As our interest in handlooms and organic clothing gets revived gradually, fairs and exhibitions like these keep their supply flowing. Various organizations from across the country have brought to eco-friendly, organic, natural dyed garments, contemporary handloom products, the great Bengal Muslin and more to an exhibition on display at ANTS Cafe & Store at Whitefield, where it will be on view till January 13.
Here is a low-down on what will be on show.
Tula which means cotton in Sanskrit is a Chennai-based NGO that sources cotton from farmers of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Shrinath Suresh from Tula explains, “We use an indigenous variety of cotton that is hand-spun, hand-woven and naturally dyed. We are also trying to work towards the betterment of local livelihoods that are involved in making clothes for us and give a fair price to the consumers.” Tula seeks design inspiration from Nature Alley and has workstations in Chennai and Bangalore.
The Bangalore- based label Nature Alley brings urban design sensibilities in their latest collection comprising of khadi, organic and handloom garments. The brand established by Tara Aslam believes in bringing pay parity to all parties involved from farmers to tailors to weavers. They practise fair trade and believe in modernisation and the reintroduction of khadi as a mainstream fabric in the form of everyday leisure wear like kurtas, kurtis, waistcoats and jumpers.
Khamir’s latest collection called kala (black) is an entire range of clothing made from kala cotton. It is an old world cotton that can be cultivated in even drought prone areas. In this latest endeavour, Khamir has collaborated with an organisation named Satvik to reintroduce a holistic approach to cotton textile production in harmony with the ecology of Kutch. For their latest collection, the Gujarat-based brand is inspired from a traditional menswear attire called Dhabda, which is made by joining two different looms together. This has been applied to everyday clothing for women including kurtas, short tops and jackets.
Mahatma Gandhi Gramodyog Sewa Sansthan
MGGSS is a West Bengal-based outfit working towards the revival of muslin fabric. It is working with 20 families in a village in Burdwan district in Bengal, which has a long standing tradition of weaving muslin and khadi fabric. They have brought some really fine handmade Bengal muslin fabric and also stoles, saris and shawls. Arup Rakshit, one of the founding members of the organisation says, “The climate for us to cultivate is more challenging today than ever due to global warming and rampant climate change. But we continue to strive and have made here 500 and 600 count muslin fabric and are simultaneously working with designers on how we should be using this fine, delicate fabric.”
Medha Shah is a Gujarat based textile designer who is currently working with a few farmers in Rajkot for her brand Weaver Bird. Describing her work, she says, “We cultivate organic cotton and then buy it from them and give them a premium. We also practise the use of natural dyes and have replaced bleaching with herbal wash for softness using reetha and shikakai.” The collection on display includes comfortable and everyday wear clothing essentials for women including footwear, handbags and accessories.