It’s always great to see creative new upcycling ideas in the fashion world. These upcycled saris are not only beautiful but also empower female artisans in India as well as Pakistan, Afganistan, Tajikistan, Thailand and Indonesia. The House of Wandering Silk is a budding social enterprise based in India. Today we are excited to launch a giveaway with them for some of their gorgeous pieces made from upcycled saris.
House of Wandering Silk – the story
Katherine Neumann, a Czech/Australian who lives in New Delhi, started the House of Wandering Silk in 2011. The House of Wandering Silk is based on Gandhi’s principle that “there is no beauty in the finest cloth if it creates hunger and unhappiness”. That’s why the House of Wandering Silk is committed to balancing social empowerment with exquisite design as well as a respect for the natural environment.
The House of Wandering Silk sources old saris and upcycles them into scarves, shawls, shrugs, necklaces and quilts. The upcycled saris are transformed using a traditional Indian hand embroidery technique called kantha. The kantha technique involves tiny rows of running stitch hand sewn from end to end. This provides strength to the upcycled saris and allows them to be reused. The kantha embroidery creates a rich, rippling effect across the fabric and also adds a unique texture.
Many of the House of Wandering Silk pieces are actually separate upcycled saris that have been stitched together using the kantha method. The upcycled saris are handpicked for their fabulous colours and designs and then paired to complement one another. The photo below shows the House of Wandering Silk sari supplier Mini. Katherine used to buy from Mini’s street-side shop but the two have grown close and Katherine now visits Mini at her family home. Mini’s husband cooks Gurjarati curry and they serve Katherine cup after cup of steaming chai as she makes her selections from hundreds of used saris.
The House of Wandering Silk production processes do not involve any child labour. Artistans such as women’s cooperatives in Murshidabad, West Bengal State are employed ensuring disadvantaged women have dignified, sustainable and fairly paid employment.
The House of Wandering Silk also have a zero-waste policy. The remnants leftover from the production of vintage sari scarves are used to create sari bead necklaces and bangles. The sari scraps are hand-picked and wrapped over wooden prayer beads and bangles.
The House of Wandering Silk are offering a €50 gift certificate including international shipping to a lucky Upcycle That reader.
This competition is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Nicole!
Source: House of Wandering Silk