Summer is finally here in Europe and we couldn’t be happier! It’s time to wear the beautiful scarves that we designed for SS14. Isn’t that one of the best things about having your own fashion business – you get to wear your favourite pieces first.
This collection, called Up-Cycled, has been designed by the amazing Bangalore-based designer Raj Shroff. Known for his fun style and creative mind, Raj helped Pashm with this collection when he took cotton sarees that were hand-woven by our Rudraprayag team and turned them into 20 unique pieces. Using the block printing technique, peacock or flower motifs adorn each scarf and hence the collection is called Up-Cycled –a traditional saree recycled into a cool accessory, the scarf.
We do love what Raj’s done with the Pashm cotton saree. And while he’s our style guru, it’s the weaver, Pushpa Devi, who we must thank. And we’ll tell you why. Pushpa Devi walks 12 km each morning to visit the weaving unit in Masthura. She works at lightning speed to create beautiful cotton sarees at the loom and if it wasn’t for her dedication and skill, we wouldn’t have a saree in the first place that could inspire our collection.
So many women like Pushpa Devi inspired us during our recent visit to the Garhwal Himalayas in March – there is Yashodha, who oversees the oak sericulture and spinning unit in Bareth. She supervises 15-20 women who work out of their homes. This gives them a flexibility to drop their kids off at school, head to the forest to chop wood, return home to cook dinner and also work so that they can earn a living. And not to forget Jayashree, the master weaver at Augustmuni who lives with her widowed landlady and manages to learn new techniques and designs so that she can stay ahead.
These women inspired us and made our Indian experience unforgettable. That they work so hard to make stoles, sarees or scarves, is indeed commendable. And that they do it all with a smile on their face! Who needs summer when you have their exquisite handmade fabrics to brighten up your day?