Speaker 1: Hi, I'm Sam. Hi, I'm hi, I'm shit. And you're listening to three TV? Three.
Speaker 1: Hi. I'm welcome to Three TB A podcast where Three Tech is Banter. It is a podcast where you can explore tech in the non tech way. It is about how the tech and economics behind the tech
Speaker 1: uh impacts us today. And in the future, it is full of information, fun facts, common sense and it is actually spoken in a language that everybody can understand in today's episode. We continue with our theme, which if you remember last episode was Roti Kara and Ma we spoke about Roti and Agri in our previous episode. But in this episode, we are going to talk about the or fashion. Let me start with some very interesting
Speaker 1: quotes that all of us know. Right. Whoever said that money can't buy happiness, simply didn't know where to go shopping. A mantra by which a lot of people seem to live their lives.
Speaker 1: Um When you think of um fast fashion like Zara almost always, you say grab it now, tomorrow it might be gone forever really. And that's what what the world of shopping has become. It's encouraging us to do outfits of the day to put up new outfits every single day, buy more than be really utilized. And therefore like someone very nicely said, I think it was Livia Firth who said fast fashion is like fast food.
Speaker 1: After the sugar rush, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. When we think about fast fashion, right? We really need to understand that while all of us love the clothes, all of us love to fill our wardrobes, there is some data which is really, really scary. So you want to talk about some of the impacts of fast fashion on the environment. Yeah. Yeah. So in fact, uh fast fashion has somehow got everyone's uh
Speaker 1: fancy because it's fast and uh
Speaker 1: and it kind of allows you to kind of, you know, do these quick roles very quickly. But unfortunately, I think it is having a huge negative impact on the environment on all of us and very unwittingly kind of causing a huge amount of and some just simple facts, you know, in, in which we kind of uh
Speaker 1: uh it's just like, you know, things like dying and finishing alone, you know, these processes apparently release some 3% cause 3% of global CO2 emissions uh and over 20% of global uh water pollution.
Speaker 1: Uh it, it is uh you know, very, very difficult to picture that, you know, 2700 liters of water are needed to make just one t-shirt. Ok. And that's the amount of water a person drinks can drink over 900 days. In fact, so much so, you know, this has become such a big issue that
Speaker 1: the UN has actually set up an alliance for, of fashion. You know, it's, it's like, you know, it's like, really thinking of fashion, like terrorism or climate change that, you know, it's, it's so serious that the UN thinks that there should be an alliance to kind of fight it. Uh But yes, it, it is a, it is a problem because it is,
Speaker 1: it, it's kind of uh flying under the radar, so to speak because, you know, nobody thinks of clothes as creating problems and I think as, uh uh you and me, we were discussing that, you know, it's got to do with people, you know, uh driven by media, people discarding clothes faster and, you know, this whole
Speaker 1: whole thing which is kind of piling up on the one hand, clothes are getting made faster and the other hand, you are kind of, you know, getting rid of it at a much faster pace because of the entire ecosystem pressure. So, yeah, uh fast fashion is, is a serious, serious. Uh,
Speaker 1: so many husbands will agree with you and, and treat shopping as criminal for another time. Um You know, one of the biggest changes that since we are talking about fashion and it stuck me just this, uh yesterday that, uh, since I have been in Ireland, I have got
Speaker 1: flyers, uh, almost, uh, twice in a month about donating clothes. Ok. Now, why it is peculiar is that, um, when I was in India I, I, there were some drives, uh, but not so many. Uh, but in Ireland I have seen them multiple times. You have places where, and parts where you go and put your clothes. Uh, you know, I don't know, somehow it stuck to me that. Why, why is there so much talk about clothes and
Speaker 1: you know, trying to donate clothes. And then uh another statistic that hit me was that, you know, uh and, and most of the time it would be, the destination would be Africa and Asia.
Speaker 1: And what the statistic was that 15 million clothes arrive in Ghana? It seems every week. OK. Now there, there can be a good and a bad part, a good part, maybe clothes are also needed by them and you know, Europe and primarily from Europe and us, you know, and, and they are getting their clothes. The sad part is 40% of that material lands up in the land fields, landfill. So, so they are actually not
Speaker 1: being used. So it's, it's like, you know, you, you make your problem someone else's problem and they are dealing with it. It's, it's just ridiculous. I mean, the amount of clothes that get donated. So this is very strange that, you know, II I tried very hard to find something which is in India but uh I, I was definitely able to find this whole thing. Uh people and their steps against fast fashion. You know, like there are some second hand sellers. Like I think it's something called thread up and Mark. I think they're based out of uh
Speaker 1: people are supposed to send their unwanted clothes like you talked about in Ireland and, you know, other people buy them at a low price. Then there is a whole move about renting clothes and there is some rent, rent the runway. And I think there is a UK based company called uh Girl Meets Dress and there's another Dutch company. So I think there is a huge move in that direction. Definitely, the problem is not the, what you are saying is a is a positive one. So you donate clothes and reuse them and it goes on and on and on perfectly with you on that. The issue
Speaker 1: is that this is Don this donation seems to be my trash. I'm shipping somewhere else and it is landing in their trash also. They are not using it. So, so I'll I'll, you know, in, in India, probably in India, probably the the the issue is, is not so, you know, grave because we have been brought up, you know, if there were two brothers in the family, the the the clothes are passing on getting re use and there is a life cycle, which is way higher. The life
Speaker 1: clothing piece and item has gone down drastically in Europe. I mean, there are times when people buy something uh which is in fashion and probably never end up wearing because it went out of fashion the next month. You know.
