An Indian name in a European city. What are the chances that people would say it right?  

KARIGAR, a unique combination of letters and vowels, has been pronounced in multiple ways by people living across multiple cities since we launched the brand in October 2014.

Some are a bit shy when they say KARIGAR, unsure if they are saying in right. Others say the name confidently and clearly like they know it means something important. But correct pronunciation aside, the name of our brand has always been a source of curiosity for most people.

By choosing this typical Indian name for our sustainable fashion brand, we knew that people who weren’t Indian would not always find it easy to say KARIGAR. To make it a name they would never forget, was our job. 

 ‘What does it mean?’, people almost always ask. And when they don’t, we tell them. Karigar literally means artisan or craftsman. A fitting name for a brand designs its products in Amsterdam and handcrafts them in rural India. 

In India, there are officially 7 million artisans (nearly 200 million, state the unofficial numbers) who handcraft products for local and international markets. For generations, these creators have worked with their innate skills to make beauty using their hands.

We admire how artisans work efficiently with resources available to them and are most sustainable, using only what they need. They are traditionalists, transformers, visionaries and masters. Yet, they are always in the background, quietly working behind the scenes.

As a young brand, we are privileged to have this chance and also the choice – to work with this pool of talent and create our exquisite fashion accessories by hand. KARIGAR to us is more than a word. It stands for everything we love and hope you will too. 

Text: Kanak Hirani Nautiyal
Photo: Marloes van Doorn