Grown in Australia, Made in India

Indian designer Aneeth Arora creates a Merino wool collection with Himachal’s Bhuttico weavers

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Merino Wool of Australia used to make new style of jackets in India
Merino Wool of Australia used to make new style of jackets in India

In its most recent foray into India, the Woolmark Company has taken Merino wool of Australia to the handlooms of Kullu.

The company has collaborated with the Indian designer label Pero and the Bhuttico weavers of Himachal Pradesh in its ‘Grown in Australia, Made in India’ initiative, for which designer Aneeth Arora has created a collection in time for the Indian winter.

Arora’s artisanal collection, described as “grunge-chic”, is made up of blues, khakis and off-whites, and is 100 per cent natural, renewable and biodegradable. Dilip Gianchandani, Country Manager (India) of the Woolmark Company, said, “This collaboration beautifully showcases Indian craftsmanship using Australian Merino wool through the looms of Bhuttico.”

The initiative offers the perfect product for mindful consumers concerned about sustainability as well as about highlighting India’s hand-weaving traditions.

Aneeth Arora is perfectly suited to a project of this nature. For starters, she is well acquainted with the Woolmark label – she was a regional finalist for the annual International Woolmark Prize a few years ago and has worked with them since. As well,
her brand ‘pero’ (Rajasthani for ‘apparel’) is becoming quite the flag-bearer for the slow fashion movement in India, with its penchant for hand-made, hand-embroidered, traditional artisan work.

Arora’s deep involvement with the traditional weavers of Himachal Pradesh is just as much about reviving the old crafts as it is about sustaining communities.

Sustainability is the need of the hour.

For the Woolmark project Arora chose the unique geometric patterns traditionally created on the borders of the pattu shawl. These patterns were created by the weavers on their handlooms to be used on woollen jackets.

“(Our) philosophy has been to use traditional Indian textiles and crafts to create a global product that fits easily, wherever in the world, without shouting about its origins. We try to create the textiles with a global design language,” the 36-year-old designer said in an interview recently.

Pero’s hand-woven convention has previously gelled well with other traditions, including, in one collection, Scottish tartan designs.

The label also hit the headlines recently with its upcycled jackets – denim jacket and trenches from a warehouse that was scheduled to shut down were acquired and upcycled with embroidery to create a line of limited edition pieces.

Arora’s brand marks its tenth anniversary this year, and is stocked in 350 stores around the world, although it has yet to arrive in Australia.

From IANS reports

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