Tribe-88 Season 2 with Amrita Singh: An editor and artist based in Dubai who strongly advocates the case for mindful consumption and believes in wearing the same piece in multiple ways.
We talk basics, mindfulness and why black will always be our favourite colour
What does conscious and mindful fashion mean? Why do you think it's important?
Conscious and mindful fashion is all about purchasing clothes that you will cherish and wear long term and alot - its all about doing away with shopping fads and trends and investing in items you can wear season after season in a number of different ways.
What made you start practicing mindful consumption?
I started practicing mindful consumption for a number of reasons but one of the main ones being the negative impact the fashion industry has on the environment. Its one of the biggest polluters of the planet and its high time we all rethink the way we consume fashion whilst also being kinder to the planet and keeping an eye on ethical practices of the brands we buy from. (In a very small nutshell)!
How do you think sustainability and trends go hand in hand?
I don’t think trends can ever be sustainable! Trends pass - the key to sustainability is to be a consumer that makes considered purchases instead of hoarding trend pieces that you won’t wear next month let alone next season! We alone, single handedly, can’t change the way the fast fashion or high street industry functions - but collectively if we all start buying less and wearing what we have more and start being creative with it, we can most definitely make a change.
What are some buying and styling tips that you would give to someone just starting this journey?
For me, it was all about discovering my personal formula and sticking to it in one way, shape or form. Personally, I developed a penchant for a good blazer, a classic tee and good denim - its a formula that works for my body shape that I can dress up or down regardless of the season. Of course I add other elements to that - various cuts, silhouettes and textures. The key is to discover what works for your body shape and then find ways to dress it timelessly but with your personal signature touch and then play with that formula in different ways.
Can you name a few timeless pieces that everyone can own?
For me, timelessness is not always universal and is rather personal - because classic for you might not be the same for me - BUT - my top 3 items of what we can all own, albeit in various shapes and cuts are the following:
Good tailoring - a classic black blazer and well tailored pants work incredibly together for formal events or as great separates to dress down with pared down pieces such as a tshirt or denim.
A classic white shirt is a must have - another piece that can be dressed up or down effortlessly.
Leather trousers - the great thing about leather is that it makes other textures stand out such as knitwear, a silk shirt, a classic trench coat, a basic tshirt and so much more. Its one of my signatures especially in the winter and just elevates any look and gives a real luxe feel.
What’s your secret to being responsible and stylish at the same time?
Sticking to your style formula, cherishing the pieces you own and getting creative with how you style the same pieces over and over. Its all about buying less and wearing more. It really is that simple. Being stylish comes from within - its nothing that can be bought which is why the quote “Nobody can be you and that is your power,” is so apt when it comes to really creating your own look rather than copying one.
What are your top recommended items to start building a capsule wardrobe?
Neutrals! Pieces that fit you well in neutral tones and minimalist cuts are always a good starting point. That includes jeans, your classic shirt, a black blazer, a black cashmere sweater, and a timeless little black dress that can take you from desk to dinner.
Should one invest in basic or statement pieces?
Basics are continual investments, where as statement pieces are occasional investment buys. We wear our basics daily, in a variety of ways but its the statement piece that is the secret weapon that we often don on special occasions only, which is why statement pieces for me are always an accessory, jewellery or a pair of shoes.
How does one pick out more durable items and increase the lifespan of their clothes?
Fabrics are key. Overwashing your clothes in the machine causes them to often wear out more quickly so check your care labels and understand how to care for your clothes better. Dry cleaning is a better way to preserve your most loved garments. Pick silks, linens and quality cottons over polyester mixes!
What would be your fashion advice to the younger generation?
Be creative with your personal fashion identity, and make sustainability and mindful consumption a core part of that identity.
Who’s the style icon you’ve always looked up to/are most inspired by?
The Olsen twins. They are the epitome of timelessness - I still find inspiration in looks they wore 8 years back and those images look as though they could have been taken yesterday. They have a very strong style DNA that transcends seasons and trends.
Tell us about your last read
I love Indian history - especially around Mughal India, and William Dalrymple’s City Of Djinns was a fascinating insight into his perception and understanding of modern day Delhi as well as its history.
What are the two essentials in your bag that you can’t do without?
My airpods and my iphone!
What's your next travel destination?
I’m hoping to travel to Amritsar and Delhi early next year! That doesn’t sound so exciting for many people, but having been born and raised in London and living in Dubai, the land of my forefathers is always an educational and exciting trip for me!
What does your morning routine look like?
I wake up, do a 5 minute Focus journal, brush and immediately do a 30-45 minute mat pilates session to start my day. Following that, I’ll shower, do my all important skincare routine and have breakfast before I sit down to start work!
Describe the perfect weekend brunch
At home, spent with my husband, good friends and my fur-child, Pickles.
Name one must-have accessory that can take a basic look from 10 to 100.
Just the one?! I’m naming two: the gold coral choker from Studio Metallurgy and the Mansur Gavriel Cloud clutch bag.
Is being a mindful consumer restricted to fashion choices for you? How do you make responsible and mindful consumer decisions in other aspects of life?
Not at all restricted to fashion! I make sure to recycle plastics and other items that can be recycled, donating old items, and upcycling furniture!
Neutrals or pop colours
Neutrals - my favourite colour is black.
Prints or solids
Colour Block or monochrome
Sneakers or heels
Music or podcasts
Podcasts - True crime specifically