Aiza Hussain, 24, owner of the Pakistani brand The Saari Girl, is one of those younger people embracing the sari. During the dictatorship of Zia ul Haque (1978-1988), saris were banned in most spaces in Pakistan. Some celebrities stood out in resistance to these campaigns, such as the singer Iqbal Bano, who sang Faiz Ahmed Faiz's famous Urdu poem Hum Dekhenge at Alhamra Arts Council in 1985 clad in a black sari. Hussain tells BBC Culture: "Narratives around saris embedded in religion, marital status, colour and body shape exist till this day, and this is what we are trying to combat. We want to normalise saris. After all, these six yards of loose cloth can be for anyone and everyone."
In Pakistan, Hussain is seeing change. While her mother's generation only wore saris for formal events like weddings, she says many young women now are purchasing them for daily wear. "Eminent Pakistani brands who never offered saris before are now selling saris. When that happens, you know there is a growing market for them."