Philosophy

We are Pashm, an Amsterdam-based company that works with rural artisans from the Himalayas and other parts of India to create handcrafted fabrics, fashion and home accessories. Our aim to create a platform of skilled rural artisans and connect them with the international fashion industry that is looking to work with handmade textiles.

We aim to be socially beneficial (create jobs, reskill, empower women) and environmentally responsible (forest conservation, minimal carbon footprints, using what’s locally available).

Our Offerings

With us you can find hand-woven fabric and customised designs with hand-embroidery techniques unique to India. We can provide you with design consultancy or based on your design suggestions, we translate traditional Indian techniques into contemporary designs just for you.

Karigar

In 2014, Pashm partnered with Jolijn Fiddelaers (of design studio IXXcreates) to launch their own brand – Karigar.

Karigar (meaning artisan in Hindi) is a range of fashion and home textiles made from natural fibres and materials. The brand was launched at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven (October 18 – 26, 2014) and starting 2016, is available at 22 stores around the Netherlands and Germany (www.karigar.nl). Karigar also ran a crowdfunding campaign from October-November 2015 and raised €31,328 on consumers pre-orders from around the world.

Karigar products include stoles, scarves, capes, cushions, throws and plaids made from natural fibres like Wild Silk, Himalayan Nettle, Himalayan Wool and hand spun khadi Cotton. Designed in Amsterdam, each piece is carefully handcrafted and hand-embroidered by rural artisans across India.

White Label

We offer an end-to-end service for your design needs. We communicate your design blueprint to our team of artisans in India and ensure that the finished product meets your satisfaction (from sampling to labelling).

Yardage

We can also provide yardage in minimum quantities.

Our People

Pashm works with artisans, weaving clusters and craftsmen who live in remote Indian villages (with a focus on the Himalayas).

The communities in the Indian Himalayas (from Uttarakhand State and Himachal Pradesh) specialise in weaving Silk (Forest Oak Silk, Mulberry Silk, Eri Silk), Wool (Merino Wool, Lambswool, Himalayan Wool, Yak Wool), Cotton (Cotton Slub), Nettle and Hemp.

We also work with weaving clusters in the South of India (Andhra Pradesh) for hand-woven cotton (Eco-cotton, khadi), hand-embroidery, Ikat Silk and Ikat Cotton.

Traditional hand-embroidery

For traditional hand-embroidery such as Phulkari or Ari, we collaborate with villagers in Punjab and Kashmir. For Lambani embroidery we work with artisans in Karnataka.

We connect our people to the international Fashion and Apparel industry and in doing so we create jobs which generate employment, offer sustained income and professional growth.

Why we do this

India’s biggest asset is its vast human capital, which is also its biggest challenge! Growing economy, rapid urbanisation and migration of young people from villages to urban centres in search of jobs will lead to unsustainable socio-economic situation. The answer lies in creating jobs in villages which can gainfully employ this vast workforce. In creating platforms and channels where generation old skills continue to be in demand, we help people see the value in this work. Instead of being drawn to big cities where they are then forced to take up hard labour jobs for a paltry sum, village youngsters are attracted to staying back with their families and staying true to their tradition.

Video is loud. Hard work!

kanak and sindhu

It started after a trip back home

“We started Pashm in Amsterdam in May 2013 with the aim to give rural Indian artisans a global platform.

During a holiday in Uttarakhand, we bought ourselves Angora shawls. It so happened that the artisans we bought the shawls from had learnt to weave as part of a rural village development and employment scheme; an activity that kept them employed and happy.

That’s when we realized – we have access to parts of India where beautiful products are being created and to the people who make them.This was our chance to bring India’s unsung artisans to the forefront. It was an opportunity to help empower women, the main stakeholders of this enterprise (socially beneficial).

Could we help sustain villages by connecting the weavers of these outstanding products to the global market? For which we also needed to give a contemporary translation to their traditional weaving and embroidery techniques, thereby creating a modern product.

Every fibre that goes into each handmade fabric or product that we create has been treated with love and an understanding for the environment. We try and ensure that we minimize our carbon footprints, are careful about how much waste we generate, and try and find new uses for fabrics with minor defects (environmentally responsible).

And just like the human body, no two products will be exactly the same.”