Rated as one of the top nine up-and-coming international designers by fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue, Hyderabad-based designer Asmita Marwa believes in wasting nothing, not even scrap. She throws light on her work of art the ‘zero waste’ collection
Your label Asmita Marwa is inclined towards natural fabric, which is one aspect of sustainability. Going a step further, you also have a ‘Zero Waste’ Collection that creates pieces out of leftovers. What really got you thinking about making the use of the leftovers?
The ideology of not wasting anything, was ingrained in me while I was growing up. I saw my grandmother make use of the fabric scraps. She would copy a Disney character and apply it on my quilt. The habit is so deeply inculcated in me that I apply the idea of not wasting anything in every sphere of life. Instead of throwing, I re-purpose. If you actually think about the carbon footprint you would leave behind, you’ll realize why reuse is essential.
There were always some leftovers from the pieces my label created. So, as a thinking woman who always thought deep about her choices, I had to do something with the leftovers. That was when I started making art pieces and found a market for them.
Do people appreciate and wear the pieces made out of the leftovers?
There’s an exclusive set of people that understands such pieces of artwork. My clients are people who are evolved, free-spirited, well travelled, and of course have a thinking mind.
Of so many pieces that you have created for your ‘Zero Waste’ collection, which is the closest to your heart?
All of my ‘Zero Waste’ Collection. Every piece is a work of art. There’s a back story to every piece. I was invited to showcase it at the Global Sustainable Fashion Week in Budapest in 2016, and later at Indian fashion shows. At the moment, I am re-purposing denim, giving them new forms, new structures, and new lives. Say for instance, a palazzo or an asymmetrical skirt. It has already found a place in the heart.
Is sustainable fashion that includes re-using the fabric, expensive to create?
Yes yes, very. My Zero Waste collection is more expensive. It takes longer to put things together. The production cost is higher. We have to texture it, and manipulate ‘katran’ into a whole new piece which has to look like art.
Asmita, what do you think is going to be the future of sustainable fashion? Will it rise or it will take time for Indians to actually start bringing it into their everyday lives?
I hope it rises. There’s every reason for it. The world is undergoing the biggest crisis of all times. In the west, sustainable fashion is common. Here, it’s time to rethink our choices and realize that investing into pieces that last longer is no more a choice but a need. Quality should precede quantity. I hope and pray that when people do emerge out of the global crisis, they do not have a lapse of memory.