Love Affair with Organic Textiles and Artisan Crafts
My love affair with organic textiles and artisan crafts goes back a long way. I graduated from a couple of highfalutin fashion schools. I joined the workforce wearing rose-tinted glasses. The rose-tinted glasses came off in no time. The fashion industry was far removed from the world of glamour it was made out to be. I saw the evils of fast fashion. Sewing buttons or snipping thread for long hours reduced a human being to a robot.
My travels took me to villages far and wide. The beauty, the finesse' and the variety of artisan crafts had me spellbound. No one could put a price on the joy a craftsman felt when he wove a piece of cloth. There were few buyers for handmade goods. Craftsmen were selling products that targeted sundry tourists. Innovation was non-existent. Crafts were languishing. Some were on the verge of extinction.
Reinterpreting Artisan Crafts
I began to channelize the craftspersons' skills into contemporary and marketable products. I had to introduce innovation without destroying the essence of the crafts.
I faced a two-fold challenge. Artisan communities were steeped in tradition. The artisans seldom ventured beyond what their forefathers had taught them. They resisted change, scarred by previous experiences of deception and fraud. I had to gather all my resources - networking, time, money - to break through this barrier of resistance.
Fighting the Battle against Plastic
Buyers were oblivious to the woes of the artisans. Plastic fantastic had them in its grip. Polyester was shiny, colourful, strong, and wash and wear. Finally, the long-lasting quality of man-made fibres became a problem. Man-made fibres lasted forever. They throttled the water bodies. Polyester destroyed our flora and fauna. It strangled our environment. At one point, the environment turned around and unleashed its fury on us.
All of a sudden, sustainability became the buzzword. Organic became the new black. The peace silk I was trying to sell for years became hot property. No one complained about how expensive it was or how many times it had to be ironed. All that mattered was eco-textiles were environment friendly. They kept COVID at bay. After years of struggle, the course of history was turning in my favour.
Ausmumpreneur Nomination for Deidaa
A good samaritan nominated me for the Ausmumpreneur awards. The nomination drew attention to my team of eco-cultivators and makers. I was selected as a finalist in three categories at the Ausmumpreneur awards... Sustainability, Fashion Business, and Multicultural Business Excellence. I won the SIlver Trophy at the Ausmumpreneur Awards in the Sustainability category.
The Ausmumpreneur Award has put Deidaa in the spotlight. This will translate into more work for the farmers and makers. My vision of a world free of polluting textiles and sweatshops may become a reality.
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