Friday, February 28, 2014

Collection 1: Mother's Love

After a long hiatus touching base again. We have been busy at Whitewater Designs putting together our first collection of socially and environmentally conscious textile and craft products for children. 

Whitewater is an initiative to introduce a new born baby to the world of storytelling through organic textiles. Most of us, who have grown up in cities, have read and heard western stories in our growing up years and are not familiar with the rich treasure of Indian folklore. At Whitewater, we aim to change that. The stories narrated through Whitewater products are part of a rich culture we are gradually forgetting. Inspiration is also drawn from everyday observations and personal experiences, not dominated by seasonal trends. These flashes of ideas are penned down as poems to be read aloud to children, and also form the inspiration board for developing the signature prints and appliques.

Our first collection "Mother's Love" was officially launched last year. The poem, inspired by my nephew's visit to the zoo for his birthday was translated into playful block prints and hand appliques. Bright polkas and chevron patterns with subtle hand needlework added colour to the muted block prints in natural natural indigo and madder. Together, they provided the starting point for a range of bedding, decor and clothing for infants and toddlers.

Block printed fabric drying in the sun before they are coloured in a village in Kutch, Gujarat
Women artisans creating the textiles in my studio in Ahmedabad

All the textile products are made with 100% organic cotton sourced from GOTS certified manufacturers in India. We are also using khadi woven by local cooperatives here in Gujarat. The dyeing process incorporates eco-friendly principles; products are AZO-free and have not come into contact with any heavy metal dyes.

Special attention was paid to the branding to try and develop tags that can be recycled. Below is an example of the poem that can be used by children to personalise and pin on their soft boards.

The inspiration behind the collection was part of each product.

Since the past 4 months, we have been promoting the cause and the collection through various channels. Some examples are as follows:
Part of The Colours of Nature, symposium on natural dyes, Kolkata
Chor Bazaar, Kolkata

Pappadum, Chennai. Photo credit: Pappadum

Jaypore - an online store retailing curated hand crafted products. Photo credit: Jaypore

Green Fest, Juhu, Mumbai
This is our endeavor at Whitewater - to create awareness that small actions can have a big impact on our environment, health and society. A change in the thinking process has to begin somewhere!