Sustainability is all about developing consciousness: Dia Mirza.. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Aug 9 : Bollywood actress Dia Mirza says sustainability is all about "developing a consciousness". It is nothing but a reminder to everyone that all life is connected, she adds.

IANSlife spoke to the actress who shares her take on sustainable fashion and her fashion preferences. She also reveals her lockdown diary. Read excerpts: You have always raised your voice for environmental issues. The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to pollution, do you think the industry needs to recalibrate to become sustainable and eco-friendly? Dia: It's absolutely essential for each and every human being to understand that everything we need for our survival comes from nature. Sustainability is really nothing but a reminder for all of us that all life is connected. Like the relationships that human beings form with each other, the ones we form with nature are exactly the same. When you become sensitive to that symbiotic nature, to that relationship, it becomes easier to change, adapt and create an environment that is more inclusive to everything. And this applies to people and industries alike. It's all about developing a consciousness.

We all have choices we make at every step, and once each of us start making these choices with care and consideration for nature, our planet will fare well. Some of the things we can all do in our daily lives is to avoid use of single use plastics, segregate waste at home and compost wet waste, consume mostly plant-based diets, take short 4-minute baths, buy unpackaged fruit and vegetables and choose sustainable brands.

What are your fashion preferences? Dia: I am not picky when it comes to fashion, but I am particular that should align with my philosophy and mood. Practicality and comfort always comes first in my choices. I enjoy experimenting with local designers and creations that stand out, while still maintaining my comfort, physically and ethically.

How would you define your style? Dia: Feminine and earthy garments have really grown on me recently, clothes that make me feel light and free. These could be bohemian, vintage, casual or chic.

You have collaborated with Anne Klein? What do you like the most about the brand? Dia: I was very happy to know that the brand Anne Klein had created an entire collection of watches "AK Considered", that looked so beautiful and were carefully crafted with consideration for the environment.

Apart from the fact that the "AK Considered" watches are absolutely stunning and the design aesthetic is beautiful, what will give people great joy in owning these timepieces is the consideration towards that environment to reduce environmental impact. Five fantastic elements of the design that make these watches sustainable are: 1) The 'leather' straps are vegan and cruelty free. The responsible leather is made with apple peels.

2) The watch is powered by the sun, which means it is completely rechargeable and unlike traditional batteries will not need to be replaced.

3) The bezel and part of the strap are made with renewable 'plastics' or what is also known as bio-plastics that are made from natural cotton and wood fibres.

4) The Crystals used are Swarovski sustainability - committed to reducing emissions.

5) The packaging of the watches is done with 80 per cent post-consumer waste, the pillow is made with organic cotton with an organic cotton filling.

How did you utilise the lockdown period? Dia: The first thing I immersed myself in was making sure people around me were taken of. The lockdown gave me a chance to be more proactive in running our home, cooking, cleaning and helping with the co-operative housing society. We have elderly living in this society for whom protocols needed to be established to make sure they are safe, comfortable and have access to essentials. Apart from that I found time to write, read more scripts, and work on various productions. My days were kept busy with exercising, yoga, meditation, home chores, societal chores, and professional commitments that are all being managed online.

What are your takeaways? Dia: I think there are many takeaways from these challenging times, but the biggest would be how important it is to build back better from this. We have all collectively learnt that health is our biggest security and it is indelibly connected to the environment.

I hope that this pandemic brings world leaders together, to recognise and change the way we do business, the way our industries are run and ensure that there is a stronger and more effective policy on wildlife trade, and that we don't lose more forest cover. We have been humbled by this pandemic must recognise that we need to act now and work together to restore the balance of nature.

What are you working on next? Dia: My first Telugu film, 'Wild Dog', with Nagarjuna and directed by Ashishor Solomon.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in)

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