My name is Bhavani Salwa and this is my story. Oh by the way that is me in the picture trying to give a straight look. I am not that serious in real life. Being a 32 year old, I have seen a continued reinvention of the fashion world. The industry was never hyped the way it is being done at the moment. Things were much simpler to understand and be progressive about. One might wonder if the attention being given at this level is justifiable. Irrespective of this fast paced actions at which fashion evolves, I am certain that we are progressing towards a good change and that of a positive one.
Holding distinction in post graduate diploma in Fashion Design in the year 2014, people around me wondered what I was up to.The mindset was different. The goals were superficial and the long term 5 or 10 year plan was just to be successful. Little did I know my mind had other plans for future? Though I am aware that the position I am at right now was not an easy path to travel, a much less traveled path to be precise. However, I was once that person who was clueless and careless about the decisions I made in my past. It taught me a great deal and I am proud to be where I am at life right now making better choices and improving myself everyday as it comes.
Excelling certain skills over past years helped me realize that I was a person who constantly needed to learn new things. I was not hesitant to embark on a new journey. Some may see it as inconsistency, but to me I loved learning new things. Research played an important role in how I shaped my thinking. Few years back, earning money and being successful was all I dreamed of. Even today, those goals play an important role. However, the way I wanted to be known as a successful designer and entrepreneur altered. This is how I started a new journey by starting A-E-I-O-U.
As Gandhi once quoted, “Be the change, you wish to see in others”. AEIOUorganic took its inception inspired by many such quotes. I had to explain what organic clothing was and what made it special? I started off by campaigning my label with graphic illustrations and posters to get customer engagement. The more I spoke to people about my label the more I was faced with the harsh reality about what people actually thought about fashion in general. The reality was that most of us never give a thought about fashion nor our buying choices. This was the time when organic clothing/organic farming was still in its initial popularity phase. So was my label just to impress the society who followed every fad which came their way? Or did I actually believe in what I initiated? I would be lying if I said that all I cared was to spread a positive impact through my fashion label towards betterment of this environment.
Through my label selling eco-friendly clothing, I wish to spread awareness among people to buy less, recycle often and minimize fashion disposal. Since a decade we have seen an impeccable emphasis towards environmental issues like climate change, global warming, and carbon footprint. Through AEIOU I wish to gradually change the perception of the consumer leaning more towards fast fashion. One needs to start questioning about where their clothes came from or under what circumstances. As waste continuous to arise, resources to produce become endangered. One must think about how it is affecting an individual and at what cost? The reason I chose natural dyeing and low impact certified dyes to go with organic clothing is because selling organic clothing is just not enough to promote chemical less clothing. I believe that the starting cycle till the end must promote what sustainable fashion really stands for. Once we invest in clothing produced from organic cotton/other fibers which are free from harmful pesticides/chemicals toxic to the environment and people around the cultivated lands and rivers, we need to make sure that the second step plays an important role as well. Dyeing plays an important role in transforming fibers into beautiful colors. Most of the synthetic dyes contain chlorine and once these chemicals are evaporated in the air and are introduced into large water bodies, there is no looking back. Once people breathe this polluted air around them regularly, it results in respiratory problems and many other diseases. I believe that if we achieved the first step going non-toxic one must put an equal effort to support natural dyes or low impact dyes.
Through AEIOU, I constantly try to evolve by following best practices from conception to the end i.e. sourcing to packaging. I also promote plant growth by sending vegetable seeds on every sale I make. I believe that we must maintain nature’s harmony by giving back what we reap from it. My aim is to target people who believe in quality as opposed to quantity. Using strong marketing and advertising skills I believe sustainable fashion can become the next big thing not losing the business aspect attached to it. As more and more people are drifting towards eco-friendly lifestyle, it opens up many doors towards unlimited successful ventures. In the end, I wish to achieve success through inspiring others to make positive changes in how they style themselves through thoughtful buying choices where their purchases last longer and are durable for years to come.