Speaker 1: So in fact, uh sustainability and I'll give you an, it's not to do with clothes. But uh a friend of mine, he gave me some furniture because we moved into a bigger house. So he kept it then that furniture went by, help took it away and he's taken it to his village and you know,
Speaker 1: he's done it up and all. So, in fact, the other day with the friend of mine came, he said, you know, I have to put my furniture on Blockchain because I must trace the province because I don't do in this situation when I buy back my furniture second hand one day. So, so I mean, yeah, India is a peculiar situation of sustainability in that sense,
Speaker 1: but it has a positive uh feature of sustainability. But I'm going to wrap both. Uh at least you're gonna get wrapped on your knuckles by me as a woman on the show saying, how can you say women? Let me tell you that uh the fear of missing out, right? And the
Speaker 1: the need to hold for fast fashion government is both, it's both men and women. So let me tell you, there is enough and more data, which says that an average person holds fast fashion because of the fear of missing out. However, only half of those clothes are worn and 50% of those clothes get, um, remain untouched. The other bizarre thing. And I think this applies to all of us, right? If, if you remember the good old days, when
Speaker 1: at least I knew when I was in the world of fashion. Uh, we used to have autumn, winter, spring, summer, fall seasons and collections right today. Thanks to fast fashion brands, whether it's the Zara, whether it's the Primark, whatever of the world,
Speaker 1: you actually land up having 12 such collections coming out right. Every month you see renewed collections and because you're seeing it every month earlier when you had four, you would go to the store maybe twice in a year and buy things. I remember when I used to be a shopper shop that an average visit of a consumer was on more than 2.5 times, right
Speaker 1: store. But today when you're sitting at home and clicking and having it delivered and you know, fashion is changing so quickly and I have to wear the outfit of the day and get all the likes on my Instagram ID and all of that. You are landing up buying more and more clothes. And this is true. I think of both men and women in this country and not, not just a country in the world. And I think that's one of the big,
Speaker 1: big things uh that is happening uh in the world and to your point of you know, Ghana and a few other places which are getting the landfills. I I didn't know this but a garbage truck full of clothes is burned or landfill every second. I mean that is shocking data.
Speaker 1: It says there is enough fruits that we are dumping and wasting to fill 1.5 Empire State buildings every day. I can't even imagine what we're doing with so much of clothing. And I sometimes feel that maybe our parents were right in bringing us up by saying you will get new clothes at Diwali which was a festival time and you would get a new pair of clothing on your birthday, right? Twice a year because it was occasions you got that. So in fact that
Speaker 1: I wonder, you know, in Hindi movies, how kids got lost because typically when wearing the clothes from the same cloth, you can easily find them. There is just no way you can get lost, right? Because you know, like, you know, same cloth was bought, same shirt. Everybody in the family is absolutely correct. That is how we are. And I think to that extent, we should look at sustainability in India. But you know, I remember when my son was going for university, he had written this whole essay on the journey of his t-shirt,
Speaker 1: right? From where it came to where it became his t-shirt and then became all the way a rag cloth in the house and then got thrown that. That really is the life cycle of any outfit in this country. So if you think about it as slightly more sustainable countries like India where a shirt is worn by you
Speaker 1: and then I don't know if you're aware of the fact that, you know, you can turn your colors. So typically collar is free, but there are tailors in this country who flip the collar around so you can flip the color around it and give it to somebody else and they can wear it for a few more years. And I think that's phenomenal. We should be extremely proud as a country with the work we're doing
Speaker 1: and how we increase the life. So in fact, your, so in fact, your collections uh 12 collections uh thing uh just reminded me of a paradox. Actually, there is actually a fashion paradox. It's called the Piracy paradox. OK. So the thing is that all the high end labels they come out with, you know, one collection, whatever, then they launch it
Speaker 1: and it does well and then immediately people start cloning it, right? And then there are hundreds of fakes that go out, right? So it's a great source of irritation for these brands that what happens. But if you look at statistics, the fashion industry is not slowing down. So it is growing.
