Episode 127 | AGAATI + EMBRACING BOTH HANDS AND MACHINES

In episode 127, Kestrel welcomes Saloni Shrestha, the cofounder + designer of Agaati, to the show. A womenswear brand that is committed to bringing accessible luxury to the industry, Agaati believes there is a way to fuse cultural traditions with today's fast-faced tech-driven world.

"Designing with what is there at the moment is complicated. So using both the channels: preserving this art of weaving; at the same time, working with the eco-friendly mill-created textile is I think a good balance for our company."
-Saloni Shrestha, Cofounder + Designer of Agaati


AGAATI


In this episode, Saloni shares more on her background, and how she found herself leaving the corporate world and moving to New York to study fashion at Parsons.

Saloni talks about how intentional her internship process was - she went into her experiences working with Oscar De La Renta, Diane Von Furstenberg, Zac Posen and Naeem Khan, with a larger goal in mind. For Saloni, it was about learning to understand the design process & the decision-making process, and to be present to admire and soak up all the beauty of creativity around her.

Also, Saloni gets honest about the challenges of sourcing and developing sustainable materials, as well as finding clear answers behind fabrics. As she says, "I think what matters at this moment is there is an effort in the right direction."

Kestrel asks Saloni about Slow Weave, the film that Agaati produced to tell the untold stories of artisan weavers in India. Saloni explains how weaving is becoming an endangered art form, and how important she believes it is to help support the weavers still doing it today. "I think what matters at this moment is there is an effort in the right direction."

The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:

  • Timo Rissanen, taught the zero waste design course that Saloni took at Parsons, listen to our show with Timo here >
  • Matka Silk, a type of silk Agaati uses, which is made in India from waste mulberry silk yarn
  • "I think what matters at this moment is there is an effort in the right direction."
  • "[Handweaving] is becoming an endangered art in India."
  • "Even though these weavers do not sit in beautiful offices or a very air conditioned room, the work that they do I think is no less than couture. So, that is kind of the parallel that we draw and we want to preserve this craftsmanship."

SLOW WEAVE | A Tribute To Unsung Artisans by Agaati


READING RECOMMENDATION

Ethical Style Journal is the magazine for conscious fashion. And issue No 5 includes work by and articles about a collection of women I greatly admire - including Dominique Drakeford of Melanin and Sustainable Style, Hoda Katebi of JooJoo Azad, Aditi Mayer of ADIMAY, and more. Editor-In-Chief Katie Pruett is truly bringing together powerful voices + stories through this publication.

And while working on this issue, I had this thought: art and activism have become intersecting entities that are vital to the sustainable fashion movement. Whether writing about fashion, modeling, or making the garments that carry stories within their threads, people who contribute to making fashion sustainable create and advocate.  
-Katie Pruett, Editor-In-Chief of Ethical Style Journal

Get issue No 5 of Ethical Style Journal here >



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