Ayurveda for a Sustainable Fashion Industry in 2021

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COVID pandemic and rising levels of global warming have triggered ripples of changes in all industries, and the fashion industry is no different. One of the new trends in the fashion industry is – a fusion of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicine with dress designing.

Ayurveda is natural, healthy, and eco-friendly. However, use of Ayurveda in fashion is easier said than done! The fashion industry has two main stakeholders – fashion models and designers. Both stakeholders have a unique set of challenges regarding the implementation of Ayurveda in everyday fashion.

Ayurveda for Fashion Models

ProsCons
Fashion models can use information regarding their body types to make the healthiest choices in terms of diet and lifestyle. Lack of Time and Interest to maintain an Ayurveda diet and lifestyle. 

Lack of awareness regarding the efficacy of Ayurvedic herbs and procedures
Most of the Ayurvedic herbs may be unaffordable or unavailable. 
Lack of licensed Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner to guide the clients.

Lack of awareness and proper information regarding Ayurvedic weight management. 
Food options available to the Fashion models are mostly unhealthy junk foods. 
Lack of sufficient scientific studies regarding efficacy and safety.
Ayurvedic psychotherapy and fasting technique can help to relieve stress.Lack of awareness regarding the efficacy of Ayurvedic herbs and procedures
Most of the Ayurvedic herbs may be unaffordable or unavailable. 
Lack of licensed Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner to guide the clients.

Lack of awareness and proper information regarding Ayurvedic weight management. 
Food options available to the Fashion models are mostly unhealthy junk foods. 
Lack of sufficient scientific studies regarding efficacy and safety.
Ayurvedic herbs bring a wholesome nutritional effect with a small intake.Most of the Ayurvedic herbs may be unaffordable or unavailable. 
Ayurvedic intermittent fasting involving the use of medicated meals may help to maintain the weight healthily.Lack of licensed Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner to guide the clients.
Balanced Ayurveda weight management can help to prevent anorexia, bulimia, or other diet-related disorders.Lack of awareness and proper information regarding Ayurvedic weight management. 
An Ayurvedic vegetarian diet is ideal to lose weight and detox the body. Food options available to the Fashion models are mostly unhealthy junk foods. 
Ayurveda diet can improve skin tone and overall appearance of fashion modelsLack of sufficient scientific studies regarding efficacy and safety.

Ayurveda for Fashion Designers

ProsCons
Ayurveda can help to make Personalized Medicated Apparel as per individual body type, for better skin health.Low awareness among designers regarding Ayurvedic herbs and procedures. 
Ayurvedic apparel may be significantly useful for people with hypersensitive skin, skin allergies, or other skin conditions. Low or Non-availability of exotic Ayurvedic herbs in the western countries. 
Ayurvedic apparel has an anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic effect on the skin.Ayurvedic apparel production requires Lots of manual labor.
They are helpful in tanning/sunburn prevention. These properties make them more useful and saleable. It has a significantly longer manufacturing time
They may help to improve the skin tone, prevent wrinkles, marks, spots, etc. Long and complicated manufacturing may make Ayurvedic garments expensive and practically unviable. 
Ayurvedic apparels are natural. They can help to make the fashion industry sustainable and eco-friendly. Lack of information regarding scientifically tested and proven standard procedures for the preparation and use of Ayurvedic dyes.
Lack of adequate scientific research and safety analysis for Ayurvedic dyes. 
Lack of licensed Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner to guide the fashion designers.

Ayurveda and the Fashion Models

Normally, fashion models enter the industry at a very young age, and they more vulnerable to a lot of health problems and stress. However, a 5000 years old healing wisdom Ayurveda can help them to get over most of their problems. 

A Personalized Approach

Ayurveda says that each person is unique and should have a personalized diet, lifestyle, and treatment procedure. Fashion models can use their prakrati types to make the healthiest choices in terms of diet and lifestyle. 

Stress Relief

Fashion models may face tremendous stress due to multiple factors like peer pressure, unstable lifestyle or financials, demanding work routine, extensive travel, etc. According to multiple pieces of scientific research, stress is the biggest reason for most lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hypertension, etc. It can aggravate auto-immune disorders and trigger early aging. 

However, Satvavjaya chikitsa (Ayurvedic psychotherapy), coupled with Ayurvedic fasting, meditation, and breathing exercises can be incredibly effective for stress, performance anxiety, depression, Inferiority Complex, etc. 

Proper Nutrition with Less Food

Ayurvedic herbs like Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Museli, etc. can bring a wholesome nutritional effect with a small intake. They ensure a complete balance in the metabolism. Besides, Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Shankhpushpi are nervine tonics that help to reverse the damaging effects of the wrong diet, lifestyle, and stress. 

Anorexia Prevention

Anorexia is a fairly common health problem in fashion models. And it springs primarily from stress as mentioned above. 

