Everyone has one garment that carries with it years of memories. For designer Ujjawal Dubey, it is his favourite jacket that has lasted him a greater part of a decade. He over-dyed, sewed buttonholes, reconstructed sections, and continues to wear it. This gave him the idea of reimagining special pieces for his clients’ wardrobes. That marked the genesis of ‘Restore Love’, an initiative where old damaged garments are brought back to life!
Tell us about Restore Love.We have always believed in the slow life. Slow down life and let it grow on you. In this case, it’s the evergreen-ness of the clothes. The world has been obsessed with owning more, and throwing the old away, a direct affront to our oldest Indian values of saving and passing on. Nature demands a course correction and we intend to deliver that with Restore Love.
What is the process of getting a piece refurbished?
Once we receive the garments/pictures, our team checks where and how it can be refurbished. Anything from re-dyeing, alterations and anything that can be fixed will be done at a nominal cost. The whole project is a challenge! To reinvent something that we have already made with our heart and soul is most exciting as well.
Do you see a comeback of slow fashion in the near future?
Real slow fashion is producing locally and consuming locally. That is not entirely possible in the current way of life. The best we can do is consume and create consciously, which we believe will happen as an aftermath of the pandemic. It will also lead to a psychological shift and push people towards experiential buying.
With the lockdown being lifted in phases, the fashion industry is looking at complete restoration of its pre-COVID glory. What aspects will play a vital role in this new era?
Seasons and trends will take a backseat and there will be a change in the collective consciousness of the industry, makers and consumers alike. This will, we expect, have an effect on a holistic level and lead to changes in procurement, production and consumption.
We believe that the situation has given us time to think about what more we need to do and pulled our gaze towards the many issues we need to intervene consciously. We need to come together as a fraternity, as humanity and help create a more stable, conscious and sustainable society, self-reliant economy, and also a model that focuses on material growth, but is also equally compassionate towards humanity and its collaterals.
What projects are you working on in the near future?
I have recently launched an initiative with Karishma Shahani Khan of Ka-Sha called Together (@u.n.i.together on Instagram), where we engage makers/ tailors who have lost their jobs by giving them orders to make masks. These are distributed to the needy through organisations that we have collaborated with.