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    If there is one cultural shift that has taken over lifestyles in the past year, it is the awareness about sustainability. From home to beauty, food to fashion, eco-consciousness is becoming a war cry. Most importantly, for fashion.

    As an industry that is often accused of being the world’s largest polluter, last year saw several defining moments that highlighted a shift in how brands, designers, and consumers are approaching fashion. Seasons and trends are being eschewed in favour of recycling, upcycling, and thoughtful buying practices. There is awareness about fabric interventions and how to cut back on CO2 emissions. Even assimilating local craftsmen into design has become a talking point. With so many facets, it stands true that anyone planning to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle can just begin with curating their wardrobe well.

    LIVA
    Image: Courtesy Birla Cellulose sustainability report

    To that effect, Liva is the perfect stepping stone. From the Aditya Birla Group, this nature-based, eco-friendly fabric already has a massive fan following for the softness and comfort it offers. Fashion-forward, and with a flattering drape and fall, it ticks all the right boxes when it comes to style. What’s even better is that Liva is devoted to sustainable practices.

    Made with natural, cellulosic fibres produced from the wood pulp of trees that are grown specifically for this purpose, the practice is a testament to the brand’s commitment to maintaining the earth’s green cover. It also saves 6-7 times more land area than is used in growing cotton, and 3-4 times more water. Used by brands like W, BIBA, Lifestyle, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, and Pantaloons, among others, to create au courant silhouettes, you can easily identify Liva-made outfits by a pink Liva tag standing testimony to the fabric used in making those garments.

    Image: Courtesy Shutterstock
    Image: Courtesy Shutterstock

    And that’s not all. Its variant, Livaeco™, ups the sustainability ante even more. Like its name suggests, this pro-planet fabric, which was launched last year, is devoted to effective eco practices. Made using cellulose from FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sustainable forests, the fabric contributes to maintaining the forest cover, and is six times more efficient in conserving land as compared to competing natural fibres. A fantastic offshoot of that is that the green cover goes a long way in the absorption of greenhouse gases.

    In making Livaeco™, almost 900 litres of water is saved vis-à-vis other natural fibres, and the greenhouse gas emissions lowered by 300 grams. Responsible fashion enthusiasts will particularly like the fact that Livaeco™ outfits have molecular tracers – wearers can trace the journey of the product to any stage via a web-enabled system. Most of all, after it has run its course, a Livaeco™ outfit biodegrades in six weeks instead of clogging a landfill. You can easily identify a Livaeco™ outfit by its green tag.

    Image: Courtesy Shutterstock

    Both products are effective steps in building an eco-chic closet. Added value comes by way of Birla Cellulose, the pulp and fibre business of Aditya Birla Group, becoming the first viscose manufacturer to declare carbon neutrality in Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. Besides this, the brand adheres to all parameters of being a producer of responsibly-made viscose, because viscose, made from wood, requires lesser amount of water, and a smaller fraction of land as compared to other fabrics. Another sustainable attribute of this viscose is the fertilizer- or insecticide-free raw wood, which in case of other fabrics, ends up polluting the underground water or land.

    So, in these times when people are being urged to weigh every fashion purchase against its impact on the environment, your conundrums can be put to ease. Just look for the Liva tag across leading brands the next time you go shopping and be consciously fashionable.

    Anupam Dabral
    Sr. Associate Editor
    It was while studying fashion journalism at London College of Fashion that Anupam developed a keen interest in the anthropological aspect of the discipline; for him, fashion only makes sense when seen in the context of its environment. He is always on the hunt for great stories, and in his spare time binge-watches films/shows starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.