Our journey to the home of organic cottons and natural dyes
We touched down in India for the first time on the 1st of May, a country rich in colour and culture, the worlds largest producer of organic cotton and home of natural dyes. Our senses went into overload. Spices, non stop horn beeping, 40 degree heat, cows that walk on highways and people.. so many people!
While doing business we had some amazing experiences; day one and lunch from the local was ordered in, we ate on the floor with our hands. The food, authentic and so flavoursome was the best Indian we ate on the whole trip. We didn't talk business, but got to know them and learnt about life in India and most importantly how the cope with the heat - AC is a must!!
One of our main goals on this trip was to finalise the colours for collection 02. At the factory they hand dye small quantities, both with natural and eco dyes and it was so great to have the opportunity to talk with their dyers about different practices and their views on large scale dyeing. They have found that when bulk dyeing, eco dyes save 20% more water and are much more sustainable. This influenced our decision to eco dye collection 02.
While dyeing the smell of chai filled the room as one of the ladies heated up the gas burner. Chai breaks are constant throughout the day and are a big part of Indian culture; 837,000 tonnes of it is drunk every year in - it was here we tried our first chai ever.
When they brought in some kids from the village to try on our samples; it caused a bit of commotion between the staff - lots of teasing between the men and women and laughing (they found it very amusing, and it had obviously not been done before). It seemed everyone in the factory came out to watch ~ the children were beautiful very eager to please except a stubborn two year old who was very happy to take the treats but absolutely refused to try on our samples, making all of us laugh.
Being out in the country; we found it nearly impossible to get an uber to come out and pick us up at the end of the day. One particular evening we didn't leave the factory untill around 6.30-7 and managed to get a ride back with some of the staff on their motorbikes. Dusk in India is when the city comes alive and seeing this first hand on the back of a bike was insane. Waves and smiles from everyone we passed; with so many intrigued by us, our drivers were talked to every time we stopped at lights. Another amazing experience.
This was the beginning of something great; and an experience we will never forget. Thank you India for welcoming us with open arms, we look forward to the next one.