Growing up, it was a norm to wear only new clothes on Diwali. In fact, it was extending to more than what we wore. The bed was dressed in new sheets, the table was adorned with new table linen – it was a day when everything had to be new and shiny, for the belief was that the goddess Lakshmi visited the house and blessed us with health, wealth and happiness.
Over the years, we have of course understood that there is more to the cultural and spiritual significance of Diwali but the disguise aspect remains important. Looking for that special saree, lehnga, kurta, even new jewelry for Diwali and Dhanteras is now part of the festive routine. Popular belief is that shopping brings good luck and prosperity. Today, however, we don’t make special purchases just once a year. So perhaps we should revisit this tradition?
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According to Orsola de Castro, global spokesperson for sustainable fashion and founder of Fashion Revolution, an international nonprofit that calls on the industry to change its bad habits, “The most sustainable garment is what is already there. in your wardrobe ”.
I followed the advice last year and it injected new energy into the Diwali bandage. The whole process of putting together looks can not only be fun, but can also make you appreciate what you own, something we often forget because we are always looking out, not in. And if you really want to shop, buy second-hand clothes and accessories. They are good for the pocket and the environment.
But where is Indian vintage?
Poshmark, the peer-to-peer resale marketplace, recently entered the Indian market, just in time for the holiday season. There is also Saritoria (which counts fashion entrepreneur Pernia Qureshi as one of its co-founders) and several small local brands that offer enough pre-loved designer clothes specific to the holiday season, and clothing. vintage, the flavor of the season.
Suki Dusanj Lenz, Country Manager of Fashion Revolution India, succinctly explains the difference and the meaning of pre-loved and vintage clothes: “Pre-loved clothes are what I call the fashion storyteller, the one that has been worn before. but not necessarily. of an era in itself. Vintage, on the other hand, is an aged item. I call it the good wine of clothing, which is generally considered to belong to a bygone era, from the 1920s to the 1980s or so. As a rule, if he is over 100 years old, he will slip into potential old clothes.
While the market is flooded with pre-loved vintage options from brands like Chanel, Hermes, and Gucci, there aren’t many products specific to India. Over the past few years, Mansi Poddar, co-founder of lifestyle website Brown Paper Bag, has run One Amazing Thing, a mindful shopping pop-up in her hometown of Mumbai.
Style specialist Roohi Oomberhoy Jaikishan is organizing their Vintage Edit. Previous editions have included vintage and pre-loved items from Chanel, Dior (including the iconic journal dress from Galliano’s reign at the French fashion house) and Valentino to name a few. All proceeds go to charity. Indian clothing has not yet been included, as it is not a category they are focusing on. But Poddar is open to it. “I think internationally the idea of vintage is a lot more luxurious than here at home,” she says.
Stores like What Comes Around Goes Around in New York, Lily et Cie in Los Angeles and Resee in Paris, creating environments that make vintage or pre-loved shopping a special experience abroad. “Luxury online platforms like Farfetch now include pre-likes in their edition. In India, however, few people pay attention to the rich heritage we have. The few that do are not, frankly, doing a great job. Nothing I’ve seen on platforms right now is screaming “Buy me”, ”she says.
Dusanj Lenz says, “Although I hear more and more stories of pre-loved dressing solutions, we have a long way to go. It requires a cultural change. The more people hear about the relationship between fashion and the climate crisis, the more we will see a change in buying and buying behavior. By educating the consumer on the amount of carbon emissions released to get him an item of clothing in his wardrobe, it is hoped that he will rethink the purchase again for each occasion. Diwali is a celebration of light, good over evil, and hopefully we turn our bad buying actions into positive ones.
When it comes to jewelry, the same rules don’t apply since remaking or even buying old pieces is an integral part of our buying tradition. Jay Sagar, a jewelry expert at AstaGuru, an auction house known for its collectibles, says: “Compared to fashion, jewelry works differently in this space.
Older coins are often more valuable than older ones because they have a level of craftsmanship and finesse that is difficult to find today. “These pieces are fascinating in their relevance, although they were created years ago. They are still relevant to today’s trends and fashion, ”he says.
The latest fashion trend is to invest in the old, not the new. Shop your wardrobe, look at your clothes, remember what made them so special that they take up space in your home. And if you can’t deny the urge to buy, look for something pre-loved, it’s a step in the right direction.
Dress Sense is a monthly fashion column that examines the clothes we wear every day and what they mean to us.
Sujata Assomull is a journalist, author and conscious fashion advocate.
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