Artisan Support by Agaati

We are grateful for the skilled artisans who add soul and create all the magic in our garments. It is our mission to bring the makers and consumers closer together. We believe artisans and consumers both need each other for sustainable flow of beautiful one of a kind tailored garments. One side cannot do without the other.

Exploiting artisans for short term profits has been damaging artistry where most makers want their next generation to leave the trade to do better. We want to make this trade better and preserve the craftsmanship.

We also know that over 60% of the workforce in our industry are women. When these women workers exploited with low wages, gender inequality and harassment, the effects percolate throughout the society, scarring generations and communities around the world. We want to lend our voice and actions to enable fair wages and respect to these women.

We will continuously strive to bring impact to people's lives and hope you will join this movement too.

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN THINKING

Sustainable design thinking begins with the designer working with different individuals in creating garments with a zero waste philosophy. This involves training the pattern maker, cutter, sewer to reduce waste and recycle/upcycle fabrics which is a time intensive process, so are practices around preserving leftover fabrics and continuously experimenting on ways to creatively reuse. Pattern making, placing design on fabrics and manually cutting them, marking and thread tagging before they move to the machines requires skilled sewer to sew and hand finish them. Our long term plan is to embrace today’s progress of machine and integrate it with the skilled hands of the tailor.

ARTISANS

Our designer works closely and in person with the weavers, the patternmakers, tailors and every person involved in bringing the beautifully finished garments to you. From draping stage of test fits through textile manipulation, textile design exploration, high standards are set until the final sewing and quality checks. It becomes a very different experience to see a man or woman who has weaved the fabric of your clothes, who sewed the dress, who did the embroidery and who finally ironed to give a tailored finish.

To blend sustainability with style, we collaborate with weavers, non-profits that bring financial independence to women and have become an additional source of income and a committed partner for their journey. "It’s not always about money, sustainability comes naturally when everyone wins" says co-founder Saloni.

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

Given the proportion of women in fashion and apparel manufacturing, gender equality and fair working conditions for women is a serious topic for us.

75 million people work in the clothing industry, 80% are women who are aged between 18 and 24 years. Their wages range from x$$ TO X$$. We believe that fashion can empower by enabling us to be who we want to be. But is it improving the lives of the communities involved in the making of it? Sadly the answer is no. Large corporations have changed consumer behaviors and perpetuated a culture of excessive consumerism. Clothes have become mere commodities, ironically with high profits and high wastes leaving nothing for the makers in the process.

Women, especially are offered jobs with low wages, unsafe working conditions and harassment. Many countries have the stigma that women can't go to work as they have to cook and take care of children.

As consumers of such a fast developing world we need to be conscious about where our clothes are made, how gender inequality prevails in factories, and fair wages is beyond the ask of women working for endless hours sewing cheap dresses. The true cost of cheap clothes that we are enjoying is borne by underpaid workers in countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, China. This is not sustainable, we all have to inhabit this planet together and the scarring impact on societies in poor markets will have long term impact on all of us. So this is not the fight of poor women alone, we fight with them against the notorious fast fashion system and educate our audience to ask Who Made my Clothes, why is it so cheap, under what conditions do the makers work.

Last year we travelled to Nepal and worked with Maheela, a nonprofit that rescues women from domestic violence, to weave beautiful shawls for the Fall. Expert hand knitters of Aatmiya, another nonprofit in Nepal knitted alpaca sweaters for AGAATI for a luxe handmade experience. Our company is comprised mostly of talented women leading this change. As sisters we rise together!