We tried some new items this season and designed pants made from a heritage cloth known as khadi, which is actually handspun and handwoven. You might not realize from its tight weave and durability that it’s handwoven, because that’s how good these weavers are!
Hand weaving accomplishes a number of goals. It reduces fossil fuel use because the yarns are created without mechanized processes and the multi-heddle floor looms are operated by skilled weavers, much as weaving was done generations ago. It's like being able to hold a piece of history in your hands from a time when most people were makers, artisans, craftspeople, and farmers, connected deeply to the land and resources around them, putting you in touch with an entire way of life.
These highly-trained craftspeople work together in their home communities, and earning a living from their heritage art allows them to keep their families intact, rather than having to move to a large city out of economic need. Focusing on the well-being of a community is one more way to spread the social good and share cross-cultural knowledge in a win-win business context.
Plus, from a sartorial perspective, we just love the texture and the drape of the khadi. It’s great to create something that works as an alternative for women who might not feel comfortable in a skinny jean, or want a pant that has a little special something about it, like the slightly slubbed texture and draped quality to the final design. It's a multitasking, amazing fabric to work with, stemming from a historic art but giving a modern, urban feel to the pieces. You'll see the results at the upcoming San Francisco Green Festival, where we hope you'll stop by booth 234 and get your hands on the quality and processes behind our fair trade focus.