One of the hottest names emerging in the fashion world this year is that of Priya Ahluwalia. Her amazing line of colorful menswear took London Fashion Week by storm. We hope her journey, story, and clothes inspire you to learn more about Ahluwalia Studio.
The first thing you will notice when you see Ahluwalia’s fashion line is that the garments she creates are comprised of bold patchwork patterns and retro shapes. These are not the solid-colored vibrant neoprenes other designers tend to flock to. Ahluwalia’s choice to design clothes that will turn heads and lift brows is not by chance.
In 2017, while she was still in graduate school, Ahluwalia journeyed to Lagos, Nigeria to visit family. There, she was shocked to find a vast number of people wearing clothes printed with British brand names and logos. She even spotted a trader wearing a shirt promoting the 2012 London Marathon.
After seeing person after person wearing a shirt with so much British kitsch, she knew she needed to dig deeper to find out exactly what was going on.
For her next trip, Ahluwalia traveled to India to stay with the other side of her extended family. During her visit, she traveled 90 kilometers north of Delhi to the city of Panipat. Panipat has become known as the capital city for clothes recycling. Over 150 clothing mills call this “cast-off capital” their headquarters. They take the remnants of clothing the Western world discards and recycles them.
The sight of this city can be both beautiful and heartbreaking. Trucks packed will mangled clothes carry container after container here. These forgotten garments await new life. They will find a purpose. The Western world may have found no use for these garments, but they did not disappear.
Outside in the sun, spilling out of manufacturing facilities are piles and piles of clothes lying, waiting to be repurposed. T-shirts just tossed in the bin or donated form mountains of colorful cloth.
Here, men and women sit on crates and stools and dismantle disregarded clothing with butcher’s knives. Many others busy themselves, removing buttons, zippers, and chains. As if by instinct, they mercilessly slice. They can navigate along a seam without looking, tearing off patches and tacks. And yet others work diligently heaving piles of color-sorted clothes into machines to be shredded and spun into yarn.
This scene energized Ahluwalia. This process and the abundance of this waste created by the Western world inspired Ahluwalia to only use second-hand clothes to create her one-of-kind garments. Ahluwalia chooses fabrics and patterns that celebrate her heritage, and the 90s-inspired shapes highlight the fabric’s original life.
It’s safe to say that Ahluwalia is one of the most forward-thinking designers of the year-- maybe even of this decade. Her ability to be bold and make a statement regarding the industry she is in makes her business one worth celebrating. Her next runway show will surely excite and please. And Ahluwalia Studio’s potential establishes it as a business to watch.
When it comes to your retail choices, make sure you do your research to ensure that your choices reflect a sustainable future for us all. You can shop green, shop second-hand, and reduce how often you buy new clothes to reduce your impact and reduce the effects the fashion industry has on the planet.
When you’re shopping you can make a difference, too by:
If you’re a business owner or you’ve considered starting your own business, consider more sustainable means to make your business successful.
Final Thoughts on Ahluwalia Studio
If you have the opportunity to stop by Ahluwalia’s studio or check out her website, you should. Her work is innovative, creative, and inspiring. The fashion industry needs fashion designers that embrace an eco-friendly approach to couture. They encourage a change and a new perspective on how we shop. So, next time you’re downsizing your closet, or if you’re debating whether or not you should buy another pair of jeans, just think, “what would Ahluwalia do?”