“The whole idea of reusing, creating something out of materials which you are ready to dispose and giving it a new life is very much a part of the Indian material culture,” says Madhumita, the founder of Ek Katha
Graduating from National Institute of Design in India, Madhumita has derived a perspective of art based on traditional crafts and artisans. From her rich experience and background, Ek Katha is very much a ‘brainchild’ and an assimilation of her learning and creativity.
“Ek Katha is a sustainable clothing label, proponents of slow fashion wear and ethical craft practices. Our clothes are a contemporary rendition of the traditional craft applying it to accentuate the silhouettes. We create wearable comfort wear for the woman who knows her cloth and fashion.”
Ek Katha is an extension of the beliefs and values of Madhumita. The designs fully reflect the idea of handmade and ethical creations that are rooted in India; in the craft traditions. “The urge to sustain traditional craft practices in the midst of easy mechanized processes has been one motivating factor which has guided my choice to create the way I do.”
Talking about sustainability and conscious mindsets, Ek Katha carefully creates and designs in awareness of process and developments. “We are moving towards a zero waste studio where every piece of fabric counts and is precious as it takes time and effort to be made. These are turned into fabric jewelry, bags and pieces of art.”
“Living sustainably is actually natural and organic to our being and not the other way round. It is maybe a little bit more of hard work to adopt methods rooted in tradition and wisdom, but now it’s a choice that I have made. But after sometime we may no longer have the privilege of choosing and will have to lead a way of life aligned with nature.”
Living sustainably and consciously is not due to the business and company, yet it is Madhumita who influenced and inspired the start of Ek Katha, in which her values define not only the brand but also her everyday choices, such as food and necessities. “We can make a change by being aware of small habits and can trigger a change slowly and gradually.”
Where do you usually get your inspirations? Do you have an icon you follow?
Inspirations spring up from everywhere; the craft itself has its character which guides you to redefine and work around its limitations. India saw a resurgence of hand woven and handcrafted traditions with designers coming in to give it a contemporary twist making ‘ khadi’ and ‘ made in India’ very fashionable and aspirational indeed. But mostly it’s my own interaction with the craft and the craftsmen, which are the true guiding forces behind my creation.
How would you recommend/influence consumers to be more sustainable in consumption?
The consumers need to start by asking relevant questions while buying; like the origin of the product, knowing about the entire chain of operations, the way it is prepared, its impact on our environment, both ecologically and socially. Also, consumers should ask themselves whether what they are purchasing stems out from a ‘need’ or ‘want’. Need-based buying will minimize unnecessary consumerism. They also need to ask the life of the product, can it last for a year, maybe 10 or can be passed from one generation to another. Slow fashion means slow consumerism too.
What are your trend forecasts for thirty years from now?
I think slow fashion would co-exist with fast fashion on an equal foothold. I don’t see fast fashion perishing anytime soon, as they are affordable to all. But gradually people will have a shift in attitude and these will not just reflect in fashion but in general their way of living.
Also, with slow consumerism making its presence felt, people might opt for unisex fashion, anti-fit clothing (which is already a trend), sharing/exchange of clothing and more upcycled products to freshen up the old and foster creativity. These I think are very crucial trends and the world over people will gradually veer towards these.