When Vritti Designs reached out to me and their opening line read "we believe in social, cultural & environmental sustainability", I was like "well, me too!" Over the past year in Toronto, I've found it quite difficult to jive with ethical clothing lines as I find the style to be totally out of my league (I am NOT a fashionista - as I sit here writing in my over-sized Ezzy Lynn pullover, and my boyfriend's Roots sweatpants), OR I've found I'm unaware of the local resources. It becomes tiring spending all my money in U.S dollars or in English pounds (which results in me paying double or triple for my clothing). Thanks to Causeartist, this has changed slowly over time, but still I'm mostly contributing to Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns, and not able to actually buy the things I need now from an ethical source.
As we celebrate fair trade month here at Studio.89, hosting various events and workshops to bring awareness to fair trade education, identifying resources has definitely become a top priority. This is, and has been, one of the biggest challenges. Most people don't actually know where to go to find out about fair trade and ethical products available in their communities, and millennials and young people are demanding it more than ever. This is exactly why my dear friend Gelaine, of Cambio Market, and I hosted an incredible resource guide workshop for grade 11 social justice students yesterday at Studio.89! It is simply mind blowing how much these students knew about fair trade education, and the importance behind conscious consumerism and buying ethical goods. It is super inspiring how youth are continuously challenging corporations and producers to follow ethical practices, demanding transparency and fair wages for all. I sincerely believe our youth will change the world.
This weekend I will be visiting the Buy Good, Feel Good show here in Toronto, and will be checking out new and exciting ethical brands (so stay tuned) but, right now I am thrilled to introduce to you the team behind Vritti Designs! Check out the Q & A below.
1. How is Vritti Designs keeping traditional Indian craft and design alive?
Vritti Designs' aim is to support and encourage local artists who are extremely talented however cannot find the reasonable value for their product which will enable their basis survival especially the woman of rural India. We plan to give them the platform where they can showcase their talent which is much appreciated throughout the world. While going back to the nature is becoming a trend, we are working towards bringing the rural India back to its complete glory. Apart from being very healthy and people-friendly, the organic trend has also revived the livelihood of millions of farmers and craftsmen who were a treasure buried under the depths of modernization.
2. What types of environmentally friendly materials go into Vritti Designs?
Vritti Designs' products are made of handwoven fabrics using only natural, organic & eco-friendly raw material which makes ‘Vritti’ (an) environment friendly organisation. We enormously endorse the Indian craft and craftsman hence all our products showcase the rustic tradition, skill, and culture of India. We enjoy being close to nature and discourage artificial and chemical processing. (If) 100% naturally manufactured organic clothes is your style statement then your search for organic clothing collection stops at Vritti Designs.
Vritti Designs work towards "using the earth, to cloth the world".
3. Tell us about your fair trade practices.
Vritti firmly believes in social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers and does not maximize profit at their expense as the whole purpose of our mission is to promote Indian Cultural art.
4. Tell us about the women you are working with to craft your cute clothing, accessories and home textiles?
We work with different women groups and each one has different skill set. We train rural women artisans focusing on their skills. Primarily we work with women group who are trained in making handcrafted quilts and hand embroidery. Vritti Designs' checking and finishing department of stitching (is also) manage(d) by (the) women which gives them sense of accomplishment and empower(s) them.
5. Is Vritti Designs currently in any shops within Mumbai or South India?
Vritti Designs work with International designers. You can find Vritti’s products at South Mumbai’s heritage Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum Shop and other high end concept stores.
6. Where do you hope to see Vritti Designs in a year from now?
Vritti Designs hope to change the future of textiles in coming years. By promoting handloom fabric we are hoping to sustain old weaving tradition which will definitely stop the migration of young generation(s) (moving) to other industr(ies) in hope of earning money. Adding to all the above, the organic wave has engulfed the environment into its protection. While people are looking for peace and prosperity anywhere and everywhere, Vritti is delivering them by promoting the simplicity and elegance of organic products. So the question for the people is, Why fit in the artificial fabrics when you are built to stand out with organic?
Vritti Designs is also available online and can be shopped right now by clicking here!
Happy fair trade month everyone!