Speaker 1: So if fakes are not hurting them, then what's the issue? So so some professors figured this out. They said, you know what happens so that you know a new collection comes, people buy it, ok? Which is the top end, you know the high end the Met Gala guys, you know, they they buy the stuff, then it gets
Speaker 1: loaned other people buy it. OK? So it becomes accessible to masses. But what it does is now that those those rich guys don't want it. So they need another collection. So the fashion houses come out with another collection and this cycle goes on and on. So it's piracy but it's, it's beautiful for everyone. So this is the fashion piracy paradox that we're talking about.
Speaker 1: But um I must admit that over the last few years especially I think the pandemic did bring to mind the fact that you don't need as many clothes as you were kind of piling up in your house. And I think there's been a certain shift towards understanding that we need to become a little more conscious about the kind of clothes we wear.
Speaker 1: And you know, while we've laughed about it and talked about the seriousness at one level of the number of clothing pieces that we are owning.
Speaker 1: I think the challenge is not just that the challenge is the lack of sustainability that happens because of the entire supply chain from sourcing, you know, natural fibers to it getting produced into a garment to it, reaching you and then going back somewhere, that entire chain actually
Speaker 1: is not really very well thought through and is not sustainable at all levels. And that I think is the aspect that we must uh really kind of look at in the future because from dyes which are polluting water to fabric, right? The fact that polyester as a fabric is a nightmare. Nobody ever thinks about how long it takes for polyester to decompose.
Speaker 1: If you put it into a landfill, it is humongously long, number of years, it will be decades that it will take for polyester to decompose. And the funny thing is that so many governments have polyester. So it's one of the largest fabrics, right? And therefore think about it, we're just creating so many more issues. The other thing that I was talking about, which is the packaging and all of that.
Speaker 1: Did you know that 200 to 500,000 tons of microplastics from textiles enter the global marine environment each year. It's ridiculous because everything comes in a plastic bag gets shipped in a certain way. So it's unsustainable at many, many levels. Yes. So when you mention microplastics, it's just uh kind of rang a bell
Speaker 1: a few days ago, I saw the news and probably limited to Europe. Uh some of the areas in Europe have got rain recently which had traces of microplastics. So, so this microplastics as you know, it's really getting a serious uh becoming a serious problem while we
Speaker 1: produce this whole topic of Capra part of our roti Kara. We'll end this section and probably in the next section, we'll talk about the, the positives also that how, how sustainable fashion is coming up and trying to alleviate this problem. So, stay tuned.
Speaker 1: OK. And so welcome back to this next segment and I think we kind of beat up fashion quite a bit in the first section. So we'll kind of go back and kind of uh give it a bit of a pat on the back. I came across this very interesting quote uh said that the most profound technologies are those that disappear, they weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it. So, you know, there was a paper in 1991.
Speaker 1: So I think uh in fact, it goes on to say it is like very seamless while you may have not kind of immediately caught the drift. But we, what the point really was that we just cannot get away from textile metaphors in our daily life. You know, like we catch air shuttles, shuttles actually goes in looms, we weave through traffic,
Speaker 1: we follow comments, threads and you know, what have you. So actually the story of textiles literally is the story of science, technology, culture and civilization. So, you know, it's it's kind of has been as human beings have evolved. I think clothing and fashion has evolved
Speaker 1: and so much so that, you know, people got very excited about finding out when did we actually start clothing ourselves? So this started off as a with this little boy came home and he had some lice in his hair. So while most parents would get really, really upset, uh This kid's father unfortunately worked in the Marx Planning Institute of Technology
Speaker 1: in the anthropology department. So he thought that it would be a great idea to use lice to figure out the origin of clothing and the way that happens and without kind of uh taking too much time and going through the science of lice. So apparently there is a certain type of lice that they call head lice. And then there are a certain type of lice called body lice. The, the reason why this becomes important is that apparently body lice cannot exist or survive without being attached to cloths. So they kind of die in normal air xy A.
Speaker 1: So what this, what they started doing is they kind of kind of went back and traced mutation by mutation and to figure out where did this go back to like years and years? So lo and behold, and I have no idea why they figured out that human beings started wearing clothes between 40,000, 250 110,000 years ago.
Speaker 1: Uh There's a lot of uh mystery and there's a lot of human cry as to why this, this research is not there. But I just wanted to prove to you why people are so passionate about clothing that they will do just about anything
Speaker 1: to kind of figure things out. So, yeah, so that that's my little piece. So and and I've made it extremely, extremely difficult for the relation to say anything else that we can connect to this. After that. I I heard that there is some German that then probably there has to be a way where food can be converted into a clothing. So so low and be right. Yeah, you're right. I plot out of tea, milk and coffee. So yeah, I think
Speaker 1: there is some connection between uh biochemical research happening um where uh the actually by a student and the student.
