For anyone curious about Indian crafts, textiles, and techniques, Good Earth‘s rich repository is a good place to start. The multi-faceted brand’s repertoire includes not just decor, but also wellness, via their brand Paro, and their affordable luxury clothing line Sustain, which over the past decade has stood out for being rooted in all things sustainable and Indian. This was evident more than ever at Sustain’s recently unveiled 10th anniversary line Sindhu, a collection dedicated to the Indian sub continent’s 5000-year-old rich textile heritage. The magnificent show, held at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi, comprised of 72 looks, all strung together with a medley of colours, textures, and techniques reminiscent of the craftsmanship of the civilisations that came to life and flourished on the banks of river Sindhu (or Indus). Originating in the Tibetan plateau, the river traversed the Indian subcontinent, shaping not just lives but also creating cultures tied to arts and craft movements.
“Sindhu is a special collection for us. Not only does it mark ten years of Sustain, but it is also the confluence of creative forces at Good Earth,” says Anita Lal, founder and creative director, Good Earth. The show, a sensory experience veering away from the idea of runways, was staged in a modern Karvanserai (a central courtyard) that was created for the show. An ancient Indian map was replicated on the floors depicting India’s Indus era, and in the centre was a tree suspended, alluding perhaps to the ‘Tree of Life’. Alongside the show area, an exhibit displayed signature pieces from the collection with details of the motifs and fabrics developed. There were also rare photographs of craftsmen and artefacts touching various facets of the textile celebration.
‘Ajrak’, the traditional and intricate technique from Kutch was the defining craft of the collection. Reimagined via contemporary prints and patterns, and replicated and recreated in different mediums such as the ‘fostat brocade’, lighter renditions of it were created by the master weavers in Benaras. To push the envelop further, Good Earth’s designers added ‘Ajrakh Mingora’, a signature pattern of clouds, lotuses, dots, and fish scales created in traditional hand-blocked Ajrakh in natural dyes to the collection.
The collection is perfect for those enamoured by ethnic fashion but believe in experimenting with it. Imagine light saris in jade greens paired with rani pink (fuchsia) cholis cinched by waist-structured jackets; Gujarati kediyu tops with long dresses; lehenga-inspired light Rajathani ghagras; and exquisitely embroidered large shawls and chadars featuring the rabari mirrorwork, thrown over salwars and knee-length kurtas. All this featuring traditional prints of peacocks and camels made in zari came to define Sustain’s 10-year-anniversary collection.
The craft showcase was not just limited to Ajrak – tie-dyeing techniques of leheriya and bandhini also featured on lightweight saris and dupattas. The hero pieces that stood out were kurtas in traditional mashru from Bhuj, along with lighter, cotton silk stripes in bright jewel tones handwoven in Benaras.
“Sindhu is a celebration of our shared culture, it is a tribute to the nomadic groups, travellers, traders, innovators, patrons, lovers, artisans, so many who were intermediaries of a multitude of ideas and innovations from one place to another,” says Lal.
All images: Courtesy Good Earth