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A Revolution Looms Ahead: 5 South Indian Brands You Need To Bookmark Right Away!

Handcrafted boutiques run the world!

Ours is a country with extremely rich artisanal heritage. Our kaarigars and shilpkaars are among the most talented ones, leaving people all over the world stunned and in awe of their craftsmanship. The question is, do we value our native artisans as much as we should? It is crucial to shed light on brands, designers, and stores that not only help artisans sustain their craft, but also make strides to aid and assist them with ethical business practices from educational opportunities, and not just stopping at providing them with fair wages. Here are some homegrown brands from the South, you cannot afford to miss! From supporting local artisans to providing you with a shopping cart filled the best, they ace it all! 

 

Cancelled Plans, Hyderabad

Founded by Mallika Reddy who believes fast fashion is only causing a massive burden on the earth and its resources, the brand creates fashion for the future. Cancelled plans sources its raw materials- industrial and pharmaceutical waste, from local factories and industries, which are later transformed into fabric. All of these fabrics are then handcrafted and worked on by local artisans who weave, stitch, and embroider the materials, turning them into edgy and creative streetwear and accessories. All the waste that could have ended up in landfills and the all artisans on the verge of extinction, are given a new lease of life, and we love it! There isn’t one reason you shouldn’t shop from this label! 

 

Nool by Hand, Erode

This Erode-based clothing label is worth talking about. Shri Bharathi Devarajan strongly advocates that hand looms need to replace power looms, and not the other way round. Nool employs weavers of the handloom village Chennimalai, 27 kms away from Erode, to bring their craft back from the brink of extinction. This label was conceived solely with the aim of sustaining the handloom sector. Nool uses only handwoven fabrics for its modern Indian designs that range from silk and linen sarees to breezy dresses, to chic skirts and versatile pants. They rely completely on traditional techniques, be it for dyeing or for embellishments. This brand supports rural artisans and handloom communities by aiding them with all the requirements needed to perfect their crafts and earn a decent source of living for themselves.

 

The Postbox, Chennai

Founded in 2016, The Postbox offers a range of functional and long lasting products crafted out of high quality premium leather. Nikhil Joseph started the brand hoping to offer functional essentials with a global aesthetic. The brand believes in constant innovation and empowerment of their workers. They consist of a team of over 100 men and women, extremely skilled in the art of leather craftsmanship, and often provided training through a versatile range of courses to arm them with a skill-set to help them further their career. The brand also sources its leather from gold/silver-rated tanneries, thus doing their bit for the environment. From backpacks, wallets and passport sleeves to desktop organisers, gift sets and customized journals, The Postbox has you covered.

 

Oshadi, Erode

Oshadi is a contemporary women’s wear label aiming to revive and sustain India’s traditional craft heritage, which is now endangered. This web brand sources all of its cotton from farms in the heart of Tamil Nadu. Proud of their seed-to-stitch concept, all their products are crafted with artisan techniques of hand weaving and various types of natural dyeing using turmeric, flowers and leaves, by local highly skilled craftspeople. Oshadi’s catalogue consists of everything from dresses to shirts to co-ord sets. Founder Nishanth Chopra believes the entire textile supply chain is built on modern day slavery, and is set out to flip the future and make it a valuable one to look forward to. Sustainability and craftsmanship at its finest! 

 

Seamstress, Kerala

Seamstress is a quaint boutique store that started out in Thrissur, Kerala, by Vimal and Rasmi in 2011. The label works with weavers across the country, to design and adapt age old weaving techniques and create new textile forms. One of the co-founders is a literal seamstress, an expert in perfecting cuts and finishes of a garment, while the other is an IIM graduate with an extremely keen interest in weaving and pattern-making, a striking combination indeed! From sarees and skirts to lungis and shirts, there’s nothing they don’t do. Seamstress has worked with Bandhani from Kutch, Sanganeri block prints, Ikat from Odisha, Kerala’s kasavu, and the list is endless. They believe this is their ode to the rich weaving heritage of Kerala and the country. 

 

It’s about time we celebrate these artisans’ spirits, and help them rediscover their golden sunshine.

 

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