Speaker 1: But you know, um there is a lot of connections because of late if you think about it, cork is being used, right? Uh very regularly to make accessories and things like that. Banana fiber in India is very, very large in terms
Speaker 1: of clothing. So there is a lot of things that is coming out of banana fiber that is happening, you know, you cannot have hemp otherwise in this country but hemp clothing. Uh so there are brands which are taking hemp and converting it into uh fiber and fabric.
Speaker 1: Um So I think the fact that people have started going back to nature to identify things uh which they can use to make sure that all of the clothing that we're using. So we may continue to use or buy things which are unnecessary. But at least we will not do as
Speaker 1: much damage to the environment because at least when Cok goes back, it, you know, it doesn't take as long to decompose as for example, polyester words, right? So that's something that's happening. I also think what's shifting and which is very, very encouraging as far as I'm concerned is
Speaker 1: um when you look at research, what they're saying is that the next generation is become extremely conscious and they are therefore willing to buy more sustainable fashion. They are looking at uh tags which check for sustainability in clothing. They are saying that sustainability in fashion is becoming uh more important, right?
Speaker 1: And um I think that's very heartening for somebody like me where if we talk about the fact that you look at the tag right before you decide whether I want to buy this piece of clothing or not. I think that is very interesting as long as there is awareness which says that,
Speaker 1: hey, when I'm buying, am I seeing whether this is sustainably made or not? Or is this a pair of jeans which is taking away 6000 liters of water? Right? Or are we buying from companies which are putting back into the environment? What they're taking away from uh
Speaker 1: the environment whenever there are dieticians and so many youtube videos on diet, they say that, read the label and if those are English words, then you can safely eat them. I think probably in fashion also, probably we should move to that area, right? That if you understand it's a natural sustainable material, then you buy it and, and that is already screwed up, right? Uh unus that's unsustainable fashion. So one part is buying sustainable fashion.
Speaker 1: When a car is launched, it will have kind of multiple trims. Obviously, one of the trims would be leather, but they are using uh for their interior uh the the stuff from the landfills and converting into how probably we will do our bit towards the environment part. But other than buying sustainable fashion, I think the problem is two fold, right?
Speaker 1: So they are the most sold, it's not leather in, in Europe. So in a way, uh I think I have that is another way of reducing into the interior parts, you know, it can be the the the material in the front or the seats in themselves and the seat covers. So I think in English, I mean, like we mentioned even in our earlier eg episode, I think the couple of things, the heartening thing is that the next generation is much more conscious. I mean, they definitely they make a lot of decisions based on
Speaker 1: the sustainability yardstick. And I think there is definitely a shift away from non sustainable things in every aspect, you know, I mean, whether you talk about cars, I mean that the jury is still out there, whether electric is really the right answer or no and it is causing some other downstream. But the fact that people are moving away from something which is obviously more polluting to less polluting is a heartening thing. So I think
Speaker 1: that's kind of happening across the board. I think it's probably happening in the food we consume and all the rest of it. So I think that sustainability as a yardstick is becoming very, very important. And yeah, obviously, of course, otherwise there's my favorite theory that if things really go wrong, then we'll probably have to evacuate earth and go to Mars and live and clean up the earth. But I think till then we'll have to do something else.
Speaker 1: So tell, let's leave Elon Musk to figure that piece out and while he's figuring that piece out, let's move into our last segment, which is really on how technology is being used um to make things better, not just in uh well,
Speaker 1: technology is not, is not being used to make uh consumption go down because social media is just encouraging consumption. But there is a lot of technology that is being used today to change other aspects of the whole fashion industry. Um We are, we have uh an interesting guest to come and talk with us on the tech in the fashion space. Uh So we're going to bring him in for this last segment of this episode.
Speaker 1: OK. So we are back with our next and last segment. Uh this is the one where we talk about all the cool technology that's making fashion possible. And uh what, what we ended up doing is that I actually contacted Rajesh, who's my guest and I'll talk about him a little bit
Speaker 1: and I asked him, you know, Raje, why you tell me something about fashion and technology? So he sent me a little voice memo and the moment he sent it to me, I realized that we couldn't do this because that's the reason we have him here because obviously fashion and technology are a really, really important and they work very well and they work together and they need to work together. And that's why I thought someone like Rajesh should be a great addition, an asset to this episode. So Rajesh and I go back a long way. We are college friends. And uh I think even if
Speaker 1: in those days, maybe when the rest of us were chasing girls and getting excited, Rajesh was excited about denim. So he is, he, he just loves textiles. So, and I think he was with Irvin for the longest time India internationally and co-founded a startup. He was with, he's done a great amount of work in product development and you know, very, very strong credentials in the textile as in the new product development, fast fashion and all of that So he's going to talk about all of that
Speaker 1: and for all of the others who thought, you know, that sounds very fancy just to ground him. You know, he actually hails from chem from a place called Gaut. So just to kind of give you a little bit of perspective, Rajesh, thank you for joining us at such short notice. So I think we'll just kick it off immediately by just getting your very, very quick take on what, what do you see happening in fashion with the advent of all this technology, you know, just come
Speaker 1: key points and I think then we'll just kind of jump in and you know, figure out how
Speaker 2: this goes. But you do have to give me one side moment because this is, this is a fan boy, right? So
Speaker 1: that, that, that that's going to go into our reals and stories now.
