Spring Summer '18
Shreya stumbled upon a small handloom once while studying interior architecture, and realized a passion she was not aware of. From there, her journey to a sustainable and progressive fashion label, ASA began. Exploring organic materials and techniques extensively, the purity of her vision took her from Rajasthan to Auroville. Now based in Ahmedabad, Shreya Oza is constantly working on the scope for innovation in fashion to maintain the design integrity of ASA. The label creates ungendered shapes to fit a human body using natural fabrics and dyes.
She shares inspiration behind her latest collection and the evolving concept of sustainablity.
ASA’s most recent collection, Spring Summer ’18, like before, used natural dyes and natural fibers to make each piece. The collection is an extension of Shreya’s practice that involves a blend of organic raw materials and experiments with new techniques on the loom.
Her biggest challenge she said, was in the first steps. ‘I had just come back to India after a period of seven months and was travelling. I was feeling very empty most times and very uninspired. All this was the result of exposure to insane consumerism etc.’ But her inclination towards fabric innovation kept her going.
She has experimented with paper fabric in her past designs and believes there is a long way to go before she perfects it. For SS’18, ‘I made the shoes for the runway show on the spot actually. It’s interesting how paper fabric retains forms, is light and sustainable and so I decided to wrap just paper on the models feet before the show, premade the shoes and they had to only slip into them before going on the runway. I am still experimenting with what I want to do and the slow process of handloom and hand dyeing lets you do it, if you really are interested in the process unless you are just using it as a marketing tool and we all know how trendy it is to be sustainable nowadays.’
'Handlooms and dyeing are being used as a marketing tool and we all know how trendy it is to be sustainable nowadays.'
For Shreya, the meaning of sustainability has changed gers recently. ‘I am excited that everyone and specially designers, are talking about sustainability and taking steps to execute it and make it accessible with natural fibers and dyes. But to be honest, I don’t know if just that is enough. We all must take steps to make a change. The consumer needs to awaken as much as the maker. This whole “trend” of being sustainable can get replaced very soon. I feel India is struggling between finding its own voice and westernization.’
Her concerns about ethical fashion have set her for some collaborations and finding a permanent base for ASA. She just hopes to find peace in her work.
Text Garima Gupta