Simple, textured, breathable, handspun, versatile – are just some words that describe the unscrambled beauty of Khadi – India’s most powerful symbol of freedom and self-reliance. Not only this handspun signature fabric of India is backed by an entire nation’s rich history, it is one of the most sustainable and environmental friendly textile options.
After getting stuck in a time warp for a few decades after independence, Khadi is again witnessing the golden light of hope and revival. A handful of young, inspiring designers decided it’s time to preserve the legacy of India by giving Khadi an all-new makeover – soon Khadi-with-a-twist started fitting into a contemporary fabric landscape. The magic of Khadi was back, and it’s time to introduce The Khadi Couture.
Soon, fashion shows showcasing Khadi silhouettes became the order of the day. Khadi boutiques and flagship stores were launched, as well as India’s crème de la crème designers started promoting the art. From celebrated couturier, Sabyasachi Mukherjee to aesthetic pundits, Sanjay Garg (Raw Mango), Anita Dongre (AND) and Rohil Bal, India’s leading designers exhibited their vision for this indigenous fabric on a large scale across versatile platforms.
On the other hand, a muted revolution amidst the budding designers was brewing. They too pledged to revive and support the Khadi handloom industry by promoting the indigenous skills of the artisans from rural India. Their objective was to spread the power of Khadi to every Indian household through independent online stores, FB catalogues and customized websites. The fabric design was re-invented, the functionality was revamped and the prices were kept within the budget of common people.
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“These smaller brands service the customer who is looking for a niche product. They focus on any one thing — production technique, or weave, or craft — and so may not be able to compete with the big high-street brands in terms of production scale,” said FDCI (Fashion Design Council of India) president Sunil Sethi.
In India, the need for organic or natural fabrics is immense, and the market is still growing. Brands, like FabIndia, Global Desi and Anokhi did realize this, and has transformed their merchandise into something breathable and relatively modest, which is of course handloom! Other niche brands like MyRootsDesi are also found following their footsteps; their true craft lies in amalgamating the beauty of traditions with the contemporary elements with an organic base.
Since its inception on 2nd Dec, 2016, MyRootsDesi has been continuously involved in promoting organic fabric, which is an ancient tradition in India. They work at grass-root levels with artisans from rural parts of India, including the states of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar. They have also been associated with several fair trade organizations like Sabala Handicrafts, Sasha, Shilpa Kala Trust, Child Trust, Sandhur Kushala Kendra, Abihaara Social Enterprise and many more.
“The very essence of Khadi is extremely giving. It has a subtle texture and flair of its own. In our organization, we aim to use Khadi as a fabric to develop beautiful silhouettes that appeal to a wider audience. We ensure our patrons are draped in comfort and accessibility. They deserve the feel of wearing something designer yet in local, sustainable fabrics,” – says Sreerekha Madivala, Co-Founder & CEO of MyRootsDesi.
She further added, “By incorporating embroidery, embellishment and layering, Khadi is transformed into a glamorous ready-to-wear outfit, perfect for today’s Young India.”