Many students are currently committed to significant loans in order to pay for their education, and it’s not always easy to make ends meet; in fact Indian banks saw a 142% increase in student loan defaults in the period of 2013-2016 alone. The sensible student will therefore be looking for ways to save money, and ideally to create opportunities to make a little money too. A traditional skill such as sewing can be very useful here; from altering your own clothes to using your sewing skills to help others, your new hobby could even help you impress future universities with your entrepreneurial spirit and creativity.
Tailormade by you
The Indian fashion retail market is set to grow by 9.7% to a market size of Rs 7,48,398 crore by 2026, but the average consumer on a budget faces a problem. Sizing can vary by brand, and it can be very difficult to find pieces which fit well, especially in the sorts of stores that are more student friendly. By investing in a few sewing basics to start with, you can save money in the long run by being your own tailor and adapting pieces to suit your shape. Whether that’s hemming trousers which are too long, or adding embellishments to simple outfits to make them feel more special, you can create your own style at a fraction of the cost of designer wear. You can extend these skills to adapting homeware items; sew your own pillow cases, table cloths or decorations to make your student home cozy and chic, without blowing the budget.
No business like sew(ing) business
With Bangalore fast becoming synonymous with start-ups, why not demonstrate your own flair for business by using your sewing skills to make money? Create a name for yourself on campus as the go-to person for clothing alterations, or create your own range of simple textile gifts. This sort of cottage industry is ideal to fit around student life as you can do the designing and sewing in your own time around lectures and classes, and sell your products online or at craft stalls. Who knows, you could even go global; last year Indian handicraft businesses exported 130 billion rupees worth of goods. With a typical student loan being up to Rs. 10 lakh, you could soon make inroads into the repayments with your share of that!
Protecting the planet
In a study conducted by Bangalore’s own National Institute of Fashion Technology, 68% of the population buy new clothes once a month. The same study highlighted a lack of awareness of recycling options or ideas of what to do with older clothing, leading to vast amounts of old clothing ending up in landfill. By learning to sew, you can breathe new life into old items of clothing, ultimately helping the planet by reducing waste.
For a hobby which requires fairly low start up costs, sewing can be a really useful way to save money on clothing and homewares, giving you the means to express yourself through fashion without a hefty price tag. It can also provide opportunities to generate a little income too, teaching you about running a small business along the way. This sort of experience, practical know-how and environmental awareness may also help to impress university selection committees and perhaps even future employers.