Postcards from India Issue 7 | Embracing a sustainable future
For us at Daughters of India, sustainability means
living with awareness and practising presence in every moment.
Since the beginning of our journey, creating an ethical and sustainable slow fashion label has been our intention. It was through our experience of precious moments with our friends in India that highlighted our awareness of the effects fast fashion was having on their industry. Our aim was to create a slow fashion label with the highest ethical practices that supported the artisans and makers of each handmade garment. As well as contribute to the preservation of the traditional art of hand block printing, a practice that is intrinsic to the livelihoods of many artisans, makers, and their families in India. This month we wanted to highlight some of the ways in which we contribute to a sustainable future as a slow fashion label.
All of the facilities our garments are created in are Sedex Fair Trade Certified, meaning they are made with the highest level of ethical and sustainable practices. Each facility is closely monitored to ensure staff are treated with utmost love and respect, are able to work in safe and sanitary environments, and are provided with sufficient work and wages to support themselves and their families.
Since our conception, Daughters of India have chosen not to produce ranges or collections. We release one product at a time when it is complete. This ensures the artisans are not overworked in unrealistic hours or pushed to work against deadlines, instead they are provided with a consistent flow of work so they always have accessible income.
We also choose not to wholesale and sell exclusively online via our website or local warehouse boutique. This means less waste and more control over our eco-footprint. This also limits pressure and intensity of workload on our making facilities. The artisans and makers have the ability and freedom to manage their hours flexibly, which is paramount for maintaining a healthy work-life balance in a busy world.
We work with our team in India to help support initiatives such as Sewing the Seeds, a women empowerment movement that utilises the enterprise of fashion design and production to break the cycle of poverty for Indian Women. Women in India can face many challenges working in industries as this has not been a common practice in India. In response to this, there are systems in place in our facilities for staff to work through any personal issues they may be experiencing. We are proud to be a part of movements such as Gender Equality and Women Empowering Women, paving the way forward for great change. It humbles us to know our facilities have a strong focus on maintaining fairness and respect for all staff members in alignment with these movements.
As well as ensuring respect for one another, our facilities have a strong focus on caring for our planet. They have implemented many practices such as, eliminating plastic and other waste from production, recycling and reusing waste materials, using solar power, and harvesting rainwater for the washing of clothes. Working with respect for one another and the Earth is at the forefront of every aspect of Daughters of India production, from artisan to consumer.
It is an honour to see our team work in such harmonious and empowering environments. In addition, it is so beautiful to support the art of hand block printing. Knowing we are assisting in the preservation of traditional art warms our hearts. Honouring nature, and art as an expression of nature, is fundamental for the Earth’s well-being. Something we believe is expressed through every one of our garments.
Through producing slow fashion sustainably and ethically, Daughters of India honours the yogic philosophies of India through 'consciously crafting' in loving service to the greater good. Something we love to refer to as 'embracing the slow'.
(Words by Ella Josephine Archer)