Good Earth presents a new line of apparel and home furnishings that celebrate kalamkari from Machilipatnam
Simran Lal and her team at Good Earth have seriously focussed on reviving Indian crafts and traditions by creating a platform in the luxe retail space. From their Ratnakara design collection, inspired by the islands of the Indian Ocean, to the Farah Baksh line in 2012, that showcased the fine craftsmanship of the Kashmiris, the brand has become a symbol for curated elegance.
This year, they shine the spotlight on Machili-patnam kalamkari, the art of printing with vegetable dyes. “The beautiful craft is on the verge of dying out, with craftsmen giving up on their trade for more lucrative offers,” begins Lal, CEO of the company. Authentic chintz or kalamkari from the Machilipatnam region of the Coromandel Coast is traditionally recognised by its floral handblock prints, with the dyes created purely from vegetables, using tamarind seeds for a soft red hue or turmeric for yellow. Christened The Cabana Collection, this line includes apparel and home furnishings in cotton, linen, cotton silk and muslin.
The resort wear, Kalamkari, in this line includes sarongs, scarves, and kurtas, printed with colours derived from Indigo myrobalam, madder root and iron filings, sun dried and processed naturally. Table cloths, razais and cushions form the home textiles range, Anatolia Nar. Turkish for pomegranate, the nar forms the inspiration for this line, which employs stylised pomegranate, tulip, carnation and lattice prints. For every collection, The Good Earth team first identifies artisans based on their skills and then works with them closely. “Once we sign on these craftsmen, we retain them forever as it’s quite a struggle to convince them to carry on their craft,” shares Lal, adding, “Our director, Beenu Bawa, is at Machilipatnam filming the entire process, as we speak.’’
Home linen (Rs 2,200) upwards, apparel (Rs 2,800) upwards. At Nungambakkam. Details: 43087878
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“Our focus is also on our web boutique, a huge component of business today. We get orders from across the globe and we have no idea how they heard about us, but it’s an indication that there’s a massive untapped market out there,” Lal reveals. “In January 2016, we will be sponsoring the Fabrics of India show at the Victoria Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design, in London. We’ll also be setting up a small pop-up at their exhibition shop. This is a huge deal for us. And since our store in Ankara, Turkey, is doing quite well, we are also in talks to open a branch in Istanbul,” she tells us.
— Rashmi Rajagopal