Speaker 2: Oh, so when you dialed me up on this one, right? I think uh overall technology as you see it and we first take it to binary code, right, start from there. And that's how design punch cards are still being punched in a certain part of our industry. And that's what you see as jack cards, jack cards are all these big carpet or even drapes designs, et cetera that you see, right? These are big looms and uh these auto looms and while automation has happened,
Speaker 2: the code still remains a binary punch card, right? And it starts from there or, and when, when you see something like that going in this industry traverses from there and goes straight into metas. And if you hit the right spot right now, the discussions that you guys have been having,
Speaker 2: we're now at a stage where generative E I is actually helping create new designs, 3D modeling software is actually helping create human forms for us to drape fabrics onto new styles, new fabrics and for us to create a visualization engine literally in minutes. So whilst there is craft and tradition and we are all trying to hold on to that, there are also tools which are coming up into the new
Speaker 2: and one last you know, one important point so that we don't miss about the craft and the artisans and handicraft, which is a rich one in India, right?
Speaker 2: So today we have actually got RF ID technology, we've got geo tech technology which is actually helping even identify looms and products on its authenticity, right? So that customers can actually see that this sari was woven in bananas or was woven by a family like this et cetera. And through QR codes, you could actually create engaging content for people to actually see and pro right. So I think
Speaker 2: journey right now is gonna be amazing. I think generative A I is going to help create more designs. It's gonna help designers a lot more the processes are becoming faster and uh you know, data engines, especially a lot of data science models are actually helping us create uh the color that you want or, or the color that you're gonna wear. And let's say the next season or the next month as fashion cycles have got shorter.
Speaker 1: So Rajesh, the question for you is that, you know, we were talking about fashion cycles going shorter. We were talking about earlier. We used to have two seasons and four collections. Now we have 12 collections, right? One every month. But when you talk about generative A, I, do you think that it's going to impact us in the way that I see how it looks on me? And then I decide and then the company produces and ships or do you think the mass scale of production will continue
Speaker 1: and will we add to the problem or will we actually be able to solve some of this problem? Because I would personally think that if I can now customize and so a lot of us return products because they are not fit well, you know, it wasn't the size that I expected it to be blah, blah, blah or it lies in our cupboard wasted because I, you know, it doesn't matter. But if we have all of this technology,
Speaker 1: will it allow companies to produce smaller numbers and then ship it out and not have returns as much, then we're impacting it at multiple
Speaker 2: levels. Oh, yeah. I, I think a lot of it is already in works, uh testing scale models, uh smaller quantities coming in. Uh If you look at uh so we will split it into two punch and rate we are right now. The way it's gonna help designers is actually take from concept to actual design much faster
Speaker 2: overall. Otherwise, the way I would spend time articulating my visual and then getting to a stage and then looking to test today, I can get that in a few minutes and I can get various versions of it, which in an e-commerce world, I can actually do a virtual product, test it out. And I actually see traffic flow and I can see, you know, it's like a bait click, right? I can be able to see whether this is working or not working. And then if the click baits are working, then you know that hey, we could actually produce it.
Speaker 2: The data science models can then build on how, how much do you want, but smaller runs are possible. But I think it's going to aid the design things a lot more colors, a lot more, lot more interactions and data coming back from consumers to actually make choices
Speaker 2: and within that scheme of things. Yes, the impact is going to be slower. I
Speaker 1: just wanted to know Rajesh a bit more when you mention meta wars in my mind, suddenly it stuck to me that probably it it helps in sustainable fashion. I may be wrong. I mean, you might and provenance and, and the first thing that comes to our mind is Blockchain. Definitely the second one is sheet your favorite, right? Which is Meta Wars in some way, letting
Speaker 1: you and your test stuff out. Probably you will be talking about meta wars from a brand perspective. But I was thinking that, you know, if meta Wars was a discard less stuff like that. So, so when you mentioned meta wars, Rajesh, what was your, you know, kind of thought process very
Speaker 2: early days? Right now, there are two parts in the metaverse, right? As digital outta is going in now, there is a lot of fashion actually happening there.