Ayurvedic intermittent fasting involving the use of medicated meals may help to maintain the weight healthily. It may also serve as an Ayurvedic body detox. Also, Ayurveda recommended a vegetarian diet is scientifically proven to be an effective weight management technique, so you don’t have to starve yourself to stay in shape. 

Ayurveda and the Fashion Designers 

After COVID, the world is moving fast towards “the healthy and sustainable”. There is a great opportunity for therapeutic and sustainable fashion, and Ayurveda can help the fashion designers to gear up for the change.

Personalized Medicated Apparel 

You have a unique body. According to Ayurveda, there are three types of prakrati or body type. And you can personalize your apparel according to your body type. 

Skin Friendly Fabric 

Garments dyed with Ayurvedic herbs like turmeric provide excellent antimicrobial benefits. Other herbs like manjishtha, cinnamon, khus, neem, sandalwood, etc. provide excellent skincare benefits. People with skin allergies or hypersensitive skin form a great market for Ayurvastra or medicated Ayurvedic garments.  

And turmeric dyed clothing is a 5,000 years old tradition. It is still a mandatory custom to wear turmeric dyed clothes during all Hindu rituals. 

Lecoanet Hemant’s Ayurganic brings together fashion and Ayurveda

Anti-bacterial

Anti-inflammatory Effect

Anti-septic

Tanning/ Sunburn

Natural Cosmetic Effects 

Ayurveda has a category of herbs called “varnya” or the complexion-enhancing herbs, foe example –  Shveta Candana (Santalum album), Nagkeshara (Mesua ferra), Padmaka (Prunus cerasoides), Ushira (Vetiveria zizanioides), Madhuka (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia), Shariva (Hemidesmus indicus), etc. Clothes processed in these herbs may protect the even skin tone. 

Scientific Research – 1

Sustainable Approach 

Natural dye from sandalwood, turmeric, etc. is eco-friendly. At the same time, it can produce attractive shades with a natural look. Besides, the use of herbal dyes will reduce the production of chemical based dyes and their polluting effect. Therefore, these clothes are good for consumers and the planet. 

However, everything comes with a dark side as well. Some of the cons of Ayurvedic dyes are – 

Cons of Ayurveda for – The Fashion Models 

Non-availability of Healthy Ayurvedic Meals

It is not easy to find food according to Ayurveda.

Lack of Support by the Designers

Normally, fashion models on the go have limited food choices. The snacks, and beverages provided by the designers or production team are usually junk food, processed food, or sugary stuff. When the models are dressed in a designer’s garment – there’s not eating or drinking while dressed. 

The Fashion Designers 

Low Awareness among Designers      

Most of the designers are not aware of or are not interested in the use of Ayurveda or herbal medicine for sustainable Fashion. 

Low Availability of Exotic Herbs

Ayurveda herbs might be very expensive or not easily available for mass production. Their use may not be economically viable for small-time Fashion designers. 

Lots of Manual Work

Ayurvedic natural dyes have a longer manufacturing time and require lots of manual labor. Most of these dyes are hand-made that may make them uneconomical for most fashion designers. 

Longer Turn-around Time 

Because of the natural manufacturing process, the dying process has a significantly longer time than the synthetic dying process. 

Expensive

The above-mentioned reasons also make the Ayurvedic dyes and the medicated garments more expensive. 

Lack of Standard Procedure for Using Herbs 

There is a lack of information regarding scientifically tested and proven standard procedures for the preparation and use of Ayurvedic dyes. 

General Ayurveda Cons for the Fashion Industry

Lack of Licensed Ayurvedic Doctors or Practitioners in the US

Most of the developed countries including the US do not have trained Ayurveda consultants. In most of the Us states, Ayurveda is not even recognized as a medicine system. Therefore, quality Ayurveda advice is either extremely expensive or inaccessible.

Lack of Awareness 

Most of the people in the west are unaware of the benefits of Ayurveda or herbal medicine. Therefore, Ayurveda based dyes and clothes do not have a huge market currently. However, with a steep rise in lifestyle and autoimmune disorders, side effects of modern medicines, and non-availability of a permanent cure, more and more people are trying to find natural alternatives. 

Lack of Time and Interest

A large number of people may have a hard time maintaining the Ayurvedic lifestyle and diet, in this era of quick fixes. 

Lack of Sufficient Scientific Proof 

Most of the Ayurvedic herbs and treatment procedures need more research to establish their credibility. Currently, most of the Ayurvedic herbs lack research studies that prove their efficacy in terms of specific disorders or health conditions. 

Lack of Safety Analysis

Adequate studies on the safety profile of many Ayurvedic herbs or herbal combinations are not available. There is a possibility of adverse effects by Ayurvedic herbs and traditional prescription medicines. Only extensive scientific research can help to establish the credibility of Ayurveda in the fashion industry.  

In spite of multiple problems, the number of Ayurveda enthusiasts in the fashion Industry is rapidly growing. Ayurveda is an answer to the need of a responsible and sustainable fashion industry. Let’s us hope to see some radical changes very soon!

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