It’s easy to say that this trip was life changing. It will more difficult to put in practice what I have learnt and seen. Im sure everyone on the trip will have a clearer vision for sustainability. And if we return to India, it will to be to collaborate and support India crafts not to exploit its resources.
There are two sides to this sword. India depends on industry and overseas investment for the economy, but in the rush to gain first world status many cultural practices (particularly in textiles) are being lost.
Organisations like Happy Hands and people like Rajeet Sethi and Fiona Wright are doing inspirational things and taking great lengths to preserve the these practices. It is through awareness and ethical practices that will sustainability will be achieved.
But is a losing battle if big companies like Zara and H&M have zero transparency and still continue to use unethical practices.
The question is: what type of designer do I want to be?
Whilst movies like the Darjeeling Limited and the Best Exotic Marigold offer a very romanticized/ western view of India and do it little justice, through halcyon eyes I feel like that is exactly how our whirlwind adventure was.
When the pangs of nostalgia hit, I just have to remind myself that’ll I will definitely be back soon.