Speaker 2: You could very well see in Nike's digital uh sneakers are selling a lot more older and at higher prices as well because now we are creating ourselves as an out there, right? Especially from people who are more digitally inclined
Speaker 2: from a product perspective. I think it helps as well in terms of creating authenticity, right? Creating that content, creating a whole amount of technology signals that can actually help drive, you know, demand signals to people to say, should I produce this or not? This has been the weakest part even you spoke about inventory, right? It is the biggest part today. The world literally is sitting with big
Speaker 2: millions of dollars of unsold inventory and they're sitting in warehouses, it's sitting in other countries, it's being shipped out, it's in land flares it's all over the place. So the most signals that you get because humans at the end of the day will always want something new, they will want something to wear. It's much more closer. It's about how they express and fashion is always about individualistic expression, right? So metaverse is gonna help in a,
Speaker 2: a certain way but not solve it completely, but it will go a long way, especially in terms of getting signals.
Speaker 1: And Rajesh, I just want to understand a little more, you know, you spoke about color and you spoke about uh choice and things like that. But one of the things that I've been reading about is the whole the dies, right? The dyes themselves, the color dyes, et cetera because those were very polluting uh at one point in time
Speaker 1: and with this whole shift of more colors coming in, et cetera, are you seeing a shift that is likely to come in even when it comes to sustainable dyes or uh inputs which go into? So the raw material of dyes changing and therefore colors becoming uh by themselves also more
Speaker 2: sustainable by by and large. There are two parts to it. One
Speaker 2: on the technology side of dying itself. Overall, there's a lot of work which has happened. A lot of uh many companies now, textile leaders in India and abroad have very highly compliant to dye stuffs uh or on natural dye is also being a bigger part of it. Certain colors which are largely pastels as we call it are much easier to do it with natural colors than others. The demand signals will keep going on as consumers start looking at it. I think overall cost needs to keep coming down.
Speaker 2: The act finally is going to be about how much are we going to produce. Because water is a still a big component in this and many plants that I see now in India also have their own recycling parts, right? And they are bringing in a lot more water in. There is also a lot of new technologies which have come in from many, many things which are using less water
Speaker 2: and that will help. Uh so for sure, loads of stuff happening there, how do you get to the consumer? I think for all of us in this field, what we're trying to figure out is the consumer wants something new almost every day, you know, wants to express now because of social and everything else. Those fashion cycles have crunched. Now, how do I ensure I produce? Right. And how do I ensure I produce what my consumers actually want? I think for every brand that that's where they are actually going at and there are loads of solutions available.
Speaker 1: So I just the thing then is uh while on the one hand, we're talking about individualism and customization and giving one person there is uh there's this whole other side of popularly called fast fashion, right? I mean, which is kind of you're producing to a trend or to a projected predicted style and you produce a lot of it and you send it out in shorter, shorter cycles
Speaker 1: and for, and, and I'm sure it made great economic sense and people did well, but it's obviously getting a bad name because of the polluting after effects or in process effects of it, whether it be water, whether it be landfills, whether it be everything else. So, I mean, I mean, while we are not trying to now go back and resurrect and say that why you did it, but Jenny, so what is the industry's thinking on this? You know, what are people doing and thinking from the industry side
Speaker 1: and, and maybe you have a deeper insight of something happening in India, you know what I mean? Like, you know, are Indians doing it differently because, you know, we just had this conversation that Indians are sustainability crazy. You know, we don't throw away anything. Everybody is wearing grandfather, father son to this driver, then their Children were. So how is it kind of working out in India? You know, this whole fast fashion thing.
Speaker 2: It's a very, very pertinent question right now, the industry keeps asking this the growth of sheen growth of other models, et cetera, right? Um Billions of units being produced very, very fast, I think two parts. Um One, let's start with India.
Speaker 2: I've always felt that even during my international days in India, sustainability score is much higher than anybody else to keep cutting, cutting and keep making it something clothes normally do not go to. Right. So M might be driving now in a little while and going to the council land tip that he has to drop it in because that's what I used to do with the UK as well.
Speaker 2: But here you give it to a community, that community gives it further, then they give it further and then sends rags purses but they could. Right. India, man, it's the challenge of clothes actually going to landfill is very low. The second part of it is that
Speaker 2: could the market as in demand of consumer cycles. It's not the other way around. So new business models emerged because of consumption patterns, changing people wanting something new and cycles no longer being, you know, saying that I'd wait six months for something else to come in. It's our social lives. So consumption, all of this will need to actually come in from consumers themselves. Thirdly, in India, we are the largest producer of organic cotton,
Speaker 2: you know, but we actually don't have much access to it because uh all the M and SSCNAS gaps of the world keep blocking it and picking it up. I think overall India is far ahead and I think India will be the change as we call it. I have a huge amount of a on India manufacturing in India is going to be the change that you would see.
