Fashion is a medium that helps one express themselves, and the clothes we wear are often an extension of who we are. However, there is a bad side to this desire – ‘fast’ fashion.
Ashita Singhal, the founder of Noida-based Paiwand Studio, is someone who understands the cost of fast fashion. Founded in November 2018, her studio upcycles textile waste by sourcing it from designers, minimising environmental degradation.
To revive handloom, Paiwand transforms them into beautiful woven fabrics which are sent back to the designers who then make clothes from it. Ashita is now conducting a workshop in Delhi on Jan 18, where they will teach you how to up-cycle your waste!
Want to be a conscious fashionista? Register here for the Delhi workshop!
So far, Paiwand has collected about 1,000 kg of textile waste, of which, 300 kg has already been upcycled. “Looking at the quantity of water required in the production of textiles, we have saved 70,000 litres of water in a year by handweaving 1,000 metres of fabric,” states Ashita.
What to expect at the Delhi fabric upcycling workshop?
Anyone who signs up for the workshop will be acquainted with the different steps and processes for upcycling fabric. You can bring along your fabric scraps from home too! Paiwand will teach you how to convert textile waste into coasters, beautiful pouches, table runners, apart from teaching you how to weave tapestry. They will also share ideas and demonstrate upcycling with other kinds of waste as well.
Alternatively, you can also buy string loom from Paiwand, use it for weaving and take it home.
At Rs 1,999 per slot, the three-hour workshop can accommodate 20 participants. Book your slot now!
After completing her bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Delhi University, Ashita decided to pursue a career in fashion.
“Growing up in Vivek Vihar, I would see these huge landfills around the city. After I started studying fashion, I realised the environmental costs and naturally decided to explore how textile waste could be effectively upcycled,” says the 24-year-old.
Fast fashion has a huge impact on non-renewable natural resources, making it one of the most polluting industries in the world. It takes about 7,500 litres of water to produce something as simple as a pair of blue jeans!
The project, which started as an idea, is now a full-fledged upcycling unit. Ashita was pursuing her post-graduation from the Pearl Academy when she applied for the Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition in 2018. She ended up winning the highest grant of $25,000, which helped her kickstart her upcycling unit.
In addition to environmental degradation, the fashion industry is also known to violate fair trade practices by paying the lowest wages.
Ashita being aware of the horrible working conditions of artisans, has employed four full-time employees, who sort the waste based on the type of textile. After this, it is cut into very thin strips. Consequently, the end fabric is designed, and the textile waste is woven by artisans.
The textile waste that they currently upcycle includes cotton, silk and polyester.
One design label that Paiwand has been associated with right from the beginning is, ‘Amrich’, run by Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav. The duo runs a conscious fashion label where they work with grassroots artisans in West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Telangana.
“We came across Ashita’s idea of reusing waste textile to produce fabric when she interned with us. We believed in her vision because of which we commission a lot of our raw fabric from them,” explains 43-year-old Amit. The duo even consults and mentors Ashita whenever she needs any suggestions or inputs.
Amit adds, “We love Paiwand’s Jamdani textile, and recently they had worked on something with colour blocking which was nice. They also produce a beautiful monochrome fabric which I love,” says Amit.
Every time a designer wants a particular fabric, they explain their requirements and Ashita produces the samples accordingly. For this, she is currently working with about ten designers, based in Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, and Noida.
Currently, Paiwand has started experimenting with patchwork, embroidery and knitting. Through small projects in the future, Ashita looks towards producing fabric which incorporate these elements.
“My goal is to upcycle and recycle textile as much as possible to reduce pollution caused by the fashion industry. I hope to onboard more designers and create awareness among the masses so that they can be conscious in their fashion choices,” she says, signing off.
This weekend, you can join Ashita for the workshop. Click here to book your slot!
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(Edited by Shruti Singhal)