The people of Karigar find it important to have a positive impact on the people they work with and the environment they create in. They think you have to be the change that you wish to see in the world like Mahatma Gandhi once said.
At Karigar they create versatile fashion textiles by combining natural materials, traditional weaving skills and modern Dutch design. Every handmade product that you purchase tells you the story of the artisans who created it.
To them, sustainability means the ability to preserve age old traditions. It’s about working with people to ensure that they can continue to earn well and improve their lives. Sustainability is about using natural materials that don’t harm the environment and creating textiles that are made to last.
‘From the artisans to u, to our consumers – sustainability impacts our entire value chain. It’s important because it’s our way of making a positive difference and enriching lives.’
The three co-founders of Karigar – Jolijn Fiddelaers, Sindhu Holla and Kanak Hirani-Nautiyal met in 2014 at a fashion match-making event. At that moment, they made a choice to join forces and work only with rural artisans creating handmade textiles using traditional techniques and natural materials.
A deeply rooted love for colours, patterns and textures are what gets Karigar designer Jolijn excited (she’s a textile designer). However, their work would feel empty if it would not add value to the lives of the people making and wearing their products.
‘We are inspired to create beauty, both on an aesthetic and ethical level. Karigar enables us to do this and find ways to contribute to a ‘healthy and wealthy’ world.’
When people are looking to buy a Scarf, Shawl or Cape – they should know that with Karigar they have a stylish yet sustainable option. They want to keep creating versatile fashion textiles for conscious consumers, and in doing that they want to work with skilled rural artisans across India and explore other old techniques, new natural materials, and innovative design.
When they started researching about sustainable fashion clothing and looked at the entire production and supply chain, they found there are so many steps involved.
Karigar: ‘Right from the design input to the source of materials, which must be reliable and with minimal footprints, to the mills and factories where the garments are made and where numerous people work on creating the product, to the tiny embellishments on the garment, the packaging, labelling and transporting – there’s a huge team effort involved.
So when we launched Karigar, we thought it was our responsibility to share this critical information with our consumers and we came up with the idea of the Talking Tag. All our product hangtags have a unique QR code, which when scanned with a smartphone, share videos and pictures of how your product was made. It tells you about the people and processes involved in creating the Karigar Cape, Stole or Scarf and so we aptly named it the Talking Tag!
And once you witness this detailed creation process, you never again ask, “why does it cost so much?”
In the words of Vivienne Westwood, “Buy less, choose well and make it last.”