Speaker 2: The next 10, 15 years. India will be driving a lot more on uh fashion and in terms of discussions, investments which are actually going on uh in recycling yarn coming out uh uh urban and now a plant where they're recycling garments and jeans into yarn and then remaking it, they have a program with Gap. Somebody else is just recycling now, polyester pet bottles and creating that yarn and doing that.
Speaker 2: And traditionally, when you look at our handicrafts, et cetera, right? We don't throw any um bits out, the guy continues to make another design, etcetera, right? So a large part of the authenticity, the large part of uh you know, no carbon footprint kind of manufacturing which has been existent in India is going to come to the fore. I think the world is going to vote thankfully, hopefully with the dollars in hand
Speaker 2: and the way we see consumption and fast fashion models, they're changing quite a bit. But what fast fashion is actually taught everybody else, which is good is that
Speaker 2: you no longer need to actually make uh at the lowest cost possible because earlier that was the big point, right? I would make it in Bangladesh or China. Six months ahead
Speaker 2: since consumer cycles have changed, people are now very clear that we need smaller lots. So that bit of an impact is going to come in overall capacities overall businesses a lot more. So brands will be challenged by that and brands which will actually engage with consumers on that part will
Speaker 1: succeed. And Rajesh tell me in terms of because we're talking about this whole focus of India. I know India is also focusing on a whole bunch of new fabrics,
Speaker 1: right, or sources for uh fabric, which is hemp, uh banana fiber and all of the other stuff. And we're already seeing some brands which have done significant amount of work as far as hemp is concerned and banana fiber is concerned
Speaker 1: and things like that. But how do you see that going global? Because very often we do a lot of things and then we are unable to take that to a global level. Where do you see that happening from a tech point of view? Yeah, I
Speaker 2: think two parts there before I come to the tech part of it, right? I think the world
Speaker 2: is now actually watching it with much more interest. The latest Christian Dior Collection actually going in there and you're actually talking handicrafts, you're talking block prints, you're talking this which is traditionally ours, right? For all of us buying Jaipur Corti or hand blocked shirts which are there. But suddenly when you have the Christian de Creative Director actually putting on a show completely here, you know,
Speaker 2: design developed in India, so much so more, right? And then when you see contemporary design with old traditional crafts or something new that you make. It, it's completely amazing and you know, with the team at China and everything else, amazing stuff that they've actually done uh there. And that is the world watching us when a luxury brand actually has its main stake in Bombay, that is basically, that's one language. So people are curious,
Speaker 2: the second part of it is that tech is actually helping us create the authenticity goals, right? More and more about this from an RF ID perspective. QR codes, you know, geo tag et cetera will actually help
Speaker 2: that dollar actually reached to that last year, right? Payments. Also you guys are experts on up a that and a lot of these payments now actually happen in clusters brands. I know even at where they've been working with smaller clusters payments directly go to the overall and that actually helps. So technology is enabling a huge amount of change. But I think the change is one of
Speaker 2: coming in from content consumption and authenticity. Les in fact,
Speaker 1: one of the things that you talked about was I think we were discussing this about technology being a performance enhancer in the in the fabric, the garment or the finished product itself. I think you you you were talking about very, very specialized products being developed for niche professions or you know, athletes and others.
Speaker 1: So I mean, what's really happening there and you know what's driving it that
Speaker 2: I find the most interesting because uh that's why II I call it's all about haptic senses. So your cloth actually is woven differently, right? So haptic sensors have two parts and one part is the kinesthetic interactions, you know, especially muscle nudges that now imagine sportswear fabric is being made. So you wore in yoga pants and you are actually, and you will see a large part of it right now,
Speaker 2: a lot of software is now new coming in our new apps which have come in which actually help you with posture, help you with position, the yoga arsenal, et cetera, right? And they sort of give you a visual deal. Now, imagine that visual signal is actually triggering my back, you know, or my shoulder or my hand and actually giving me a signal deer saying this needs to get corrected
Speaker 2: and that's what's actually happening. Now, new developments which are coming in, especially over swimwear where data is also going in as the swimmer comments with the whole idea is the next, uh, you know, flips, how, where are we going to get him from? And that's gonna be about how we gonna marathon runner, right? And this is huge discussion
Speaker 2: now on, is it right? Is it not right? Because, you know, but I think what's actually happening with the Arctic technology is it's gonna help athletes perform better, it's going to help track, you know, lactic acid formation, especially in uh marathon runners, right? Where is muscle crunches gonna happen? And can signals actually be transferred back versus only looking at biosensors all over.
