Inspired by an innate trait to be drawn towards those that are our roots, our culture and heritage
Intending to cater to the Indian audience, to bring premium quality and conscious clothing to our dictionary arose a new chapter. A chapter that created the opportunity to turn inward and reflect on the demands of our roots. The demand for vernacular voices to be heard, and the demand for a contemporary spin on bringing our culture forth with us.
Veaves has their roots deep in the culture and heritage of Banaras (Varanasi), passed down to us from the generations before ours. Our outlook on the traditions, culture, and heritage that have been inherited, and even some that we seem to have forgotten, is nothing short of awe and admiration.
The tale of reviving and honouring our culture has many a time been told, but one that won’t ever run the risk of turning into a cliché. While we venture into building a community that appreciates our love for products that seamlessly weave together traditional Indian craft with contemporary taste, we carry with us the baton of craftsmanship that has been passed down for generations. The local weavers that breathe life into each one of our designs are to whom we want to provide a platform. To nurture their craft, to help it grow and to enable it to achieve the full potential that it seeks.
The idea that we had in our minds as we started the retail segment of Veaves in the Indian market, was to bring back a slow life - the way it was meant to be lived. A lifestyle that celebrates design, understands quality over quantity and lives responsibly. Roots of which have existed in our society and culture for aeons, and continue to be passed down through those thoughts that haven’t yet been washed out by the west. We hope to nurture and expand this school of thought, as we build a community that appreciates and applauds the craft of the Weaver.
Ours has been a story of looking within, exploring the needs and demands of the people around us, and catering to them in the most seamless way possible. We aim to help strengthen the connection between the artist and the audience, the weaver and the consumer, acting as a platform for their craft to be seen.
The collective shift in consciousness away from the grasp that fast fashion has had on our lives, was a catalyst to creating a brand that created products which were built to last. We blended heritage with contemporary in a fashion that gives it life beyond its years, and an aesthetic that appeals to the global palette.
Vatsala Chopra, Vedika Chopra & Vedant Chopra
The Craftsmen and women:
It is no secret that Weavers from across the country, over the last few decades have continually been underpaid and underappreciated. The communities that have passed down aeons of knowledge and skill are the ones keeping our culture alive and seem to be the ones on the receiving end of exploitation that is undeserved.
The weaver like any other profession loses its charm in the eyes of the future generations when it doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves and is exploited without fair compensation; which is the way most art forms around the world have lost their way. The collective awakening that identifies this as an issue and is slowly working towards putting an end to this is something we are truly grateful for, and our efforts will continue to help spread this awareness. What we envision for Veaves is to continue to give these weavers a platform to showcase their talent, and soon start a weaving school that will help us encourage their craft and give it the appreciation it truly deserves.
Each fabric has a different journey it has taken in being made and will take in its consumption. The tales you’ll often hear in the whispers of these fabrics would be of their journey from fabric in the handlooms of Kashmir, to design in Varanasi and further embroidered in Bengal. Each one has a different path, but brings together the voices of the community of weavers from around the country that helped create them.
Veaves started with Stoles, Dupattas and Running Fabrics at its inception, products that, in our eyes, helped showcase the beauty of the cloth in the best way possible. As we developed designs, brainstormed ideas, and continued to experiment with products, the idea remained - to continue to bring in our Indian roots through the fabric to the contemporary global palette. We now have a range of home linen and our recently launched ready-to-wear collection in our arsenal and are hoping to work on creating a craft that identifies with our community.
Understanding the need of the hour, the need to save our planet and do our part to help has been the driving force at Veaves. Globally, the textile industry produces 13 million tons of waste every year, of which 95% of it could be reused or recycled. The industry also uses a significantly high amount of energy, water and other ecologically dependent sources that the world is rapidly seeing a decline in.
So we asked ourselves - what can we do to help?
It started with the basics, recycling. We use unwanted and waste fabrics by adding value to them. Applying our philosophy of beauty in imperfection, we believe in making use of every handwoven craft and wastage left from making the products. Anything can be turned into something when we add value to it and therefore we convert our waste materials into another craft and add a meaning to it, a story of saving the planet one recycled product at a time. This was the design philosophy behind our collection 'Wabi Sabi' that aimed for zero waste by making use of over 100 metres of leftover scraps.
We work closely with 25-30 artisans out of which 60% are women, who diligently craft our products using 85-90% of handwoven materials. This helps us save on electricity, and the more the handwoven products lesser the machinery used thereby generating more employment. With our goal being to produce as less waste as possible, our products are 90% made of pure, elastic, natural fibres like cotton, silk and linen, which are environment friendly and biodegradable. Furthermore, these fibres last longer than synthetic fibres hence producing less waste. These natural fibres require little energy with low CO2 emissions and are electrical resistant.
Further adding to our sustainability efforts, our manufacturing units have water treatment plants which treat the water used previously for dying and reuse the same water after treatment for the dying process. We also go as far as to package our products in biodegradable packaging to help you and our planet live a healthier, greener life.