"I hope to make many young brides’ dreams come true,” says Vani Gupta, the founder of The Bigger Picture (TBP), a Delhi-based NGO that recently launched an initiative called TBP brides. The initiative aims to provide underprivileged brides-to-be with wedding must-haves, including clothes, accessories, makeup or even utensils for the new homes they are going to, via crowdsourcing.
“Everyone is talking about sustainability, but no one is practising it,” says Gupta, whose NGO strives to provide 1,000 meals per day to marginalised people. People have a lot of unused stuff lying around their houses, and designers have plenty of old stock, she points out. Giving these away to someone who needs and appreciates it is a far better way to practice sustainability than making T-shirts out of organic cotton, she says. “This way, you are not wasting anything,” says the 36-year-old, who founded TBP back in 2014.
She isn't wrong; the global fashion industry is estimated to generate around 92 million tons of textile waste annually, often because of overproduction. The idea for the initiative was somewhat serendipitous. Gupta, who often helps--in a personal capacity-- with accessories, clothes or cosmetics for young women who are getting married, was told that another young girl was getting married on 17 November. She put the news out on The Bigger Picture’s Whatsapp group, asking members of the group if they wanted to donate anything for this girl’s wedding. A designer friend, Shweta Kapur, the creative director and founder of the label 431-88 who was on the group, told her that she should put this up on social media. “We wanted to loop more people in,” says Gupta, talking about the origins of the initiative.
They decided to name the initiative TBP brides, and Kapur herself drafted and put out the post on Instagram five days ago, stating that they were working on an initiative to help brides-to-be who couldn’t afford new clothes, jewellery, makeup or accessories. “If you’re a designer, send any leftover stock or sample pieces that you don’t need,” wrote Kapur on Instagram, adding that they were open to unused samples of makeup, perfume, clothes, accessories, cutlery and linen.
Anyone can contribute, says Gupta. She adds that, when it comes to the bride, however, there is one caveat: the item needs to be unused. “We do take old stuff too, but not for the new bride it is a special day, and she should be getting new things,” says Gupta, adding that the older things will be given away to other people in need. “
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The response, so far, has been “overwhelming”, by Gupta’s account, with designers, makeup artists, influencers and regular laypeople sending her things. “Outhouse has just sent us beautiful jewellery,” she says. “And I have had makeup artists from different parts of India--offering to fly down and do makeup for free,” she says, adding that, while the focus is on this bride, she plans this to be an ongoing initiative. Her biggest takeaway from the experience, she adds, is the readiness to help innate in every human being. “You just need to find the right way and place to do it,” she says, adding that she didn’t expect the initiative to get so viral. “Everyone is now coming down to help,” she says.