Natasha Rahman reels in as Afsana Ferdousi, the country coordinator at SDC Bangladesh shares her plans for the Bangladeshi fashion scene
From administering projects and fashion events at SDC Bangladesh to managing her label, Afsana has had quite an eventful time.
The fashion industry leaves behind a huge environmental footprint. However, the industry is slowly moving towards sustainable design by using sustainable materials in the hope of minimising environmental impact
SDC is the world’s leading independent, educational charity dedicated to advancing the science and technology of colour worldwide. SDC international Student Design Competition is an annual flagship competition, open to fashion and textile design undergraduate students from 14 countries.
“I have been working on this project since 2016 as the country coordinator. This year, our program will start from April where I plan to invite students from universities that specialise in textile and fashion.
At the end of this competition, a winner will be selected to participate in the finale along with other countries,” she shares with excitement.
Recently, Afsana participated in ‘Flavours of Season,’ a fashion show that brought together emerging designers of Bangladesh.
“As I was sharing space with five other designers, it was a great learning experience for me. Our work was totally different from each other through which we created our very own ‘Design Identity.’
This actually helped me understand other designers’ perspectives in making designs.”
The surface ornamentation for Afsana’s designs came from the original Jamdani Motif. “I love Jamdani sarees a lot and I wished to incorporate their motifs in my work.” Afsana always tries to integrate the Bangladeshi heritage into her designs. “For the winter season, I wanted to create a style that could incorporate Jamdani motifs in winter wear. I wished to create ensembles that would reach the international customer base as well as introduce the beauty of Jamdani to them.”
Afsana’s designs have been showcased in London, Berlin, Hong Kong, India and Dhaka. Afsana aims to show the world the beauty of our country through her label. “When I select the materials for my label Afsana Ferdousi, I am really diligent when it comes to quality fabric.” Afsana always picks the fabrics that are of high quality, natural and sustainable, such as organic cotton, khadi, silk and natural wool among others. The other materials I use, such as buttons are all natural such as coconut button and shells. “I am moving towards sustainable fashion practices through these organic materials. I want to use fabrics that are not only good for the body but good for the planet as well,” she reveals.
With upcoming projects in the pipeline, the designer has a chaotic schedule. I am doing collaborative work with an artist and writing a book on our Bangladesh fashion industry which I am very excited about,” she exclaims.
Afsana desires to create comfortable and confident clothing while leaving the least amount of carbon footprint on the earth. “I want to help customers express their fashionable side ethically and I genuinely enjoy customising and individualising such ensembles for my customers.”
The fashion industry leaves behind a huge environmental footprint. However, the industry is slowly moving towards sustainable design by using sustainable materials in the hope of minimising environmental impact. “Being a designer who strongly believes in sustainable fashion, I strive to fulfil my responsibilities to protect my planet from deterioration,” she comments. A single effort can go a long way but Afsana hopes that more people will step up and join her in this effort as well.
She ends by saying, “Fashion is art and I want to draw a canvas which reflects our culture and glory, not only locally but also internationally. I want the world to see and appreciate the heritage and culture which makes us unique.”