Career & Radar

here for sustainability: where n wear

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The 21st century is a time where things are advancing at paces our predecessors from the not so distant past cannot even comprehend. However, this advancement is taking a toll on our home planet. More and more industries around the world are taking measures to accelerate their growth with little regard to the consequences that these choices they have on Mother Earth. The scenario isn’t that much different either here in Nepal. There seems to be no end to the dust clouds or vehicles emitting black smoke. It just seems like pollution is here to stay.
But there are people who are not going to sit by idly and watch the pollution destroy our home. More and more people are becoming environmentally conscious and have begun adopting lifestyle changes that support their cause. Not only individuals but also corporate bodies are doing the same. Adopting environmentally friendly policies are becoming a trend these days but there aren’t enough completely green companies out there.
However, when we came across Where N Wear, they caught our attention immediately. Initiated by Ms. Ishu Dhakras with
Ms. Tulja Kedia, Where N Wear is a non-commercial effort that crafts tailor-made products for connoisseurs and seeks of ancestral stories, provincial art, and modern heirlooms. They provide a platform for local artists, and thus, the conservation and promotion of their art and culture.
To know more of this initiative, we had a conversation with Ms. Dhakras. Here is what we talked about.

TO GET TO A POINT IN ONE’S LIFE YOU HAVE TO START. HOW DID YOU START OUT AND FIGURE OUT THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO?
Just like everyone, quite honestly, it has been a journey of trial and error. I have been a marketing professional for almost 7 years now, but I have always been intrigued by the fashion industry. In fact, I even studied communication so that I can work at a fashion magazine someday. But it was during that time when digital media took the world by storm. Coupled with the limited opportunities as an international student, it was hard for me. Thus, I decided to create my own oppurtunity in fashion by starting “Where N Wear” in 2012, a platform that was started with the idea of discussing wardrobe optimization. However having said that, I think self-discovery allows you to evolve, and here I am working on things that I never thought I would have a few years back.

WHAT IS WHERE N WEAR, WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF THE ORGANIZATION?
Where N Wear is a digital platform that helps readers discover ethical brands with their stories. The goal of the company is to encourage budding entreprenuers and connect them to likeminded customers who appreciate their products and alongside, build a healthy network of people who support and help each other grow.

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WERE THERE ANY CHALLENGES IN YOUR CAREER? WHAT MEASURES DID YOU TAKE TO OVERCOME THEM?
Running a non-profit website along with a full time marketing job while trying to build a personal portfolio for fashion can be a little tricky. And quite honestly, there have been times when taking out the time to manage Where N Wear was really difficult, and even to execute it in monetary terms from what I imagined it to be. It would have been great to be able to monetize it and get a team to help me out, but that would cost my creative freedom. And in many ways defy the entire purpose of the platform. There was also a time where I have begged and bridbed all my sisters to help generate content for my website. At some point, including Tulja as well. Battling it, I had to take out some time from my daily schedule to manage Where N Wear so that it would run smoothly.

TELL US ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF THE GREEN SHERPA EVENT? HOW DID IT TURN OUT?
Green Sherpa was an event where I wanted people to engage with the idea of sustinablity in a fun way and network with other likeminded people. It was our hope that everyone who visited Green Sherpa should leave with at least a small takeaway on sustainable living.
I would say it turned out great and it came out way better than we had expected. We
were amazed by the interaction we saw at our DIY stations and the amount of sign ups we got for Swapping Buddy. It all was really encouraging. It has also resulted in some really great collaborations and generating ideas. Basically I am really happy with the way it started out.

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TELL US THE BENEFITS OF SUSTAINABLE LIFE CHOICES AND HOW WILL IT AFFECT OUR LIFESTYLES?
It has not been too long since I indulged in this topic myself. But the more I learn about it, more it interests me and I am still working on making changes in my lifestyle and going through a total transformation can be really tough. But making more sustainable choices is all about going back to the roots and though the results are not immediate, the long term impact they will have for our planet and our body is something we will be thank full for. But I will remind you that living sustainable lifestyle is not a one-time thing, it’s about completely changing your lifestyle over all.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER AS YOUR FIRST NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR CAREER OR IF THERE IS A MOMENT THAT YOU CONSIDER TO BE A MILESTONE?
Looking back, being the marketing head at one of India’s biggest fashion houses would have been my ultimate milestone. But pursuing it was a turning point in my life because being there made me realise that I was seeking something else. For starters, it was during my time there that I felt that my aspirations were about building a luxury brand in Nepal. And with a few months of research, it refined itself into what came be Né Nepal.

WHAT LIFE LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED IN THE LAST 5 YEARS? HOW HAS DOING WHAT YOU DO CHANGED YOU?
“There is no alternative to hard work” has always been my ultimate mantra. But in the past few years, making conscious choices have also become a big part of my life. Then, the simple realization that a small purchase decision affects a lot of things around us. We think a small lifestyle change towards sustinablity won’t make a huge difference but in fact, they have the biggest impact.

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WHAT INSPIRES YOUR GET OFF THE BED?
I find myself inspired by the work of so many great people who are constantly stiving to work towards something greater than themselves. But it’s the shocking fast pace of how we as a community are moving towards making choices based on convenience rather than consciousness, which is a big part of why I get out of bed every morning.

WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE TO YOUR SUCCESS?
Success is a very vague word and it has a definition that can differ from one person to another. But what I can say for me right now is that I am just getting started and I still have a long way to go in terms of what success means to me. So I don’t think I’ve made it there just yet.

WHAT DO YOU PLAN FOR THE FUTURE?
In the not so distant future, Tulja and I are really excited about launching Né Nepal. We are working on the next edition of Green Sherpa, which will be another sustainability related event but with a different concept.

WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO TODAY’S YOUTH WHO ARE ASPIRING AND WORKING TOWARDS THEIR CAREER IN FASHION?
I would say be true to yourself, focus on creating quality work that reflects your individuality, use the resources around you, and most importantly, let’s make sustainable fashion fun!

WORDS: TNM TEAM | PHOTOS: GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR

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TNM Team

"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." TNM is a premiere men’s magazine providing complete coverage of inspirational stories, fashion and culture from across Nepal. With its unique and powerful design, work from the finest photographer, spectacular writers and a pro- active Marketing team TNM reaches thousands of readers each month. We are team that believes in giving its readers a thought-provoking experience each and every month.