Purabee Purnasha Mishra, a research scholar at Berhampur University, is a trailblazer in the field of sustainable fashion, startup management, and entrepreneurship. With her unwavering commitment to promoting a circular economy, she has been recognized globally for her outstanding contributions. In this interview, we delve into Purabee’s inspiring journey, her insights on sustainable fashion, and the importance of individual behaviour in protecting the environment.
Q: Can you share with us your journey in the field of sustainable fashion and how you became passionate about promoting a circular economy?
A: Last year, the Prime Minister launched the LiFE mission, which focuses on individual behaviour towards the environment. I submitted my ideas, papers, and proposals over the course of a year and was honoured to be selected among the top 5 in the Global Clean Tech Innovation program. More than 2,500 applications from 67 countries were evaluated by International Committee. This realization of how sustainability can change lives fueled my passion for promoting a circular economy.
Q: As an alumna of JITM (now Centurion University), how has your educational background influenced your work in sustainable fashion and entrepreneurship?
A: My education at JITM in Chemical Engineering where I took Biotechnology as a major was maybe my first step towards the environment which I chose above Petrochemicals- the interdisciplinary approach and practical learning focus where I hold 3 masters degree have given me a holistic understanding of the industry. My background in chemical engineering from JITM and my MBA from Utkal University and M tech in Industrial Engineering and Management from CET, PG diploma in Retail management has provided a unique skill set for integrating sustainability into the fashion value chain. The university’s alumni network and industry collaborations will be very valuable in future and have been inspiring always.
Q: As a proponent of sustainable fashion, how do you envision integrating a sustainable fashion credit system and tagging to increase the visibility and legitimacy of sustainable fashion products?
A: The sustainable fashion credit system I propose works by assigning points to fashion items based on their environmental and social impact. By implementing standardized labelling and certification methods, consumers can easily recognize and trust sustainable fashion products. These tags, displaying sustainability ratings, can be utilized on labels, websites, and social media platforms, providing transparency and boosting consumer confidence. But the key is to bring #proplanetpeople come together.
Q: What are the potential benefits of adopting a sustainable fashion credit system for the industry, businesses, and the environment?
A: Implementing a sustainable fashion credit system offers multiple advantages. Firstly, it provides an impartial evaluation method, enhancing consumer and brand confidence. Secondly, it incentivizes businesses to invest in sustainability projects and adopt sustainable practices to earn more credits. This, in turn, can create employment opportunities within the manufacturing and supply chains of sustainable fashion. Finally, the visibility and appeal of sustainable fashion items increase, leading to a rise in sales and a positive environmental impact.
Q: Congratulations on receiving the LiFE Global Call for Ideas and Papers (GCIP) Award for sustainable fashion! Please tell us more about the award and the significance of your winning idea.
A: Thank you! The LiFE GCIP Award is a prestigious recognition of innovative ideas and papers promoting behavioural change for environmental protection. My winning idea focused on integrating handloom clothing as a sustainable fashion option globally, encouraging individuals to support this eco-friendly choice. This award has been a tremendous honour, highlighting the importance of sustainable fashion in shaping a better future.
Q: How do you incorporate education, health, and business networking into your work to create a holistic approach to sustainability and entrepreneurship?
A: Education plays a pivotal role in raising awareness about sustainable practices. I actively engage in workshops and mentorship programs to empower individuals with knowledge and skills. Promoting health, both physical and mental, is crucial for sustainable living. I strongly feel all research scholar goes through a lot of stress and should take time for themselves, and clear clutter in their lives as well work. I advocate for well-being through various initiatives. Business networking allows me to collaborate with like-minded individuals, fostering partnerships that drive sustainable entrepreneurship and create a collective impact.
Q: As a CEO of IIT Bhubaneswar Research Park mentoring and guiding startups at IIT Bhubaneswar and leading VARCoE, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are passionate about sustainability and the circular economy?
A: My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs passionate about sustainability and the circular economy is to focus on thoroughly understanding the environmental and social challenges that need to be addressed within the industry. This will help in identifying innovative solutions that align with sustainability goals. Following that build a strong network, and embrace collaboration for impactful solutions. I feel all startups should be ethical and inclined toward sustainability no matter what innovation or business they do.
Q: Looking ahead, what are your future goals and aspirations in the field of sustainable fashion and entrepreneurship? Are there any new projects or initiatives that you are currently working on?
A: In the field of sustainable fashion and entrepreneurship, my future goals and aspirations revolve around driving systemic change and creating a lasting impact. Through these endeavours, my ultimate vision is to foster a global fashion ecosystem that prioritises environmental conservation, social responsibility, and economic growth in a harmonious manner.
Purabee Purnasha Mishra’s journey in sustainable fashion is an inspiring testament to the power of passion and advocacy. Her innovative ideas, such as the sustainable fashion credit system, aim to transform the industry and promote a circular economy. Through her endeavours in education, health, and business networking, Purabee is paving the way for a sustainable and prosperous future. Her dedication serves as a guiding light for individuals and organizations striving to make a positive difference in the world of fashion and beyond.