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Behind The Brand.. Chapel Collection

In conversation with Amanda Oliver, the founder and curator of The Chapel Collection we discover her passion for craftsmanship and understand her love for India.  

What is chapel collection? Why did you start?
I lived in South East Asia for some years and 8 years ago I started to revisit India, I soon became interested in the textiles. I began travelling to cities to meet master weavers and other artisans and designers. One meeting would lead to many others, encounters with people who create traditional textiles which are indigenous to area. I felt I needed to share what I had seen and decided to start Chapel Collection.
This is from the website. I will answer the rest

Chapel Collection has now formed strong bonds with designers across India, with Chinar Farooqui founder of the brand Injiri, Rina Singh whose brand Eka embraces simple living and Santanu Das of Maku who is passionate about indigo.

At Chapel Collection we are lucky to be able to have designs that are exclusive to us. We also travel to find smaller workshops and bring their work to our audience too. Traditional crafts, hand loom, block printing, embroidery, the use of natural dyes, where possible. All fabrics used are either silk, cotton, linen and wool. Only natural fibres.

A desire to create beautiful clothes and accessories. Helping small communities and keeping local crafts alive.

What has been challenging so far?
Challenging so far. Distance, India is huge and crafts are spread across the subcontinent from Jamdani which is in Bengal, block printing in Rajasthan, Kachchh weaving which is in Gujarat near the Pakistan border. So meeting with the artisans every year can be difficult. Also the designers are based across India too.
Why India, as in bio it is bursting with indigenous crafts by geography. A country very talented artisans and home to one the finest textile museums in the world. The Calico museum in Ahmedabad.

What 5 tips do you have to live a more sustainable life?

  1. Support traditional crafts, which gives employment to the people in rural communities (will send an image of the artisans who make the fabric for some of our collection) from growing the cotton, to spinning, weaving , dyeing.
  2. Buy one beautiful dress, treasure it,make it become familiar and part of you. Care for it when it becomes old. Darn and repair it so it can live with you.
  3. Be aware of where you food comes from. Eat food in season only. Look forward to what each month brings and do not waste. I think in these troubled times we are all wasting less. We are making meals stretch out over a few days. Reinventing as we go.
  4. Wash our clothes in just water. No need for masses of chemicals in every wash. Our clothes will all last longer, washing powder eventually rots natural fibres and destroys the colours.
  5. Walk when you can or cycle. Go into a green space it is good for our mental wellbeing. Enjoy nature. Take pleasure in simple things.


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