COVID-19: Fashion labels take up goodwill measures
From pledging a percentage of their sales to urging direct contributions to voluntary organisations, here’s what some of the leading Indian fashion designers are doing during the second wave of the pandemic
Fundraisers have become the norm to support organisations helping those in distress during the second wave of COVID-19. Taking a cue to do their bit and position their labels as being mindful of the scenario, leading fashion houses have adopted measures to announce they are pitching in.
On their social media accounts, designers have been urging followers to contribute directly to select organisations as well as committing to contribute a percentage of their sales.
Here’s a look at some of the initiatives:
Art for support
In 2020, as the national lockdown got extended, designer Amit Aggarwal found himself taking to art.
“I sketch every day as part of my work, but these art pieces served as a personal creative outlet, it was a therapeutic exercise,” he says. From the “huge” collection done last year, he has showcased 12 pieces on the brand’s Instagram handle (@amitaggarwalofficial).
Proceeds from the sale of these limited edition prints of the original artworks will go towards supporting the MCKS Food for the Hungry Foundation in Delhi, as part of the label’s Create Care Commune initiative. Amit chose three pieces from different media — charcoal, charcoal and ink, pen and ink, and mixed media.
The label had also conducted fundraisers for craftspeople in the earlier stages of the pandemic.
Work goes on
Designer JJ Valaya has pledged 20% of his signature label’s sales (online and all offline sales at both domestic and international stores) to Hemkunt Foundation, Khalsa Aid India and GiveIndia. The support, the designer states, will continue till the situation improves during the second wave of COVID-19.
When contacted, the label also emphasised that all through the pandemic, there has been continuous workflow to the craftspeople and there have been no cutbacks on wages and salaries for all the staff.
Tarun Tahiliani has announced that similar to his label’s initiative in 2020, he will be contributing to the Artisan Support Fund mooted by Dastkar. The label has not divulged the percentage of sales that will go towards the fund.
In a press statement, the design house says, “We, as designers, must come together to give back and support artisans and craftspeople from across the country in whatever way we can.”
Guide for contribution
In a series of posts on Instagram, Anita Dongre has highlighted a list of voluntary organisations that are actively working towards COVID-19 relief, to which anyone can contribute.
A collated guide on social media handles also lists out resources for mental health issues that arise as the nation copes with the pandemic. The Artisan Support Fund also gets a shoutout, with a request to followers to contribute directly.
Wishful Wednesdays, an initiative by designer Arpita Mehta will continue all May. Each Wednesday, the label’s kaftans will be available for purchase at a 20% discount and the entire sale proceeds will go towards supporting a voluntary organisation. On the first two Wednesdays of May, the label announced the beneficiaries to be RoK (Ripples of Kindness) and Railway Children India.
“I strongly believe in working with charities that I am aware of and personally connected with,” says Arpita. “Both RoK and Railway Children India are small charity organisations founded by people I know and that makes it easier for me to stay connected with them and be updated with the right information on where the money is being put to use.”
By the end of this month, the design house plans to send out emails to those who have donated, notifying them about how their funds are being utilised.
Surat-based label Saundh has established a free COVID-19 treatment facility (9737662546/ 7265042546) with a capacity of up to 175 beds near its factory in Surat, in partnership with the organisation IKJOT, which works towards providing infrastructure support for tribal schools.
Several other labels have also announced their initiatives. Gaurav Gupta, Gauri and Nainika, Hyderabad-based label Archana Rao and Samantha Akkineni’s label Saakhi are among them.
Fizzy Goblet raised over ₹4 lakh on April 27, with the funds going towards the Hemkunt Foundation. The label has also pledged 10% of sales proceeds from each order of their A Better Day collection to Uday Foundation, Feeding From Far and Khalsa Aid.