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Shubhi Sachan Takes Her Zero-Waste Lifestyle From Grandparents’ Farm To Lakme Fashion Week

  • IWB Post
  •  April 23, 2018

‘No waste should ever go waste’ is the motto sustainable materials researcher and designer Shubhi Sachan lives by. Using rice husks to make skin cleansers and bi-products from power loom industry is the kind of practice Shubhi has engraved in her business.

To live a sustainable and zero-waste life is something Sachan learned in her childhood. And all thanks to her grandparents. Hailing from Lucknow, she often made visits to them at their village Meenapur, Kanpur dehat district, UP, and it used to be filled with practical experiences. “There’s no one incident that I can talk about as their everyday living served as an example. Their effortless zero-waste living is the biggest inspiring memory for me and I remember how there was no waste at home for anyone to come and collect,” she stated.

From her mission of making our country understand the value of waste management through her brand Jambudweep to the lessons she learned from her grandparents, Shubhi spilled the beans in a conversation with us.

Read excerpts: 

Currently, as a designer, what is on the mood board of Jambudweep?

I am not exactly a fashion designer, I think I got the tag after last year’s Lakme Fashion Week’s show. I’ll be using my well-equipped embroidery skill in making accessories and also make an archive where people can learn more on which waste materials can be used and how.

Would you like to share the craziest moment from LFW?

Well, I saw a few of my garments torn in half in front of me. *laughs* Some models had to cut down the garment, instead of taking it off, as they had to rush back to the ramp and they just had seconds to reach. I was a bit heartbroken to see that but thankfully, I have worked at backstages earlier which helped me to understand the madness.

Shubhi Sachan

Shubhi walking down the ramp with the showstopper at Lakme Fashion Week 2017. She showcased her collection “Reincarnation”.

Wow. That must have been one crazy experience. Shubhi, you’ve spoken about the importance of circular economy. What do you think is required for India to make a shift from linear economy to the circular economy?

Can I be brutally honest? It’ll take a lot of education. So, I was in a big conference in Gujarat recently which was massively organized. Addressing to the audience, I asked them, “who is aware of circular economy?’ and I was taken aback to see no hands raised up. And, the people working closely with waste management are not aware of the true meanings of the term either. They have been using it loosely.

Shubhi Sachan

Shubhi working on her garment for Lakme Fashion Week, 2017.

So, the foremost thing is to make people aware of such terms. Second, our government needs to make a few policies.

You are determined to run a zero-waste lifestyle. Which is the most experimental waste material that you’ve used for your brand?

Umm, the most experimental has to be the bi-products of power loom industry that we used. And, that sold very well in the market.

Shubhi Sachan

Materials made using agricultural waste.

What have you created using the waste from your house?

Using waste, discarded materials to create something new has been happening since childhood. I have reused my chappals and mojris by making embroidery on them, or by putting a printed fabric (not in use) on them, made hangers of the metal waste, and more such things.

Tell us a bit more about your sustainable lifestyle.

From shopping from random brands, I have come down to pretty much zero. I now buy less and shop from brands that are conscious about sustainability. Taking good care of the wardrobe also increases its life.

Shubhi Sachan

A pair of shoes made out of vending machine offcuts.

Shubhi Sachan

Pants made out of industrial gloves.

I also try to make kajals, mascaras, and shampoos at home and reuse all the containers.

Your childhood has largely been spent on farms with your grandparents. Tell us about the experience that shaped you to become the person you are today.

When I retrospect, I realise how life on farms and with grandparents was always a great learning. There’s no one incident that I can talk about as their everyday living served as an example. Their effortless zero-waste living is the biggest inspiring memory for me and I remember how there was no waste at home for anyone to come and collect.

I have memories of my dadi having her own loom, bringing cotton from the farm, making metres of fabric which she used to make quilts. And, when I try to follow their lifestyle now, it is so difficult.

I remember how my dadi made kajal every Diwali.

Aww. The one precious lesson that you learned from them? 

The way they effortlessly lived a zero-waste life. There was hardly anything that they threw away. They were very regular farmers who didn’t use any harmful chemicals and were so conscious of their sustainable lifestyle.

My dadi used to save grains, saying that dada is not working only for our family but for everyone. Their simple and thoughtful nature of believing and preaching that farmers, as a profession, is a big responsibility and money is the smallest part of it.

That’s so amazing! What is the biggest adventure you remember sharing with them?

I think just to see and be with them at the animal shelter, which was spread 10,000 square feet, and the nearby tubewell. Well, for me that was adventurous.

Shubhi Sachan

Shubhi’s collection at her brand Jambudweep.

Visiting farms from an early age, what did you learn about the farmer community as a child?

What I remember, as a child I was highly impressed by their thought process. I remember how in their conversations and actions, the responsibility towards the country reflected. And, they felt respected in doing so.

This article was first published on February 21, 2018.

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