Here I am, sitting on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, and there’s one word that comes to mind – TRUST. I am on my way to meet a man I first met many years ago at Who’s Next Paris, quite by chance. It was an instant connection.

Both Indians, we share this unexplained love for textiles and beautiful natural materials. Both believe the only way to create true impact is by connecting rural artisan communities to an international market where people genuinely appreciate crafting traditions. It was on this foundation that Veeru Bodh and I found a common ground.

Although we had worked together for some years, it was when Veeru’s organisation Himbodh produced our lightweight, fine wool, ultra soft Celestial Capes, that I got to experience first hand just how much we really had in common. All our artisan partners have a long checklist to tick off before we start working together and Himbodh was no different. Some of those are non-negotiable like women’s rights, safety, no child labour and fair wages. But there are the other elements that go into making partnerships work and one of them is trust.

Kanak and Veeru at Who's Next

We trust that even when we are not there on a daily basis to check on production, Himbodh does that for us, while keeping our shared values in mind. The smiles on the faces of the artisans when we visit, in our chats with them over tea breaks, they share how working for an international market has changed their lives and encouraged them to uplift the lives of others in their communities.

Over the years since he established his artisan unit, Veeru represents the artisans of Himbodh both at local and international fairs, one of the few producers to still work with responsibly sourced, all natural materials and traditional handlooms. He, like me, believes the one thing that can make a difference in their lives is more work. It gives artisans a renewed sense of confidence, pride in their craft and financial independence.  

The very same trust between us and our suppliers, also extends to you – our global customers. To have faith in the ethos of a young sustainable brand, to believe that our products are exactly as described on our website, to be convinced that you are the backbone of our mission to create a positive impact on lives and the planet. All of that takes trust. 

We are amazed when customers place an order and are willing to wait for it to arrive at their doorstep 4 weeks later. Like one of our customers Jacqueline said in her recent review: “I had high expectations for this garment, and the reality exceeded them. The piece is just beautiful — it looks great and feels fantastic to wear.”

As these powerful voices from our tribe share their love and faith, we feel humbled. Knowing that we have artisan partners back in India that we can depend on and who can depend on us – only because you make it possible.

January 20, 2020 — Kanak Hirani


marlies said:

Wonderful to read. Respect for what you do to keep this craft alive. The artisans getting better working conditions and life.
I love my cape and always think how much work has gone into it.
Thank you 🙏

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