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Article: A Rainbow of Ethical Options

A Rainbow of Ethical Options

A Rainbow of Ethical Options

Hamilton store is upcycling vintage saris from India to foster more sustainable retail and provide fair wages and positive work environment in Delhi


Don’t be surprised if, as you’re strolling along James Street North, you feel a rush of suction as you come abreast the sariKNOTsari store at 228.

That’s the colours pulling you in. They’re a force unto themselves.

Going through the door is like walking into a flower shop of silken fabrics, a swirling Joseph’s coat of kaleidoscopic pattern, fold and drape.

But there’s more to it than that.

The material in the store, for all its present beauty, would likely be tattered and, torn with the gorgeous colours faded and bleaching in a landfill somewhere, were it not for a unique and timely vision. A vision not just for the store but, if we might wax a bit grandiose, for the planet as well as for the culture of clothes and retail.

These garments, as the name of the store coyly hints at, are both saris and not saris. You won’t find an actual sari on the racks. You will, however, find kimonos, caftans, dresses, boxy tops, wraps, dusters, ponchos, jackets, shrugs, capes and more, all made from recycled (or rather upcycled) saris that owner Priya Mohan designs into splendid new creations.

The saris and other vintage silks are collected in India — Priya’s parents immigrated here in the 1960s — and worked up into the new designs, developed collaboratively with Delhi designer Anchal Saini, for a final product that combines the esthetic and style of both east and west, with comfort, self-confidence and body positivity foremost in the balance of fashion priorities.

“I have always loved clothes and playing dress up,” Priya says. On the sariKNOTsari website she writes, “As a child, I would tie myself into my mom’s colourful sari petticoats . . . I would drift through the house practicing ‘poise’ by balancing an Avon soapdish holder on my head as a crown.”

Read the rest of the article at this link