Matcha With.. Mallika Chaudhuri
We sat down with Mallika Chaudhuri, founder of the brand Indoi, and spoke about her brand and vision behind it.
What does Indoi mean?
Indoi is an ancient word meaning people of the Indus Valley.
I am of Iranian, Bangladeshi descent and so wanted to celebrate these parts of the world and reconnect with my heritage.
When did you launch?
I officially launched on International Women´s Day (March 8th) 2019. In honour of the wonderful women in my life.
Why did you choose to embrace sustainability?
There is no other way forward in my view. This is the only way.
I have worked in fast fashion global Inditex brands for my whole career. It was a great "school" in a way but I quickly saw first hand the detrimental impact the industry has both and environmentally.
The life changing experience of having children also made me more conscious of my choices in life. I have a very personal connection to Pakistan and the craftspeople there and so my first step was to collaborate with them in preserving their craft and their traditions which is the backbone to their communities.
What has been challenging so far?
1. Working with the communities in Pakistan, although very rewarding can be very challenging too at times and many things get lost in translation or don't quite turn out the way you imagined. It took me a year to create my first collection
2. The "sustainable" fashion world also comes with its challenges and there is a lot of judgment around it. Fashion itself is not sustainable so I tend to question myself internally on a daily basis. I think when you embark on such a journey its important to remember that perfection is unachievable and making a start is what counts.
3. The juggle of building a business with 2 small children and trying to maintain other sources of income is real. I never quite anticipated how challenging this would be.
4. Unexpected global crisis´s !! but lets not get started on that.
What are your 5 tips to live a more everyday sustainable life?
1. Only buy what you know you will keep for a long long time. Make good purchase choices not based on impulse.
2. Reduce waste as much as possible in the home: buy in bulk or refills to reduce packaging. Don´t over purchase food. I detest food waste!
3. So much water is wasted on washing. Instead of over washing clothes, hang them in
4. Synthetics are the enemy! Only buy and wear natural fibres. Polyester is basically plastic! and make up almost a fifth of the 8 million tons of plastic that end up in the oceans each year. Of these, minuscule strands known as microfibers -- which largely come from synthetic clothing
5. Intently live with what you really need. We don't NEED huge houses, 5 holidays a year, to eat meat 4 times a week, to own all the "stuff" we have and we certainly don't need to be purchasing the latest trend every month/week!
My fave pieces are: