Matcha with.. Xaura The Label
We had a Matcha with Kavita Patel and talked about her journey towards sustainable fashion and what made her launch her own brand Xaura.
What made you start a sustainable fashion brand?
From a young age while playing with my mums silk sari's and several visits to my mums' hometown, India I knew I'd like to start my own fashion brand one day. As I grew into my teens these trips turned into opportunities to make my own customised garments for special occasions; from selecting the fabric, to dyeing it, and having it embroidered by local tailors. I remember visiting my grandfather's fabric printing mill and seeing first hand how the block prints on sari’s were done. Seeing what a beautiful process this hand craft is, I knew I wanted to bring these traditional artisanal skills to the global forefront in a timeless way. As my knowledge on the fashion industry broadened (having watched documentary: True Cost of Living, River Blue) I saw the impact that fast fashion has on our environment. I knew my brand needed to be purpose led with a more mindful approach, of it being part of slow fashion and an overarching goal of minimizing our footprint on the earth.
What does Xaura mean?
Xaura represents how we feel when we wear beautiful clothes made ethically by hand and the energy we put out to the world. It’s about supporting traditional craftsmanship and feeling the pride of wearing something beautiful while making a positive impact. X represents the merging of two cultures, Eastern and Western, and Aura is the energy that we radiate. Integrating both sides of my upbringing, my Indian heritage and Western culture, has given me an avenue to express my own true self. The handwork that the artisans in India learn are passed down through generations within families. It’s a means of livelihood for the communities. It’s a laborious task to produce an item and the skills and the effort put into each piece is what makes Xaura unique. I am very excited to be working with artisans who still practise these ancient crafts today and to be able to showcase it in a contemporary silhouette.
What has been most challenging so far?
There are lots. But one of the most challenging thing has been to find the right factory who is professional, employs artisans for their hand work skills, practices fair trade and ethical practices while producing small quantity orders. I did manage to find few great factories eventually after many trial and errors. Another challenge is to keep re-accessing and minimizing our footprint on earth which is a continuous learning and journey.
What can you recommend conscious customers to look for?
First thing I do when buying an item is ask myself would I wear this item more than 35 times. Then I look at the contents of the garment, what fibers are used, is it made from natural / recycled polyester fibers? Then I would read up about the company to see if they make the garment ethically and provide fair wages and a safe working environment to its workers.
What is your 5 tip to live an everyday life more sustainable?
1. Try to lessen your water usage. Have 5 minutes less shower and slowly keep decreasing it.
2. Try and grow your own vegetables and herbs if you have space or buy organic and compost all the veggies.
3. Avoid using plastic. Carry your own bags/coffee mugs/ steel straws/ reusable cups etc.
4. Hand wash Line dry your clothes when possible to avoid extra energy consumption and also it'll make your clothes last longer.
5. Support companies that are doing good for the environment and its people. Small steps and help from you all will keep all of us going to better the future.
The Collection is now available instore 320 Kings Road, SW3 5ER London and online here.