Looping threads of livelihood

A talk in Pearl academy.

Fast fashion, new trends, new colour palettes is always the buzz world in textiles and fashion.

Like the teaming millions gunning for the Fifa world cup (for the un initiated The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA /ˈfiːfə/ FEEF-əFrench for “International Federation of Association Football“, young aspiring design students gear up for the upcoming few years in the design school specialising in different disciplines, aiming to achieve new goals.

I mention FIFA as it was invigorating, exhilarating and inspiring and that the youngest winner who did a goal at the world cup was only 19. The same age as my audience, who wondered if I was going to talk about soccer clothes !?

Actually I was going to talk about sustainability  – that needs to be our only goal for the sake of our future.

(Prof. M.P. Ranjan had given these 3 categories)

Ethical business – a practice in design

Design ethics and intervention –  The First Order of Ethics in Design

Material – Craftsmanship – Function – Technique – Structure

All craft based development requires an indepth understanding of materials, its sources and its traditional uses. The materials are the reason for any traditional knowledge system to co exist. hence Material goes hand in hand with the user or the crafter. The technique used is just an adaptation of this material for utility. This can only be questioned once its understood why it has come about. The structure this gives to any eco-system or in a given environment has to be clearly understood by a designer willing to document or intervene into this traditional knowledge base.

The Second Order of Ethics in Design

Economy – Society – Communication – Environment

Once the base of the environment has been understood the utility of the products hence developed and how its distributed into the community has to be followed. A product being developed over a long period of time looses it original utility due to changing times and social structures. Some products become obsolete while some evolve. while some products adapt. for example Navalgund Durries, also known as gymkhanas or “jamkhanas” in local Kannada language, were initially made by a group of weavers of Bijapur who were living on the Jamkhan Gali during the reign of Ali Adil Shah. During the war between the Adil Shahs and the Vijayanagar empire, the Jamkhan weavers seeking a safe place to pursue their trade, migrated to Navalgund, initially to trade in pearls but instead settled down in the town, established looms and weaved durries.[3][4]These durries are exclusively made by women of the community who operate the looms at home. At one stage, there were 75 women working on this handicraft, but due to lack of facilities and poor returns, now only 35 women are engaged in weaving the rugs

The Third Order of Ethics in Design

Politics & Law – Culture – Systems – Spiritual

Traditional systems are not only impacted by changing times but also by pilotics and policies that hugely impact any ongoing economic activity that may be marginal or considered unimportant. Something similar that has happened to the the pastoral system in India. One of such examples is what is happening to Camel of Rajasthan. The extension of the Indira Gandhi canal (IGN) removed some of the prime camel grazing areas, as did some of the forest reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. The nutritional status of camel herds worsened, they became prone to disease and to miscarriages, and the population began to fall.

The camel keeping system of Rajasthan is unique in the world; the value it can have in the modern age is only beginning to be understood.

The only way to save the camel for Rajasthan will be to take a bold and innovative approach.

For profit businesses.

Sustainability will be the key to all business practices going forward. One cannot continue to disrupt traditional systems and  a deep understanding that evolved over centuries in an ethical manner that only now has found its adjective.

For all design students going forward fast fashion will be a word of the past and there will only a single goal to learn from the past. Past is what has taught us to go forward and carve out our identities as designers. lets take this and innovate for the future.

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