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    Chennai’s Shivani Patel creates a sample collection of cork bags to choose from

    Functional, with elegant shapes and subtle colours, the cork-based bags from Shivani Patel are a brilliant idea. The 23-year-old launched her brand, Arture, two weeks ago and offers products like wallets for men and women, iPad sleeves, handbags and unisex satchels, making us wonder why it took so long for someone in our city to creatively use cork. “I have added fun features to the products, like removable pockets, easy-access loops (you can snap on your keys or wallets on to these loops) and even nifty SIM card slots in all the wallets, which are useful for frequent travellers,” begins the city-based designer, who combined art and nature to name her brand. The NIFT Chennai graduate is crowd-funding for her collection on Indiegogo. Those interested can select bags from the collection and pre-order them. “The moment the campaign is successful, we will go into production, with delivery by July,” she says.
    The idea of using cork for bags came to Patel when she was giving her bedroom a makeover. “I was making a notice board for which I needed cork sheets. After it was done, I wondered how it might look on a product. I always wanted to develop a sustainable range of accessories which are vegan and cruelty-free. Cork is 100 per cent natural and comes from the bark of the cork oak. No tree is ever cut to make it and the bark regenerates and can be harvested every nine years. It is also very luxurious and textural, which makes it the perfect material,” shares the designer who sources her material from the Medite-rranean and Africa.
    Bags from Rs 1,200. Details: igg.me/at/arture.

    Mrinalini Sundar

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