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Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari

by Politecnico di Milano
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari
Designing Sustainable Fashion for I was a Sari

We stopped all operations on 17th March, exactly one week before the lockdown in India started. Since then all our office and production teams are at home. 

 

We had therefore to adjust our project plan in order to be able to work remotely, wherever possible. With this objective in mind the creative team started a labelling and packaging re-design project. 

 

Company is growing everyday so our packaging needs to follow the mutations at the same time. A new edition of packaging is currently in development. We focused on new labels for garments and accessories, hangtags and boxes. Products will soon find themselves presented in a new way.

 

The re-design of I was a Sari packaging is a good opportunity to freshen-up the brand visual identity and also to adopt fully eco-friendly materials.

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Embroidery started to conquer jewels, with new branded embroider chocker and bracelets. Such scale types of product for embroidery pieces or embellishment can allow every artisan to practice with a simple and small surface to embroider as same time as being on a scale easy to handle.

 

We started exploring new possibilities around a new type of saree coming in :  Poonam sarees.

These are closed to thin crepes fabrics and they are keeping the intensity of chroma-saturation of our actual printed-mixed sarees but with a difference, soft hand and transparency. By their crepe type, Poonams can not only extend our range of fabric mix inside collections, but also be used as embroidery material for fabric manipulations towards more delicate, air, sensual and lightweight to embellished products from our artisans.

 

Let’s see which astonishing products will come out from this new material sourcing.

 

On the side of garments, a considerable amount of time has been dedicate to infuse a fine tuning of some pieces such as pijamas, skirts and waistcoats.

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3D border, strip cut in aari with pink thread
3D border, strip cut in aari with pink thread

The last months have been dedicated to realize first the Lakmé Fashion Week collection, an opportunity to bring a major visibility of daily skills improvements of our artisans team. Crafts and creative collaborators are concentrating on the finalization of the new products released. The challenge is to reach a new horizon in terms of finishings on products, by bringing details to highlight more and more our raw materials and its potential : saris. In terms of embroidery, other areas are in exploration : manipulation of fabric is shifting our raw sari to another kind of fabric quality and weights (leafy, fluffy, vibrant, textured, bulky, warmer/cosy, smooth, sharps). At same time as enriching craft skills of woman embroidery artisans, embroidery aesthetic is growing together as the training is going on. We behold the raising of many possibilities in terms of embellished fabrics qualities. Possibilities of creation from our raw material are wide and our concern is to perform craft techniques at their most highest expression by the training of women. It means daily improvements by handling together novelty, explorations and by acquiring a precision of the hand process. The hand crafting path is following his progress by mixing together the strength of crafts arts and new ideas.

cut-edge pleats embroidery/hindi letter detail
cut-edge pleats embroidery/hindi letter detail
hindi JUGAAD cut-edge pleats embroidery
hindi JUGAAD cut-edge pleats embroidery
zig-zag thicker elastic thread in aari technique
zig-zag thicker elastic thread in aari technique
green piping on pink peacock sari
green piping on pink peacock sari

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During July, a new designer - Camille - joined the I was a Sari team based on a research fellowship sponsored by Chime for Change - Gucci’s inclusion project - and promoted by the Fashion in Process Research Collective at the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano. To take the brand to the next level in terms of circular design practices and new methods of production, Camille started her on-boarding during a workshop at the Gucci Creative Studio in Rome. Thanks to Gucci Change Makers initiative a team of employees from the Gucci Design Office, who were contributing with ideas and insights during a week of immersion with I was a Sari women artisans for the upcoming collection. I was a Sari will be part of the 2019 Lakmé Fashion Week Collection who was presented in Mumbai on 22nd august 2019. Run by an extremely passionate team, I was a Sari is now internally supported too on design practices with this new collaborator dedicated to circular design and products improvement techniques by the use of new fabrics manipulations who will become a new range of skills for those women.

 

The collection showcased at Lakmé Fashion Week comes alive through a unique and special engagement with Gucci employees. Thanks to the Gucci Changemakers initiative, an internal volunteering program that empowers all 18,000 Gucci employees worldwide to dedicate up to four paid days off to volunteering activities in their local communities through NGOs or socialenterprises of their choice, covering four main pillars – equality; support for refugees and the homeless; protection of the environment; and education – 24 employees from the Gucci design office contributed ideas, knowledge and insight during a week of immersion with I was a Sari women artisans in the company’s Roman studio.

 

Showcased at the Lakme Fashion Week
Conceptualised by Keith Khan London

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Chime4Change, the global campaign founded by Gucci to convene, joined and strengthen the voices speaking out for gender equality (https://chime.gucci.com/homepage/), has funded a scholarship for a one-year research grant through the Design Department at Politecnico di Milano. 
The research program aims at implementating design-driven actions to trigger social innovation through the female figure enhancement and the development of circular economy models toward a sustainable use of resources. The Research Fellow is asked to move from Milano to Mumbai, India to directly work with 2nd Innings Handicrafts Private Limited, the social enterprise owning the brand I was a Sari, to manage the creative process of contemporary apparel made with pre-loved saris and upcycled materials.The Research Fellow will emphasize the use of tailoring and embroidery techniques with a new vision for the I was a Sari brand, to make sustainable fashion desirable and meaningful for the women who produce these works. 
The deadline to participate in the selection is June 11, 2019

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Organization Information

Politecnico di Milano

Location: Milan - Italy
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @polimi
Project Leader:
FiP Fashion in Process
Milan, Italy

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