Saturday May 18, 2024

“Sustainability is innate to our culture.” – Khadija Rehman

GENERATION Director reminds us why adopting slow, sustainable fashion should be easy for Pakistanis

By Amina Baig
August 16, 2022

Karachi: As climate change makes its presence felt more dramatically and devastatingly than ever, citizens of the world are becoming more aware and accepting of the role they play in reducing their individual carbon footprints.

Of course, while we have started leaving anything single-use plastic in the past, have started bringing our own cups and flasks for drinks, and become conscious of how we can reuse and recycle daily items, a few areas remain challenging.

One of these essentials includes clothes. The challenge for anyone here is something we are all familiar with, and it is not entirely fashion related.

Sure, trends change and we do tend to keep up with them, however stringently or loosely. But the demands of daily life in a modern world do not allow us to go hunt for gorgeous fabric and have it custom-tailored by inevitably rogue darzis.

Urban citizens have embraced retail fashion, as buying off the rack is just easier and only for a slightly higher price than tailored outfits. What we don’t realize at times is that fast fashion comes at a gradual price.

Retail fashion houses in Pakistan try to maintain certain standards, but if they have to keep the churn rate up to meet demand, and ensure prices aren’t too crazy while also trying to meet their bottom line, they will have to make certain compromises, as will we, the end-consumer.

Perhaps the corner that is cut is that of fabric that will degenerate faster than fabric of higher quality. Clothes made with more durable, quality fabrics are ultimately going to cost more. As members of civilized society, we have to wear something, and we are often on a budget.

GENERATION has always been known for using fabric that bears the passage of time well. Recently, the brand also introduced the REGENERATE line, which uses leftover material to create tiny drawstring purses, blouses and other accessories.

Instep has spoken about the line and the push for sustainability at length with team GENERATION, but Director Khadija Rehman recently introduced another view on the effort

“Sustainability, although a buzzword in the west these days, is really innate to our culture,” she said.

“We have all grown up in homes where wastage was frowned upon. We have a culture of not throwing things we don’t need in the trash, but sharing with those who need them or saving them for a rainy day. We reuse old packaging, old items of clothing and are generally very charitable to all those around us.”

The desi urge to save everything and reuse biscuit tins as sewing boxes and plastic baggies to store other plastic baggies has been memed a lot, but the urge does more than just clutter up space. It allows us to reuse some articles that would otherwise get trashed. For clothes too, it seems smarter to use pieces that will last longer, and ultimately can be paired with other things, or used to create smaller, newer pieces.