Madhur's Blog

EthicalFashion

2019 has definitely been a year to remember for me. If the previous year was about building identity, this year has been about fearlessly embracing it and building a life that celebrates it. With the year coming to an end, I wanted to briefly reflect on the year that has been and all the progress I’ve made.

Quitting My Job & Self Employment

The year started with a deep desire. A desire that had been circling me for a long time and one that was promising to take over. As the year progressed, take over it did. So what was this desire? Well, it was fairly simple – ’to live my life doing the things I love, surrounded by the people I love.’

Much of the year has felt like failed attempts at taking the plunge to quit corporate to fulfil this desire. Back in April, I came close. I resigned at my day job as a strategist at a market research firm. But for one reason or the other, I ended up reconsidering and decided to stay for a bit longer. On October 3rd, the day after Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday, the desire finally took over me completely and I sent my resignation to my bosses for the second time and I’m glad to share that I have been self-employed since mid-November.

Getting here hasn’t been easy and I was very aware that it would only get more difficult, as I walked away from a steady source of income. The truth is, embracing the unknown is never easy and demands fearlessness and a strong belief in your vision. It isn’t like an on or off switch, but more like a muscle that needs to be built by showing up, and the more you show up, the better you get at dealing with it.

Buying Less, Choosing Better

As some of you might recall, after spending the entire of 2018 on a no-spend pledge, I decided to limit myself to 12 new pieces this year. The intent was to continue building a deeper understanding of my wardrobe while prioritising thrifting and swapping over buying new. When I did buy new, I wanted to make sure I only purchased well researched and high-quality pieces from brands who share my values.

When I came up with this goal, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to meet it. Surprisingly, I ended up buying only 4 new pieces this year. I did write about my first purchase – a shacket from Doodlage. The other three purchases I made for myself were a kurta from Nicobar, as well as a card case and a key case from Arture.

With more time on my hand, I am looking forward to documenting more of my fashion journey, both in terms of what I already own as well as new additions to my wardrobe. I am also particularly looking forward to revealing my entire wardrobe online in 2020, inspired by my friends Zach and Alisa who did the same in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Solving The Puzzle Of Slow Travel

As you might have read on my blog, I avoided air-travel for a whole year between June 2018 and July 2019. Taking this break helped me get in touch with what motivated me to travel and solve the puzzle of how I would go about exploring and travelling without damaging the planet.

Having finally put the pieces together to this puzzle, I am excited to share my slow travels with you all in 2020. The vision is to prioritise slow & local travel over rail + road. When on road, I will be using a motorbike instead of an automotive. Of-course, as much as I would like to exclusively travel by road or rail; there will be some times when taking a flight would be unavoidable. As a way to keep my emissions in check, I will be limiting my flight based travels to two flights a year. One domestic and one international and I will be carbon-offsetting both.

Transitioning To A Dominantly Plant-Based Diet

Sticking to a dominantly plant-based diet was one of my major goals for this year. I’ve been fairly successful at sticking to this goal. Other than the B12 deficiency I developed mid-way through the year, this transition has gone fairly smoothly.

One of the consequences of adopting a plant-based diet has been that I am eating more wholesome food and rarely feel the need to eat processed or packaged food. I’ve also grown to appreciate the diversity of plant-based food. I used to be a picky eater when I was a kid and would gravitate away from fruits and vegetables. As they often do, these preferences of mine bled through to my adult life. Adopting a vegan diet forced me to question these preferences and try everything, leading to the awareness that there was no good reason why I didn’t prefer eating certain kinds of food.

Looking Ahead

All in all, I am feeling immense gratitude to be finally living my life how I want to and to be able to devote more time to things I love doing. I am also feeling proud of all the progress I’ve made with trying to live my life in the most sustainable and mindful manner.

Lastly, it is important to acknowledge the fact that I don’t think these shifts in my life would have taken place if it wasn’t for our community. I have learnt so much from each one of you that I have interacted with over the years. Our conversations are a constant source of inspiration and strength and I can’t wait to share all that I have been working on with you in 2020.

See you on the flip side!


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#mindfulness #mensfashion #ethicalfashion #lifestyle #slowliving

I had initially thought of taking a break from my blog through this month. The intent was to prioritize making some life decisions and grounding myself after my transition out of my day job. But with all that is happening here in India, I kept thinking of these words by Tess Guinery -

“there’s no point in resting if momentum is circling you like a hurricane”
– Tess Guinery

I am going to give in to the hurricane circling within me and speak what is in my heart.

As a voice from India, I felt it important to talk about what is happening here and why so many of us are protesting against it. As someone who’s been in the ethical fashion space, I further felt it important to point out how this impacts garment workers and why the ethical fashion industry and the world at large should be paying closer attention.

Why Are Indian’s Protesting Against The Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens?

The government here recently passed an act called “The Citizenship Amendment Act” (CAA). The act is supposed to protect migrants living and working in India who have fled from neighboring countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, with the sinister exception of Muslims. The act gains relevance with the execution of another law in the state of Assam called NRC (National Register of Citizens), which aims at the deportation of all illegal immigrants who cannot furnish arbitrary documents to qualify as citizens. Since most migrants in Assam and neighboring states are from Bangladesh, their religious background skews towards being Muslim, thereby requiring their deportation instead of protection under the CAA. What makes things worse, is the fact that NRC is now proposed to be applied nation-wide, which means that many Muslims across the country will need to present documents required to qualify a migrant as a citizen under NRC or risk being deported under CAA.

How Does This Impact Garment Workers?

This impacts the entire nation and all those who live here, so it isn’t hard to imagine that it will also end up impacting many garment workers living here. This would discriminate against any garment worker who has moved to India from one of the three countries mentioned earlier (such as Bangladesh) and happens to be Muslim. It would also discriminate against any Muslim garment worker who has lived in India but cannot furnish the documents required to qualify as a citizen.

What Can You Do?

The reality is that only the people of India uniting can stop this. But the ethical fashion industry and the world at large need to keep a close eye on this issue and support Indian voices resisting this law. Please be an ally. Use your voice, so all are aware of what is at stake here in India and why we need better laws and regulations to protect our citizens.

#Thoughtleadership, #SustainableFashion #EthicalFashion