I was a Sari(IWAS)-an award-winning sustainable fashion brand- and Fashion in ProcessLab(FiP) at DesignDept. Politecnico di Milano have partnered with CHIME FOR CHANGE to make sustainable fashion impactful.IWAS's work transforms pre-loved Indian saris into unique style,providing regular income and valuable skills training to vulnerable women in Mumbai.To further IWAS's work, the brand will engage a DesignResearcher, selected from a global competition, to train and work with the female artisans.
For women of Mumbai's most disadvantaged and lowest-income slums, life is physically difficult. They are often bound into a subservient position in the home and society by economic dependence, illiteracy and superstitions. Women are often confined to traditional roles in the home and taking care of their families and their households. They have limited opportunities to express themselves, learn new skills, contribute financially to the family, or enjoy any form of independence.
To help disadvantaged Indian women achieve professional expertise in the fashion and textile industry, IWAS provides regular incomes and develops their skills. Under the supervision of FiP, the DesignResearcher will manage the creative process of contemporary apparel made with pre-loved saris and upcycled materials.The team will emphasize the use of tailoring and embroidery techniques with a new vision to make sustainable fashion desirable and meaningful for the women who produce these works.
In addition to helping women through a regular income, dignified work and access to opportunity, IWAS and FIP's work challenges gender norms surrounding labor like embroidery, which is considered men's work in India. As women develop their artistry, connect with other career-oriented women, and become entrepreneurs, they build new futures for themselves and serve as role models for their communities.