dressing as they feel appropriate and dressing with dignity. The more we do this and stop making fashion something new that has to be discarded and reinvented every month, our approach to buying better quality and buying less but buying with finesse would change and I think that's very sustainable."

Tahiliani says organic fabrics are in vogue.

"Though often it could be blended fabric that looks organic -- often in the case of heavy embroideries -- nets or blended tulles are preferred which can take heavier embroideries -- so it depends. But Indian textile has always been exquisite and there has been a wonderful revival, particularly since people wear so much western clothing that is not handloom based."

The designer launched his eponymous label in 1990, and has styled Bollywood celebrities like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Lisa Haydon, Shilpa Shetty, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone. He also styled global icon Oprah Winfrey in an orange and pink Kanjeevaram sari during her visit to India in 2011.

He will be participating in the sixth edition of The Vogue Wedding Show (VWS). Held in partnership with Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris, the three-day specially curated wedding exhibition will start from August 3 at the Taj Palace hotel here.

Talking about the event, he said: "We will showcase ‘Elysium', our couture and occasion wear collection. It celebrates the modern Indian goddess...Shimmering florals and weightless drapes are rendered in an ethereal lightness of being.

"Juxtaposing iconic European construction with classic Indian styles and embroideries, this collection exemplifies an India Modern aesthetic."

Pointing out some wedding trends which will make it big, he said: "I think comfort is key. The most popular request I get is just ‘please let me be comfortable', and it is repeatedly the most often thank you, gratitude texts we get after weddings to say that they looked fabulous, but also they felt like a dream and they were weightless and the clothes moved on them and they can't wait to wear them again.

"Lightness, movement, pastel colours, looking like yourself and the contemporisation of being bridal (will be in trend)."

(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at