Fashion. The meaning of this word evolved considerably since I set out to be a fashion designer. Although fashion was never my preferred career choice, my inclination towards it was obvious to me: I was fascinated by the creativity and glamour of high fashion. For reasons I still don't understand, I had never felt such an appetite to learn anything. So naturally, I kept learning. The more I learned about it the more curious I got. So I devoured everything there is to know by reading articles and books to watching countless interviews and documentaries to taking up courses to meeting and talking to designers, interning to just about everything. Not soon after, I started discovering the not-so-obvious things about fashion: fashion's pollution and unethical practices.
Once I was exposed to the reality it was difficult to unsee it. I couldn't hide from the truth anymore. It had changed the way I looked at fashion and I was taken aback. It was overwhelming to learn that fashion, in all its glory, has an ugly side. This is when I started my research on how to find a balance. In 2019, I started traveling to villages to meet and hear out artisans and understand the reality better. I met artisans with great talents and truly inspiring stories. Artisans, who are working hard to ensure a different future for their children. Artisans, who are silently suffering, who are abandoning centuries-old crafts to make ends meet. This is when I learned that the craft communities and fenceline communities experience the worst economic and environmental impacts of fast fashion. But unfortunately, people like us, are so far away from these issues, that we never see these struggles. We are greatly disconnected from practices and the people who make our clothes.
I also learned that several designers have been doing amazing work: creating ethical clothes in non-polluting ways. Although this put me at ease for a short while, the insufficiency of our efforts troubled me. I felt responsible to do everything that I can to drive essential change. With a firm resolve to reduce impact, I worked with a handful of sustainable designers who create beautiful work. While some relentlessly work on reducing their impact, and others, it pains me to say this, greenwash. This only pushed me to understand the lacking even in slow-fashion. This framed our vision and purpose.
Why Unborn exists is to connect you, with the makers, with nature, and with all the wonderful practices that go into making your clothes. With absolute transparency in our work, we hope to take you on a journey of making your clothes before you meet them so that they mean more to you. Knowing that I don't stand alone and that there are a great many sustainable designers, who are carrying the torch and taking us towards a sustainable future, I understand that we are all in this together. Together is how humanity has made it this far.