Indian actor Pakkhi Guptaa, who has appeared in HotStar Indian film productions Special OPS (2020) and Selection Day (2018), will give her insights into the Millennial and Gen-Z attitudes post-lockdown to jewellery and fashion purchases, in a free webinar starting at 2pm UK (6.30pm India) on Sunday April 12. She will be in conversation with respected Indian jewellery consultant Anil Prabhakar.
In this interview she outlines her perspective to Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.
Please pre-register for the webinar, starting at 2 pm UK time (6.30pm India) on April 12, by clicking here:
How are you coping with the lockdown and how has it changed your attitude and thought processes?
I think this pandemic is really exposing that everything we thought was important — everything we kept chasing and putting on a pedestal like money, celebrities, politicians — it’s all made up and momentary.
In the long term, ethical values and human connections are of the utmost importance. Love, compassion, social consciousness, cooperation and collaboration are really important for survival and will make the world a better place to live in.
In these trying times turning to art and artists for solace is desirable.
The lockdown has made the class difference in society more apparent than ever.
For some of us staying at home with all the luxuries at their beck and call is the worst that they will ever have to contend with. On the other hand the underprivileged and poor are dying of hunger. They don’t even have the luxury of staying at home and protecting themselves.
I am personally trying to stay as connected as possible with my friends and family. We are in it together because it’s each other that we can rely and depend upon to overcome the adverse times.
Like the rest of the world I have also turned to artists to maintain a semblance of sanity.
Pakkhi, how do you think the lockdown will affect attitudes of Millennials and Gen-Z customers to jewellery purchases?
In the short term, people will be in survival mode and will conserve their precious resources.
As gold prices are relatively firm compared to the stock market, gold will become attractive from an investment point of view.
Personally I don’t think I would be into purchasing right now or making any sort of big purchases because I’d be more focused on making up the months I’ve lost workwise.
What in your view is the outlook post-lockdown for demand for lab-grown diamond jewellery among Millennials and eventually among Gen-Z consumers too?
I am a big believer in natural things. Diamond happens to be my birth stone (also my favourite), so I believe the energies would vary between lab-grown and natural.
My awareness about laboratory-grown diamonds is restricted to published information.
I have not come across jewellery made from lab-grown diamonds at any of the stores that I visit.
However, as an environmentally conscious individual I look forward to having a close look at “LGD” jewellery once it is available.
As young consumers, we love brands. If brands highlight the environmental angle of lab-grown diamonds and offer good designs (with attractive price points), the response from Indian youth will be encouraging.
Millenials these days have become more conscious of issues like global warming and sustainability. What are your views?
I have personally always to some degree supported sustainability, thanks to my parents.
I strongly believe in preserving our ecological balance.
The last couple of years are a testament to the need of becoming more sustainable in our approach.
The way we have been moving forward, we seem to have forgotten that we aren’t the only inhabitants of this planet, that this generation isn’t supposed to be the last.
As a creative individual I would like to highlight sustainability in the fashion and film industry that I am associated with.
When it comes to the fashion industry, fast fashion is literally destroying our planet as most of the clothes are synthetics and thus use fossil fuels.
The clothing that people use and discard doesn’t decay.
The answer to this problem is in re-usable fashion.
For instance, Indian weddings are known for two reasons: extravagance and clothes.
So what do you do with all the clothes that you wore for one wedding and will never wear again?
I have always found it best to redesign, recycle and re-use that very fabric because you are saving the energy that went into creating the first outfit as well as the second and this reduces fashion waste as well.
Another way to deal with fast fashion is to be a conscious consumer.
Know the brands you are wearing. Know about their environmental policy and honestly — take it from a fellow fashion lover — you don’t really need all those clothes you’re hoarding during sales promotions.
In films digitization is important. What I mean by this is reducing waste of paper.
The script that we are printing on paper can easily be emailed.
Another thing that worries me is the rampant use of plastic water bottles. Using bottles made of bio degradable material or personal water bottles that can be refilled provide a better alternative.