The Fabric of Freedom

When I came home after 1.5 years of being in New York, I expected my travel to be chilled and restful. While I have de-stressed myself by spending quality time with family and friends, there is an unrest in the country. I had thought I would bring you the rich heritage of textiles that India is proud of. I had thought I’ll take you’ll down my memory lane of fashion in India. But with the political dynamics I cannot overlook it. India has been fighting the biggest war for democracy and against dictatorship.

How does one think of fashion, when there are such huge fights to be fought. But fashion, textiles- Khadi was one of the biggest players in our fight for independence 72 years ago. So art, fashion, poetry everything is as essential as anything else. What appears to be just a pretty looking industry, can actually make a difference if used in the right way.

Mahatma Gandhi with the charkha

Khadi- it is a hand-spun, handwoven organic cotton textile. It overtook all the power-loom fabrics during India independence. People burnt the mill-made clothes as a protest and embraced the textile of their country. It became to be called 'the fabric of freedom'. It has come a long way from the days of fighting for independence to today fighting for democracy. Khadi is a beacon of freedom in India and globally. From being a coarse fabric, it has become supple and glamourous. It has been draped as saris in India, to kimono’s in the far-east, to ready-to-wear and couture in the west.

Sabyasachi who is India’s leading designer in the country and globally, started his journey with Khadi. He got the young and modern Indian’s to love their heritage and saris. His ‘save the sari’ movement comprised of Khadi saris. From the big Indian designers like Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Abraham and Thakore, Gaurang to the new generation of designers like Maku, 11.11, Peró everyone has interpreted the fabric in their style that resonates with people of all walks of life.

Sabyasachi's 'save the sari' movement

Khadi by Maku textiles

International designers like Issey Miyake, Norma Kamali, Mimi Prober, Eileen Fisher have been some people who have made this fabric a part of their fight with fast fashion.

Khadi by Issey Miyake

Khadi draped outfit by Norma Kamali, NYFW WF'18

Khadi is the voice of sustainable fashion, it is the face of a new world- which is more ethical, compassionate and slow. It is our way forward in the changing times today…

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