fabriKolor may come across as just another clothing brand to anyone, but deep within it's much more than just that. fabriKolor is the imagination of two childhood friends, who being part of the corporate world had their hearts and souls set out somewhere else.
It all started back in 2013, when we developed an interest for hand dyeing. We would watch YouTube videos and experiment on old white T-shirts using synthetic dyes. The idea of designing our own artistic clothes fascinated us. Our research made us experiment with different fabric printing techniques at home using cheap conventional cotton T-shirts.
Little did we know about the harmful effects of these synthetic dyes or for that matter the hazardous ways in which the cotton used for making these T-shirts was farmed and processed. This continued until 2015, when we researched in depth how the textile industry in India works. Our exploration helped us to understand the harsh realities of conventional cotton farming and how the ever increasing global consumption of conventional cotton clothing is affecting our farmers and the entire ecosystem.
It was quite alarming to understand how the excessive use and irresponsible disposal of harmful and hazardous synthetic chemical dyes in the textile industry is causing harm to our planet and humans. It struck us like a lightning bolt to know of the increase in poverty, suicide rates amongst cotton farmers, health hazards to workers and environmental impact which made us take charge of our actions on how we can contribute to these issues by exploring organic cotton farming communities and eco-friendly dyeing.
Through self-learning by gathering information from the internet, books and a lot of experimenting, we learnt about natural dye extraction and a few organic cotton farming communities working directly with cotton farmers in the drought prone areas of Maharashtra. Soon we partnered with an organic cotton farming community from this region to source certified organic cotton T-shirts.
We strongly oppose gender inequality and marginalization and thus wanted to work exclusively with women who have faced social challenges and are currently unemployed or dependent. In 2016, we got introduced to few marginalized women in our neighborhood who shared their experiences about the challenges they have faced from the society.
In October 2016, we started this initiative in Pune, Maharashtra. With the help of a couple of women coordinators, we soon formed a team of 13 women who were ready to learn something new and become financially independent. All our women co-workers are first time artisans who haven't ever been employed before or unable to complete their education but had the courage to take control of their lives. We were able to successfully provide a two months hands-on skill based training to these women on natural dyes, organic cotton clothing, natural dye extraction, dyeing techniques, eco-dyeing organic cotton t-shirts, packaging, making newspaper handbags etc.
This is our story,
This is who we are, this is what we believe in and this is what we do.
We are fabriKolor.