Whether it means doing something for the environment, being a responsible patron of slow fashion, or just making the most of an heirloom accessory that has been passed down to you, we give you some good reasons to shop for the timeless Pashmina.
Slow fashion is the buzzword today. And that does not only mean going out and shopping for products that take time to get ready as well as last long but also introspecting into what you already have. You can take an easy trip down memory lane with your grandmother’s wardrobe ingredients. Her jewelry box, her closet, and even her shoe rack (where she stores those heritage silver slippers) are all your places to go. You will be surprised to see that her heirloom collection is not much. This is because this generation believed in buying less, but consciously.
What is Heirloom?
Heirloom products are those which are descended to the next heir of the person buying them. These are handcrafted with the highest quality right from the start, keeping in mind that they might be used even after 50 years. Hence, every process involved in making an heirloom product is carried out conscientiously and with full attention.
Even after decades of using heirloom products, be it clothing, articles, objects, accessories, and other vintage pieces, it is safe to say these remain relevant. Even if they clearly appear old, they still won't bite the dust.
Fast Fashion and the love for Convenience
Heirloom culture went fine till the early 2000s. Customers suddenly switched from shopping from a few brands to shopping from the runways! Of course, they did not always afford runway fashion. Hence they opted for replicas, which looked the same and were much cheaper. Unfortunately, the replicas were cheap because of low-quality material. This is how fast fashion was born.
The term used for this quick turnover of designs that moved instantly from the ramps to our wardrobes was ‘Fast Fashion'. This term grew extremely popular in the early 2000s. The makers of products now focused on increased manufacturing at low prices. The industry shifted altogether and fashion forecasts were possible due to the short timeframe. While runways showed collections at Spring-summer time, next year those would totally change. Hence these fashions didn't even last for a complete year and came to be known as disposable fashion trends. And since fast fashion clothing and accessories were readily available, and slowly manufactured products needed time and patience, people opted for the former. It was simply convenient for them, even if it was harmful to the planet
Evils of Fast Fashion
Affordable and easy-to-buy clothing is not as easy on the planet, as it is in one's pockets. As customers continue buying more and more clothes, the impact on the planet is harmful. It is believed that fast fashion products make up 10% of human carbon emissions, besides drying up water sources and polluting water bodies. It is also a fact that 85% of all textiles go waste each year as fashions change. Also, washing some types of fabrics sends a large number of plastic bits into the ocean.
Fast fashion clothing has almost doubled since it started. While brands introduced just one or two collections per year, the collections have increased to over 20 per year. Buying these clothes makes way for producing more clothes. And washing all these clothes releases microfibres into water bodies polluting them badly. Hence, even though fast fashion clothing might seem easy and convenient, it is ruining the future of the people and the planet
The Solution - Slow Fashion
Slow fashion comes to the rescue and encourages sustainable practices. It is the antithesis of fast fashion and focuses on the quality and timeless nature of a product while advocating for both nature and people. Here are some more benefits that slow fashion:
Slows down Consumption
Slow fashion products take time to complete. This slows down the consumption of customers, who now purchase mindfully, consciously, and less frequently. Buying less but buying thoughtfully is what defines slow fashion trends. This ensures that one will not buy things that they do not need and wear hardly and that they buy long-lasting items that they truly need and want.
Slow fashion products are durable. It is made with diligence and the highest quality standards for a timeless effect. Hence, whenever you buy slow-fashioned clothing or an object, rest assured that it will last for many years to come. On the other hand, fast-fashioned products are made as fast as possible, which hardly includes any conscious efforts toward quality.
Minimizing carbon footprint
Reduced consumption naturally takes us to minimize our ecological footprint. Slow-fashioned products ensure saving resources and lowering carbon emissions. Hence the harmful impact on the environment is less if only we invest in slow fashion products.
Do you know how much water it takes to make one pair of jeans? Over 2000 gallons! Yes, that is right. This water is enough for a person for 10 years!
Slow fashion, hence, saves water too. Fast fashion has fairly contributed to water shortage as well as pollution. It is profusely used in dyeing jeans and the general production processes. This water is then released back into water bodies but in its worst form - polluted water.
Protect Human Rights
Fast fashion is all about producing as quickly as possible. There are laborers who pay a high price for it, even if it is cheaper for us. Fast fashion factories have the worst working conditions in the world. There are people operating in inhumane conditions. On the other hand, slow fashion movements ensure fair trade, transparency in business, and healthy working conditions. This keeps people guilt-free, and they feel more responsible while shopping. A clear conscience is such an important asset to have today, isn't it?
Ever Stylish Produce
This never means that sustainable products aren't stylish. Slow-fashioned clothing, for example, has been attentively made, paying attention to all details. These products are timeless, minimal as well as durable. This helps a person develop a timeless style, and never look shabby and outdated. Short-lived trends come and go, but slow and sustainable ones stay forever young.
