Making swag for Zameen was a way for me to fund my small sustainable spice self-funded queer-owned business. I thought about the endless possibilities of swag that I could create, from t-shirts to magnets. After researching plus talking to sustainability experts, I decided to make sustainable aprons.
The real soul searching for my brand started when I began searching for sustainable apron designers and partners. I found many opportunities to work with Indian designers and apparel manufacturers to make something significantly cheaper, but these did not align with my brand. Zameen’s products should be 100% sustainable. It did not make sense to promote and endorse products that would create waste at the beginning of the product life cycle or the end. Our apron is compostable.
The following is a summary of how Zameen’s Khadi Apron is created.
First, the single-origin, regeneratively farmed organic cotton is grown on the farms of Samatbhai and Gauriben. They work months cultivating their farm using sustainable farming methods, such as cow urine as a pesticide and handpicking the cotton with their farm team. They treat their employees well. Please read more about them here. I had the pleasure of working with this couple when I lived in Gujarat from 2009 - 2011.
Second, the cotton is transported to a ginning mill to clean, deseed, and remove impurities. The seeds from the cotton and the oil are sold into other markets.
Third, the raw cotton travels to a Cooperative organization where it is handspun into thread and yarn and then handwoven into the khadi fabric. Approximately 12 hours to spin enough yarn and 8 hours to weave enough cloth to make one apron. Cotton Khadi is a versatile fabric that can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The perfect material for cooking in any kitchen and any season.
Fourth, the raw fabric is sent to our natural dying factory, dyed using leaves and roots from the harda plant, scientific name, Terminalia chebula, and rusted iron. It takes about 3 - 4 days to dye and dry the cloth. The marbling effect is created by folding and pleating the fabric.
Fifth, the marbled fabric is sent to our tailoring couple, Vipulbhai & Rekhaben. Vipubalbhai tailors clothing for middle ages women. He’s one of the many folks that are involved in the informal economies. His wife, Rekhaben, does the embroidery. They generally serve a middle-aged women clientele, but the pandemic has made it hard to survive no is having large weddings.
Throughout this process, our lovely designer, Medha from Weaverbird India, helps manage and monitor the whole process to ensure high quality in each step. To learn more about Medha and her work, please join us for an Instagram live in mid-September.
Many of our stakeholders and partners have struggled through the pandemic. We hope your purchase of our Khadi Apron will help each of them survive and thrive as they battle the pandemic and support their local communities and families. Please ask any questions you have about our apron below.