Designer Omi Gurung has always been a green warrior. This Bangalore-based designer, originally from Sikkim, feels responsible fashion is a matter of making the right choices.
Tell us about your recent work. What kind of products are you designing?
Well, I have recently opened Green Gangtok — an eco friendly boutique, the first of its kind in Sikkim. (You can check out www.greengangtok.com and our Facebook page). I was really held up with it. I have been designing mostly home décor products which are natural or upcyled or recyled and made out of waste.
How can the average man practice environmentally responsible fashion?
It calls for very simple changes in lifestyle. Go green in all the little ways you can and do it from your heart and for yourself. If you Google green tips, you will find many. But do you really practice it? There lies the point. If you avoid waste, wear natural clothing, use organic products and inculcate good habits, it is for your own good!
What kind of fabrics do you suggest — for the wardrobe as well as for home décor?
I would always advise natural fabric like cotton, linen and silk. Apart from that, I would advise people to upcycle old clothes i.e. reusing them creatively with other fabric to create a new product. Try to avoid synthetic fabrics as they do no good to you, apart from being easily available and affordable.
Tell us about the 7 Days 7 Ideas project — has it found sufficient response?
I believe creativity is about making the best from what is available to you. Buying things and making thing is easy, but making something beautiful from what is discarded is a challenge. I have always made an attempt to create things in the simplest fashion, so that a lay man too can learn the craft. It’s said an idea can change the world. So all I do is create, share and inspire!
7 Days 7 Ideas was an online event (2nd-8th October, 2011) for Joy of Giving Week 2011 to encourage people to reduce, reuse and recycle their household waste (check out the updates at www.ohmyindia.co.nr).
7 Days 7 Ideas was dedicated to the memory of Sikkim earthquake victims. When the earthquake hit Sikkim on September 18, I was in Gangtok and I know the magnitude of damage it did. So, I thought during the Joy of Giving Week I should do something for those people. And since I was travelling frequently, I felt an online event was the best way to reach out to every one.
The numerous emails I have received during the event bear testimony to fact that it was appreciated by many.
You are passionate about protecting the environment. What kind of support have you found from the city?
People in Bangalore are well-educated and aware of what is happening to the environment, so I could see people with genuine interest. If Oh My India is being talked about by people, credit goes to the youth of namma Bengaluru. Support has come in terms of emails, letters and phone calls. It is nice to read or receive a call from a stranger and finally work together for betterment.