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How we started
While growing up, my parents were setting up a garment factory to support their business of exports. Over time, they realised outsourcing manufacturing is not letting them build an ethical value chain. One incident in particular I recall from when I was around 10 years old, is that a tailor had to visit his village but didn’t have enough money and when turned away by his employer he approached my parent, who didn’t realise that the employer had been financially exploiting his workers.
My father would often say "If we cook something and we are not happy while cooking, it will end up not tasting good and the same goes for the process of making a garment. If the maker of the garment is not happy, we will always end up with products that reflect low quality."
I have since continued to contemplate “What is the right way to craft?” This contemplation resulted in Iro Iro, a decentralised circular design practice that has enabled us to upcycle 12,000 KG of textile offcuts waste, generating work for 20 artisans across two villages in Rajasthan, India. We have managed to make the system of garment manufacturing at our factory circular.
Who we work with
With every collection, our objective is not to achieve scale but to attain prosperity throughout the value chain because “the next big thing is lots of small things.” Quality + design + upcycling builds a unique value proposition within a craft, allows a craftsperson to dictate their wage instead of accepting a bare minimum wage given to them and creates quality income opportunities in villages. Taking developmental opportunities to artisans prevents migration and ensures good quality in not just the products we create but also in the lives of the people who make these products.
We work with Shivam International, a garment manufacturing and export unit in Jaipur. We also co-create with various communities of weavers and natural dyers who we have had the honour to train and building zero-waste sensibility over the last seven years, spread over the villages of Govindgarh, Malikpur, Kaladera and Bhujodi.