It's the most wonderful time of the year. Although it's easy to get wrapped up in the bustle of shopping for Christmas presents, baking goodies and reveling in the holiday spirit, we must not forget that at its core, it's the season for giving. Turns out, Evelyn Sharma is the reminder than each and every one of us needs. The Bollywood actress, who made her Tollywood debut with the 2019 hit Saaho, also has entrepreneur in her title.
In 2015, she created Seams For Dreams (SFD), a non-profit organisation based around recycling clothing. Since then, it has reached out to those who require clothing, promoted responsible fashion choices, joined hands with NGOs and spread awareness about their cause. Their annual fundraiser arrives in time for the holidays where designer goods are up for grabs and recycling is championed. Swirlster spoke to Evelyn Sharma about Seams For Dreams, her childhood memories of Germany and what makes this the most wonderful time of the year for her.
Evelyn delves into how Seams For Dreams was born, "It began as a response to an earthquake. My friends and I donated appropriate clothing to crisis areas. I also asked people to donate high end fashion for a small garage sale. It ended up raising such a good amount that we were able to purchase items like medicines and water and help in more areas than one. Today, we function in a similar manner where clothes are divided into three piles where appropriate clothing like kurtas, jeans and t-shirts are donated for wear, scraps and fabrics are recycled by our partners and the high end clothing is available at the fundraiser. You can donate all kinds of clothing and we will give it a second life."
Her presence in Bollywood definitely had an impact on founding SFD. Says Evelyn, "Once I became more popular in Bollywood, a question I was asked was 'whom am I wearing' which made me realise the influence I have with my fashion decisions and what I wear. It made me feel responsible about the choices I made. I always wondered what else I could do to make an impact and when Seams For Dreams was born, it all came together."
It's no coincidence that the non-profit fashion fundraiser falls during the holiday season - it's also Evelyn's favourite time of the year, "Ever since growing up in Germany, Christmas has a very special place in my heart. When we decided to have the annual fundraising event that sets the tone for the next year, there wasn't a better time than Christmas. It's a great time to think about giving back, buy presents or clothes to wear on New Year's Eve. Instead of shopping for new clothes, why not purchase pre-loved designer and vintage fashion."
Watch the complete interview on Evelyn Sharma on Swirlster here.
The future looks bright for Seams For Dreams. Evelyn confirms, "We're looking at expanding our team and will have a strong advisory board. We're planning on having a truck that goes around Mumbai once a week for scheduled pick up from houses. We're raising funds to be able to increase our operation and outreach programs. To make our fundraiser bigger and better every year and to promote reusing, upcycling and recycling."
Seams For Dreams is celebrating their 6th annual Christmas garage sale and fundraiser on December 14, 2019 at Olive Bar & Kitchen in Bandra, Mumbai where one can shop designer and vintage fashion (including stage costumes worn by Bollywood divas themselves), relish a special lunch menu, enjoy live performances and participate in a silent auction.
"For me, to shop smartly is choosing timeless over trendy. Don't blindly follow trends. Shop for clothes which are timeless, express yourself and will be a part of your wardrobe for a long time. Choose quality over quantity. A good decision is to just buy less and invest your money wisely" says Evelyn and continues, "My fashion staple is a black dress as it looks good all the time, whether it's day or night for every occasion."
It's a special time of year for Evelyn. On asking her about her Christmas traditions, here's what she says, "I never skip going to church on Christmas Eve. It allows you to reflect on more in life and gives direction to the year ahead. I believe love is the answer to everything and that's what Christmas is all about. Besides that of course, Christmas food and the markets."
Evelyn tells us a bit about her childhood in Germany and how she spends the holidays. "I'm excited to be spending Christmas in Germany. I remember growing up and going to church; everything is lit up and the choir is singing! During the holidays, I like to spend time with my family and friends. I like to reflect on the past year and get ready for the one to come. Plus, eat a lot of yummy vegan Christmas food, drink wine and be jolly."
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