Life & Style

Ideate about everything sustainable at Future Collective, a design fair at New Delhi’s Bikaner House

A snapshot of Bikaner House

A snapshot of Bikaner House   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

Leading designers, artists and musicians come together at a two-day sustainable fair in the capital’s Bikaner House

Weekend event calendars in almost every city feature one mainstay event: the ‘sustainable’ pop-up. These are no doubt a great way to get consumers to make the shift to local brands and handmade products, but there is now a surfeit of similar brands at every fair. This is where Future Collective — opening on February 29 in the capital — aims to be different. Set in the backdrop of the heritage Bikaner House’s recently-opened Centre for Contemporary Art, the two-day event will push you to think about how and why you shop.

“We don’t need a handful of people doing it perfectly, but millions doing it their way and making that effort,” says jewellery designer Roma Narsinghani, who put together the Conscious Culture Design Fair along with business partner Asha Kochhar and Vidyun M Singh, Director Programmes, India Habitat Centre. “We’re showcasing and starting a dialogue with the artists, with a focus on sustainability and innovation that is also commercially viable,” she says.

Audiences can choose to attend a food workshop, participate in a creative think tank about hazards and origins of toxic indoor air, watch a lineup of panellists (Shilpa Sharma of Jaypore, authors Mala Barua and Vasudha Rai, architect Martand Khosla, etc), ideate about everything from sustainable textiles to building materials and future-conscious food. There are also art installations, exhibitions, musicians and a puppet show for children.

Check out
  • The event features collaborations with Altered nozzles [that save 30% of water], Cupable for recyclable cups, waste management company Chintan, Ruby Organics for salon showings, etc. Participating designers will use QR Codes for lookbooks and visiting cards.

Narsinghani explains how the Sunday Markets at Bikaner House — featuring Himalayan cheese, Assamese tea, and Bengali and South Indian delicacies — are beautiful, and the sentiment when putting together Future Collective was the same. And then there’s the food. Look forward to global plates with seasonal dishes like shroom buns, charred broccoli and mojo roast cubanos, Asian bowls and avocado parcels. “There is also a Zero Waste Bar with recipes created by mixologist Yangdup Lama.”

Slow route with Mora

Narsinghani leads her list of top five must-attend events at the fair with Evelyn Mora’s talk. The founder of the climate-positive Helsinki Fashion Week (HFW) will address how brands can avoid greenwashing. “At the end of the day, brands produce and are responsible for their own individual shows, so for them to take these aspects into account would be fairly doable, especially in the big capitals like New York, London, Milan and Paris,” says Mora, who is wrapping up her first book, The Troublemaker, by the end of 2020. “It is an exposé of the fashion industry and sustainability.”

Evelyn Mora

Evelyn Mora   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

As for the environmental impact of fashion shows — now doing the rounds on social media, she says, “Currently, the fashion world is introducing many sustainable ways. But unfortunately, I currently see a lot of greenwashing even from the ‘sustainability advocates’.” At Future Collective, the Paris-based entrepreneur wants to meet people who “act more than they talk”, and is looking forward to the work of Mumbai-based vintage label Bodements, Naushad Ali from Puducherry and New Delhi’s agender apparel brand, Two Point Two.

The shape of green

For Narsinghani, Stefano Funari’s Sari Swap is a personal favourite. Funari, founder of Mumbai-based fashion label, I was a Sari, brings to the event his “first experiment to customise for the conscious consumer”. “Every time we are at events, people have asked if they could get their saris turned into one of the ‘I was a Sari’ pieces. They can now bring in their pre-loved saris and get them customised into accessories,” says the Italian designer known to craft everything from bags and beaded jewellery to scarves and resort wear collections with the six yard garment. According to him, Indian culture is very much rooted in sustainability as people use and reuse items in their daily lives. “But the modern Indian fashion industry, much like global fashion, is far away from sustainable practices”. His latest additions — pleated skirts, shirts, duster jackets and kimonos — are quite popular.

Stefano Funari from I was a Sari

Stefano Funari from I was a Sari   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Shani Himanshu, co-founder of 11:11 — known for experiments with denim and khadi — will be presenting his SS20 ‘Indigo Flower’ collection. The garments are hand-painted with natural dyes, and use hand-spun indigenous cotton along with Indigo colour blocking in different shades. Along with co-founder Mia Morikawa, he is also developing a technology “where the wearer of the garment can use a smartphone to know a garment’s entire lifecycle from seed-to-stitch”. The duo is also in the process of building a cooperative of 500+ artisans through the seed-to-stitch approach.

Future Collective: Conscious Culture Design Fair will be held at Bikaner House, New Delhi, on February 29 and March 1. From 11 am to 10 pm.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 1:02:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/on-future-collective-a-two-day-sustainable-fair-at-bikaner-house-in-new-delhi/article30941742.ece

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