Speaker 2: So the cloth itself becoming a biosensor and lots of work going on in that area. A lot of other areas which is happening is in advanced tech, uh textiles fire, right? So you have fabrics now in which you actually have heat sensors, right? So the moment he's entering into a fire, we there is an alarm which goes off. So whilst he may be under, you know, a cloud or in smoke, but he can't sense that heat, but a signal will be given to him by,
Speaker 2: you know, a muscle nudge or anything else versus the saying, get out, it's an alarm, right? So loads of textiles going in, especially the advanced text, uh technical textiles area. Very, very interesting.
Speaker 1: Rajesh, this reminds me of an episode I saw on NCIS, right? So they're talking about taking um garments worn by athletes to understand DNA and then it went into genetic modification. So, you know, while I'm very super excited about what I'm hearing, I'm also very worried about how it could easily get abused in the future. Um It's always a flip side of technology, right? Every time you hear something positive, you kind of step back and say
Speaker 1: all that data, what is, what's going to happen with that from a negative side of uh point of view. But yeah, super exciting to hear that you're right because I know uni has these thermal, um you know, wear and things like that, which has already started. You don't have to wear those bulky things. You don't have to wear the horrible woolen fiber that you used to wear earlier as the inner wear and all of that, that has been radical change for sure. Uh As far as technology,
Speaker 1: the cheese concern. So from variable tech, we're coming to wearable clothes, uh tech clothes, I mean, in that sense, a lot
Speaker 2: of brands are going ahead, there's a lot happening in the consumer side, right? And I think I'm spending a lot of time only looking at consumers right now about how the next generation brands are going to be built, you know, overall looking at what is gonna happen because it's not only about the new trends, things just to mention about what mentioned,
Speaker 2: you now could have a dress which could also change its print and color depending on what your mood is. So that could be the last one. But then we sell less number of
Speaker 1: units, you know, it's so interesting because I I sometimes think that this whole balance of value volume, right, that the world of retail is constantly doing. Uh and we're always thinking about high production, low cost things like that, especially if you're talking about not stuff but everyday
Speaker 1: stuff. But I truly think that if some parts of Europe actually are geared like that, right? They don't buy as much while a lot of Europe does buy a lot more fabric. But there are parts of Europe, there are parts of the world where they buy expensive clothes, have fewer clothes in their wardrobes. But actually, you know, they, they either better fashion or they're better products, their quality et cetera.
Speaker 1: I think that realization and we've spoken about this in one of our previous episodes. If you remember, I think that's really where we need to take the world to that. It's not about the fear of missing out and having that. We were just talking about the outfit of the day where I once I wear the outfit of the day, I cannot be seen again in that outfit because you know, somebody's going to say, oh, but I've already commented on this that needs to shift to now becoming not the trend but
Speaker 1: something that you own and say I am sustainable, I am a believer of sustainable and therefore I'm willing to pay more, own less and therefore make the climate far more, leave the climate behind better for the next generation. I think if that switches what we can bring about in communication and in mindset and in behavior that would be game
Speaker 2: changing the two parts which have actually happened. If you see last year's financials, overall luxury has grown,
Speaker 2: right? BM and Chanel, everyone, billions of dollars and everything, fashion as such or just remained at a certain position, didn't grow as much or shows that people are starting to upgrade. Even in India, I start seeing that right now value
Speaker 2: passion is meant which was earlier about a certain segment of society as well. Everyone's upgrading and that's where I see the potential to create it today. And I think it comes in traditionally for us, right. I'm sorry, at least at home
Speaker 2: she doesn't go and buy a polyester sari, right? So she, you go to a store, you spend four hours, you indulge in the whole story telling the guy will tell you this from your so Indians have this whole part about value and textiles, about what it is, right? And whether it goes to our to our et cetera, we are far more involved in our fashion.
Speaker 2: And that's why I believe that whilst fast fashion, you may continue to do its rounds in the younger age group value segment globally. In India, it will still be a challenge because at the end of the day, we, you know, love our handicrafts. We love what we actually see in our quotas with our embroideries, chicken work loads of kind of stuff that is there because it's a part of our culture, right?
Speaker 2: I think that's not going to go away. Even with the younger generation. I see it more stronger now in the 18 to 20 where I I'm actually looking at a new India consumer actually coming up, they are much more proud, they are much more stronger, they're not averse to Indian brands, which is giving the whole focus on new brands coming up with these stories, uh being able to tell about their product aesthetics. Right.
Speaker 2: Oh, that couldn't survive during our time when and me were going to college. This is no way. Even 10 years ago, you would still have global brands coming in and now the younger generation, thank goodness for them. They are actually going to drive this change. She, you'll see that.
Speaker 1: I totally agree with you. Every time I meet the younger generation, I think we're getting in a better space with them. Uh which is, which, which is very, very heartening for sure. On that note of positivity, we're gonna end this section and we're going to close this episode. Rajesh, thank you very much for joining us. It's been really, really fun having this conversation with you and I'm sure we'll see you more often on our show uh in the future.