Ground Report | New Delhi: Sabyasachi × H&M using poor; As the demand for ethical and sustainable fashion has grown, brands have responded with massive marketing campaigns and compelling sustainability reports. The Sabyasachi × H&M uses poor tribal men as props in the campaign, which got negative comments from people on social media.
Sabyasachi × H&M using poor as prop in campaign
Anti-Caste activist Sankul Sonawane posted a picture on Twitter and said that “The audacity of this influencer to wear a 10k saree & use poor people as background objects for it. Nitibha Kaul has a million followers & her entire page is full of using poor people as aesthetics. Are these people being paid a fair share of her money for a collab? They better be”
Amature photographer Sachin Mahajan Wrote “As an amature photographer I can say that it is against photography ethics to click anyone unless you hv consent. So, technically she or her photographer might hv take their nod and might hv paid them too. But, aesthetics is certainly a question mark here!!
Another user Karan Singh wrote, “Such fashion influencers are a sham. They just dress up and use people/ animals as objects. Adding no value to the life of their followers. People should stop following them”.
While his luxury label is largely followed, the next step for the label was, in Sabya’s own words, “reaching the Sabyasachi tribe at large across the world” which meant making his designs more affordable and accessible. Hence, the collaboration with H&M was with Sabyasachi’s team taking control of the design and embroidery which was then digitized and manufactured by H&M.
Previous Shoppers Stop did same
Previous The Fashion website Shoppers Stop posted two pictures of tribal women which got negative comments from people. Shoppers Stop Post two pictures of Scheduled Tribes Women of Rajasthan in the background of ad campaign( back in 2020. later Shopper Stop issued a clarification about two of its posts on Instagram which got negative comments from people on the medium. The posts were taken down after Campaign India reached out to the brand for their comments.
One of the Twitter user Soumya wrote “Department store chains have never led thoughtful #fashion. They are also the ones that popularized problematic labels like “ethnic” and “tribal” fashion. And it culminates in things like this @shoppersstop ad campaign, Why is this a problem? Look at the way this shot is composed. Fair-skinned model in the foreground. Dark-skinned women, seemingly from one of the many Scheduled Tribes of Rajasthan in the background, were used as props. Probably to lend “authenticity” to their #BackToEarth campaign.
She further wrote “I think Shoppers Stop has taken the posts down. There’s no shame in admitting a mistake and doing better. But it is quite remarkable that this campaign was pitched, approved, planned, shot, and published and no one in their team said “hmm could this be a problem?.
Sabyasachi x H&M partnership
Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s collaborative collection with Swedish fast-fashion brand H&M has courted controversy even before its official release on August 12. Influencers and brands on social media have called on the beloved fashion legend to work with a brand whose labor exploitation and unethical production practices are no secret.
Renowned designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee recently collaborated with a multinational clothing brand H&M for a put-together collection. While fans were excited about this collaboration and the opportunity to wear Sabyasachi’s collection at an affordable price from H&M clothing, when the collection was released, many of them were disappointed.
Talking about why he did the collection, he wrote in an Instagram post, “I’d like to take a moment to speak to the young fashion community in India. For the longest time, my pet peeve was that world-class But we are considered a manufacturing company. I have always wanted to break that glass ceiling, but on my own terms and in my own way. Where Design in India will stand firmly with Made in India.”
He continued, “When H&M first came to me with the idea of collaboration, I was so excited that I could finally reach the vast Sabyasachi tribe across the world, even if it was just once. I knew That they have the power and distribution to do that. In the same post, he apologized to his fans about the collection selling out too soon and said that he hopes the process can be easier next time.