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.
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.”
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