The Heirloom Pashmina from Kashmir
Craft, Quality, and Timeless are the buzzwords when it comes to heirloom fashion. ‘OLD’ is the new ‘NEW’, and heirloom pieces from our older generations keep us close to them. Isn't this something money can’t buy?
This happens exactly when one is bestowed with a Pashmina shawl, and you have the chance to give life to them. Pashmina shawls, scarves, and wraps are heirloom accessories that are timeless enough to be your companion for more than 30 years. Our ancestors knew nothing or did not practice fast fashion. Just slow fashion reigned strong, and that is when Pashmina shawls were born.
Making of Pashmina Shawls
Pashmina shawls come from Cashmere wool. Cashmere wool is found in Ladakh, where it grows as an undercoat to a rare goat species. Spring season is the moulting season for the goat, and that is when it loses this fine and soft under fibre. It is collected and sent to Kashmir for processing.
No mechanical assistance is needed for the processing of this wool in Kashmir. It is the mere skill, expertise, and love of the artisans for the art of Pashmina making that results in the most beautiful shawls. The wool, on its arrival to the valley, is cleaned and sent for spinning. Spinning is done on a spinning wheel that is traditional and made of wood. It is spun in harmony with the movements of hands, and wool chunks convert to yarn. The yarn is handwoven over indigenous handlooms of the valley and transformed into fabric, shawls, scarves, and wraps.
The Timeless Pashmina
It was the 15th century when Pashmina shawls were discovered for the first time. Since then, men and women alike have been wearing these graceful assets. We love to call them assets because it serves their owners for the longest time. Since the 15th century, women have been emotionally attached to it for being such a helpful article. Be it fighting the chilly winds of winter, or looking exceptionally graceful on formal and special occasions, Pashmina has been there for centuries.
As an heirloom accessory, one can easily find Pashmina shawls in their grandmother's and mother's closets. Our ancestors were the ones who chose well and made clothes last for at least 20 years. Our grandparents knew that they had to pass their clothing or accessories to the next generation. Hence they shopped thoughtfully, and chose Pashmina, as it was timeless, well-crafted, and immensely beautiful.
Slow fashion is the future of fashion, so why not recycle these ever-elegant shawls and keep them young forever? It is just us who can behave like conscientious consumers and save the planet from the harmful effects of fast fashion, which is the second biggest polluter in the world. Responsible shopping of heirloom articles helps keep the rich craft heritage alive, and the younger generations realise that what they consider old-fashioned is actually much better than the present disposable trends.
Styling Traditional Pashmina Shawls
The present generations believe that age-old shawls or scarves are not much presentable today. But we present a number of ways in which traditional Pashmina shawls can be styled.
Solid Pashmina Shawls
When Pashmina shawls started to rule the fashion world in the 15th century, they started off with plain shawls because embroideries and patterns were not discovered then. Solid shawls can be patterned in hundreds of ways even today. These are the most versatile accessories that can be styled as scarves, owing to their finesse and softness. They can be wrapped around the upper portion of the body like a wrap because of their cozy warmth. Since the shawls are super portable, they can even be wrapped around the straps of a handbag.
Also read: PASHMINA BELONGS TO THE CLAN OF ORIGINALITY
Hand-Embroidered Pashmina Shawls
Hand-embroidered shawls need no styling tips. These ever-graceful accessories are so alluring that if one just lets them drape over a shoulder, they’re done for the most extravagant occasion of their life. But for the younger generation, here are some contemporary styles to wear embroidered Pashmina shawls.
- The Reverse Cape: Simply throw the shawl around your shoulders to the back, hold the two long ends at the back together and pull them through a fancy elastic band. This gives the shawl a cape-like look from behind, with the front portion showcasing the embroidery patterns.
- The Minimal Wrap: Just wrap around your upper body an embroidered Pashmina shawl combined with a pair of jeans. This works best for those lazy days when all one loves to have is comfortable yet not compromise on style.
- Pashmina as a Drape: Simply let the centre of one edge of a Pashmina shawl sit on your shoulder, and let the rest of the shawl just hang down. You can tie the corners of the edges with a brooch or just let them drape playfully
Reversible Pashmina Shawls
Reversible shawls created a wave of enthusiasm in the world of Pashminas when weavers could weave a shawl with no backside. The shawls looked as beautiful from one side as from the other. As such these could be worn both ways and were hence called reversible shawls. Reversible shawls can be worn in any style one wants, provided that the styling shows some parts from both sides.
Heirloom does reign supreme. See how Pashmina shawls caused the European royalty to invest in hundreds of shawls in their lives. How their royal courts would be decorated with Pashmina fabric. And how even today, it is they, whose quest for Pashminas hawks never ends. For this reason, Pashmina shawls too adapted to contemporary needs and now feature modish prints and patterns to live up to the new world. For still the grace and heritage appeal of traditional pieces is unmatched and unparalleled.