Could this fabric clean up global fashion?

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Could this fabric clean up global fashion?


Khadi, the traditional hand-woven fabric from India, is the focus of a collection of British ethical fashion brands, who have come together to organise an event that showcases its uses in November.

Alice Pritchard

Wed 18 Oct 2017

India’s traditional fabric, khadi, could be a secret weapon to combat fast, disposable fashion. Khadi is a hand-spun and hand-woven fabric that combines cotton, silk and wool in various mixes to create a range of all natural fabrics that can vary in softness.

We spend £50 billion a year in the UK on disposable fashion and accessories and over 90% of it ends up in landfill. Khadi is long lasting, doesn’t release micro-plastic particles when you wash it and can help regulate temperatures on those ‘no-idea-what-the-weather's-doing’ days.

In the UK ethical producers have got together to create the AWA:EK - A Way Ahead - Ethical Khadi, an event that focuses on the potential on the potential of the fabric to bring people together and solve problems. The event will take place at the Fashion and Textile Museum on Friday 24 November and kick off with a free introductory talk for anyone to attend, then the afternoon will look in more detail at the potential khadi has for fashion and the planet and enable fashion designers, producers and khadi fans to network.

Future of fashion could be khadi from India

Khadi is hand spun and hand woven in India

Image Khadi CIC

One of the organisers of the AWA:EK event and co-founder of Khadi CIC, Kishore Shah, says,

“Khadi has an immense potential to unify. It could help establish a fairer balance of power and more respectful relationship between everyone in the supply chain from farmers, artisans and designers to the wearer.”

Shailini Sheth Amin, owner of Moral Fibre Fabrics will present a pilot scheme she is leading in India bringing together stakeholders, from organic farmers to manufacturers of textile machinery and solar energy equipment, to test a cluster-based approach to production.  Also speaking at the event will be Jo Salter, owner of UK-based ethical clothing label, Where Does It Come From??

“We have a chance to transform this great but polluting and exploitative industry, and I’m so proud to be working with a group striving for generation-defining positive change,” she said.

The initiative is driven by the experiences of each of its founders in rural development and in promoting the production and use of ethical khadi globally.

Book tickets for the AWA:EK event on 24 November here.