Indigenous Industries started out of our friendship.
Aadil was weaving some amazing magic with textiles in South India back in 2014. He was amidst experimentations with dyes, batiks, fabric construction, weaves and patterns.
I was there, driven by my curiosity of craftsmanship and ancient Indian techniques of making sustainable clothing; and I’d dreamt of democratizing naturally dyed clothing and bringing it to a wider audience by making the clothes easy to maintain.
Our paths had to cross in this big country of small communities. Lengthy conversations about textile, crafts and craftsmen in India over tall glasses of chai established the base of our friendship. Our desire to discover and bring back ancient techniques pushed us to travel the roads of India. From Tamil Nadu to Gujarat, our understanding grew. By the time we were through with Bihar and Assam, ideas fused. We ended our travels by opening up a sampling workshop in a small place on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. It was here that we started our process of dyeing, printing and drawing. We spent over a year experimenting with fabrics and all the while looking to improve our fabric quality and the fastness of the dyes.
After a lengthy trial and error process, hundreds of meters of stained, uneven fabrics with bad fastness, we finalized our formulas for fabric dyeing. We were finally able to dye True Indigo, Yellow Myrobalan and Common Madder with incomparable evenness and fastness.
Naturally dyed Indigo suffers from two main issues. The first being oxidation, which means when the fabric is folded and kept outside for long, the indigo would oxidize and leave yellow lines where the fabric was folded. The second issue was bleeding of the color during washing. It’s widely known that Indigo bleeds for the first few washes. From what we had learned on our trips, Aadil had an idea which he wished to try so we could cut out these annoying problems. After several calibration tests, we cooked up a final recipe for our indigo fabrics and began our next set of trials in February 2016.
After a month taking the air in Gujarat and another one in Tamil Nadu, no oxidation marks appeared. And as for our finished garments, there were no hues of blue in the water of their first wash.
The result of these trials was a source of great excitement for us, so we decided to bring Indigenous Industries to life and make clothing with beautiful, sustainable and easy to maintain natural hues.
Indigenous Industries aims to eliminate negative externalities from garment manufacturing. We want to promote handicrafts and shift the focus back to traditional, sustainable production processes.
We want the human capital and creativity behind garment manufacturing to be brought fourth to the eyes of our customers. And most importantly we want to provide our artisans with a safe space to express and perfect their art.
We’re also into nature, a lot. We want the world to become greener, and our societies to further respect the planet. Production processes need to change drastically, and why not start with the fashion industry?
That’s what we are doing here at Indigenous Industries. Organic cotton, Khādi, Natural dyes, Batik, we focus exclusively on processes with little to no negative ecological footprint.
In an effort to manage waste, our production scraps of organic cotton are collected and handmade into paper. The paper is then screen-printed to be used for our communication needs such as tags, visiting cards or gift boxes.