Take a look at our interesting chat with Aishwarya Sharma (Fashion Activist, CEO and Founder of Moddotcom), as she shares her thoughts on fashion and social change.
Fashion has evolved over the years. It is not just restricted to a particular gender and has grown to represent individual personalities. Making people feel comfortable in their skin and representing them for who they are has become an important part of fashion. Some fashion brands have already been creating such clothing options but a wide section is yet to understand and accept the importance of gender-neutral clothing. There are many Fashion activists who have been working towards bringing about that change and Aishwarya Sharma is one of them.
Aishwarya Sharma is a fashion activist who, through her fashion blog, ‘Figuramoda’ is dedicated to creating and spreading social awareness. She is someone who has used her platform to talk about various social issues. She was also chosen as the Indian Ambassador for a campaign run by United Nations named, #Togetherband to spread awareness about gender equality.
Her work in the field of fashion and social activism has garnered various achievements. Aishwarya was listed among the top 5 fashion influencers to follow in India in The American blog. She was listed in 40 under 40′ by NewsX and was also chosen as the Brand Ambassador of a New York-based Organisation called Mahendra Singh Foundation.
We recently connected with Aishwarya to understand her insights and take on the role fashion plays in bringing about a social change such as gender equality.
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Here’s what Aishwarya Sharma had to share with us:
What part does fashion play in bringing about a social change and encouraging inclusivity?
“I think Fashion is the strongest medium out there to bring about a change. It’s a mass medium and a very significant one at that. It talks about including dark-skinned models as important campaigners attempting to end the century-long issues of racism in society. It includes plus-size models and sizes specific to what girls of different sizes can like and wear by again breaking the stereotypes of ‘perfect beauty’. The list of social causes it has and its ability to support is endless, really.”
Why is gender-neutral fashion important?
“I think more than anything, it is the need of the hour. It is the future of sustainability.
Fashion is so much more than just clothing and I can’t stress that enough. For people like me who live it, it’s a continual dialogue, a confluence of concepts, ideas and references. Swapping and wearing clothes beyond the boundaries of gender should definitely be encouraged for the minimum ill impact on the environment that fashion is currently causing and thereby, promoting inclusivity, making fashion truly, free and fair.”
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TW: NOT REALLY THOUGH. Let girls get period leaves and let girls and women have travel free of charge in transport buses and trains. We’re fighting for these small changes everyday. Do not, and I quote Do NOT make it about the bigger picture of feminism. We don’t dream of going from 0 to 100 in one day. This is step 1, we will be there girls! 💜 #feminism #feminists #girls #feminismisforeverybody #equalist #women #womensupportingwomen #womeninspiringwomen #periodleave #periodproblems #freetransportation #reservation #dividedwefall #genderdivide #inequalities #genderinequality #goal10 #globalgoals #globalgoals2030 #india #activist #fashionactivist
What responsibility do the Fashion Industry and brands such as yours bear in changing mindsets?
“Lately, fashion companies and brands have realised the importance of delivering conscious clothing. Movements like #whomadeyourclothes and #Imatter are constantly trying to send a message to the brands: Make fashion more inclusive, sustainable and fair. The biggest responsibility any brand today has is to deliver clothes that follow all the above. My own Label, MODDOTCOM is committed to using plastic-free packaging in all our operations in the country and has pledged to contribute 5% of our sales to young girls at Amari Foundation thus enabling #fashionforpurpose.”
Fashion is often treated as an elite commodity. Do you think fashion in its essence is truly only accessible to the privileged?
“Absolutely not. You see when it comes to fashion, it’s a common myth that only money can make you look fashionable. What most of us forget is that style is very personal and it’s got nothing to do with money. You can wear a simple white shirt and still look fabulous. In this new age of e-commerce, it is extremely easy for people to access fashion.”
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Petitioning for change, everyday. (LITERALLY) This world can never be at peace until women are given an equal status everywhere. So no new information when I tell you, we are far from peace as of now! #equality 🔗🙆🏻♀️#womenempowerment #womenrights #womenrightsarehumanrights #womenownedbusiness #womensupportwomen #petition #change #changeyourmindset #change #fashionist #fashionforpurpose #figuramoda #socialmediaforsocialgood #activism #socialdistancing
What are your thoughts on fast fashion v/s sustainable fashion?
“Fast fashion is cheap because someone else is paying the price for it, not you. You’re in fact, indirectly increasing the already existing exploitation of labourers and workers in the factories of the most developing nations, making clothes for those in developed nations. On the other hand, sustainability is not only the need of the hour and the future but also the right choice, a fair choice.”
One suggestion to people out there who are trying to explore their relationship with fashion.
“All that matters is you. If you don’t feel like wearing gender-specific or gender-defining clothes, don’t. You can be neutral in your approach and wear what you think flatters your body and not what others are constantly trying to tell you. Be you, the world will adjust.”
Being in the business of fashion and a social media personality, what is the one rule or philosophy you swear by?
“Deliver what’s right. Do not follow the majority but facts for what upsets me at times is growing opportunistic activism. People and bloggers on social media wanting to sound-sensitive often mislead their audiences. It’s like cancer for the activists who are devoted to the cause and the cause itself. As a fashion activist, using my platform for social good, my mantra is to really be who you are and stop wasting time on trying to be someone you’re not.”
We also asked Aishwarya Sharma to answer some quick questions. Check out her responses:
One outfit that you absolutely love?
“An Oversized shirt and mom jeans.”
One fashion trend from the past that you would never try?
“Polka dots, it’s a big no-no!”
If you were a quote on a T-shirt, what would it say?
“Fashion is cool but have you ever challenged the system?”