The desire to bring a touch of India to Belfast inspired the creation of an exciting new ethical fashion brand.
Another, Namita Khanna, has wanted to showcase the craftsmanship of her home country and its beautiful vibrant colors since she moved here from India 30 years ago. She finally made her dream come true when she launched her fashion and homewear brand, Woven Riches, in 2018.
Her business was just taking off when Covid-19 hit in 2020, but since coming out of the pandemic, Namita, 50, has slowly built a brand strongly rooted in the ethics of the slow fashion movement. I have continued.
Slow fashion is the opposite of fast fashion and advocates clothing that is manufactured with respect for the person.It uses craftsmen and eco-friendly materials with the aim of preserving crafts and the environment.
Namita said: There are many craftsmen in India whose skills are not recognized.
“I’ve worked in my husband’s shop for many years, but that’s not the job I chose. I’ve always designed things in my head and discussed products and designs with people in India.
“We didn’t have the money to take big risks, so we decided to start small in 2018. Since then, we have grown incrementally.
“I am also passionate about women’s empowerment and have always wanted to work with women from my hometown, but in an ethical way, where they get fair hours and fair wages, I wanted to ensure that their skills would be appreciated.
“I have two groups that I work with. One is a group of five girls in Delhi who produce my goods and the other in Jaipur where I do my block printing. is a team of five.
“I have seen it with my own eyes, so I know very well how Indian workers are exploited in fashion sweatshops. It is important to me to act ethically and consciously with integrity.
“Give these lovely women an income while at the same time allowing them to be self-sufficient and independent.
“So, instead of being driven by fast fashion and trends, we only create timeless and timeless products that each have a soul and a story to tell.”
Namita has long been accustomed to life in Northern Ireland, especially since she started her business and has been to India frequently.
It was love that made her move to Belfast in 1992.
Her husband Sanjay is Indian and was born here.
Namita met him during her frequent trips to India and the couple fell in love and got married.
She has been working in her husband’s dry cleaning business since moving here. Sanjay is famous in Belfast for its Mint Dry Cleaning shop in the city centre.
The couple have two children, Jay, 20, who works for PWC, and daughter Leah, 25, a Liverpool resident who helps Namita with her new business.
Namita wanted to not only give something back to her home country, but also showcase the beautiful and vibrant colors of India through her products.
she said: I couldn’t stop visualizing the bright colors of the house. People here tend to shy away from color and I wanted to incorporate these vibrant house colors into my designs.
In addition to supporting Indian artisans, Woven Riches has also teamed up with friends back home to set up her own charity, the Nagpal Foundation, to help orphans living on the streets of Delhi.
She explains: Me and my Indian friend serve her twice a week hot meals. I use a portion of my profits from Woven Riches to pay for food while my friends cook in their kitchen and deliver it to the kids every Tuesday and Saturday.
“Initially there were 50 to 60 children, now there are 100 to 150 children every day and it is not affected. It is difficult to
“I don’t know where this charity will take me as we grow our business, but I really feel a sense of purpose and I want to eventually have a bigger kitchen. I am thinking.”
Namita now has her own website and sells Woven Riches online through Etsy, Shopify and Not on the High Street. She has recently started bringing her products to local slow fashion markets and events across Northern Ireland.
She adds: The feedback I got from the event in Northern Ireland has been very positive and that is what keeps me going. Woven Riches is my humble attempt to bring India a little closer to Belfast and beyond. ”