Women's Cooperative in Ahmedebad, India
I had been making Yoked Onesies all by my lonesome for about a year from between Fall 2016-Fall 2017. The cost of them at the time were my 10 hours per garment plus $35 for 3 yards of raw silk per onesie. I listed them originally at $320, or $160 wholesale, which if you were to do the math, would yield about $160- cost ($35): $125, or $12.50 an hour. 10 hours of labor for $12.50/hour. I needed help. I found a girl in Portland who charged $100 per piece. Charging this much made total sense; They are hard work. But to make this my business was not possible. I needed to find a more affordable way to produce these. Luckily I found a super awesome guy to help make them for about 1/2 that price. But even still, I was making a tiny profit off of each one. It became silly to operate in this way. Meanwhile my friend Jessica (@jessehectic on IG) had been traveling to India a bunch at the time; I met Jessica while she was working on a project to honor the selfless help of a stranger she met through geo tagging on instagram: she needed someone to help her locate her lost box of treasures she had found all around India that she tried to mail back to herself in the states. This kind person offered to help her find this box, lost in the post system somewhere in India- which he managed to do after about a year of searching. This generous man's name is Kuldip Gadhvi (@kutch_adventures_india) and his selfless actions were the seedling to mine and Jessica's friendship. While Jessica went back to India in Fall of 2017-Winter 2018, she offered to bring along my Yoked Onesie pattern to see what she could find. Making these more affordable was the goal. I loved the pattern and could see this manifest in so many different fabrics! Here Jessica was in India, the land of silks and cottons and embroidery and indigo dyes, etc.! A very textile-rich culture, we needed to build something from this opportunity. Jessica was traveling though Gujurat, the especially heavy textile region of India and found a woman named Villoo, the director of a small women's cooperative who was, in her former life, the president of the largest fashion school in India. She created a small space to help women make fair wages and live prosperous lives through honing their craft. Jessica put Villoo and me in touch, and within about a year of back and forth with samples, swatches, patterns, and emails, we placed an order for 20 of three different colors in two different sizes. There is a limited number of these, and they are each very individual. Some have stripes that are not totally parallel to the seams, some have dye variation. But all are intensely beautiful and I'm so proud of their work.