India’s traditional weaving is finally finding a way back into people’s wardrobes. On August 7, India celebrated National Handloom Day, an event dedicated to weavers and handloom. Since 2015, the Indian government has taken significant steps in subsidizing the handloom trade, so that products can be made available to people at affordable prices. These 10 online fashion brands are some of the best haunts for beautiful, handcrafted goods.
iTokri calls itself a platform that ‘celebrates collective creativity’. The platform strives to lend its space to artisans and artist communities from remote parts of India, to introduce new kinds of handcrafted products and, in turn, give the makers their due credit.
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The Khadi Cult
Open its Facebook page and a burst of colours is what you’re met with at The Khadi Cult. They, in their words, are ‘the endorsers of the ‘Khadi-Vadi’ idea, but in a voguish way. The Khadi Cult has a colour pop theme throughout their designs and mixes quirky, bold embroidery with traditional handloom. It’s also notable that they often use models who aren’t size zero or anywhere close to it.
Hands Of India
A platform based out of Uttar Pradesh that makes contemporary wear with natural products. The organization takes pride in using minimal machinery in its production, thus giving artisans their due credit. Hands Of India sells a range of fashion items like jackets, kurtas, skirts and pants, all handmade. On their website you can read about the artisans who work for them too!
This platform is an advocate of sarees, the traditional Indian attire. Reena Sujai started Hastavem, a Nonprofit Organisation, in 2016 and hasn’t looked back since then. She wants to place sarees on the global fashion map and is working hard towards it. The team makes sure that it trades with weavers so that no middleman pointlessly pilfers profits.
Supported by the NDBI (National Design Business Incubator), Gaatha is another attempt to connect weavers and artisans to their audience. Gaatha’s unique platform doesn’t just sell products, but tells the story behind it too. Hence, you will see a dhurrie or a saree followed by the story of how it was made and by whom.
Brass Tacks is another platform that focuses on handcrafted textiles. It also has physical outlets in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Bangalore, Karnataka. Brass Tacks did their own research to come up with sizes so that everything they make sits well on any Indian woman, their primary target audience. Zero carbon textiles are a huge part of their minimalistic designs. This brand is all about sustainability!
Aaraa by Avantika
A Pune based brand, Aaraa is a sought-after place for handcrafted sterling silver jewelry. Founded by Avantika Kumar Agarwal every piece that Aaraa sells is one of a kind because it’s designed by them and not curated.
Khara Kapas literally means pure cotton. The brand aims at exploring cotton and different fabrics in India to produce contemporary fashion that resonates with the generation today. Khara Kapas keeps its colours earthy and gravitates towards contemporary designs with age old handlooms.
Seamstress, a Kerala based company, was started by Vimla Viswambharan and Rasmi Poduval. Their main objective is to design garments made out of pure handloom, stitched by weavers in Kerala. The two women traveled across the state to learn about different weaving techniques and bring it Seamstress.
Sampada is another fashion brand that makes its clothes with traditional Indian weaves and handloom. It specializes in Indian wear and has stores in metropolitan cities in India, in an attempt to bring folk art to urban space.
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