Go ahead, borrow that dress

Go ahead, borrow that dress

We’re going to let you in on a secret. The 3 of us co-founders at KARIGAR share clothes and swap shoes. It’s quite possible that you’ve seen all of us wear the same green dress or floral print skirt on more than one occasion. That we are the same shoe size (Eu 38) makes the shoe exchange pretty easy, but that we have totally different body types (not to mention style preferences) makes the clothes swapping just a teeny bit harder. Jolijn is a size 8 and likes it simple and natural. Sindhu, size 0, prefers the smart business look. And Kanak, size 8 (and 10 after a holiday) loves a bit of statement.

Now the reason we’re letting you in on this is because just today, we met someone who confesses that she owns only 60% of the clothes she wears. The rest is borrowed from Lena, the fashion library in Amsterdam. Victoria is a passionate blogger at and get this, she saved €3.343,15 from borrowing 40% of her wardrobe in 2017. We are terribly excited to collaborate with Victoria on our upcoming How to Wear the KARIGAR Cape video and explore the many new ways in which she’s going to drape it. And it’s also very possible that the clothes for the shoot will be ‘borrowed’ but it seems like the smartest, not to mention the most sustainable, way for us to showcase as many styles as possible.

A few years ago, sharing clothes was considered uncool and people would ask, why would you even wear something previously owned by someone else? Clothes are personal and intimate. But today, everyone from New York to Amsterdam finds ‘borrowing’ acceptable. The sharing economy means that style need not come with a budget attached. Mud Jeans allows you to lease jeans for €7.50 a month, Filippa K offers collections for rent with their leasing option for 20% of the full price. I mean, who would say no (we’re already googling their Amsterdam lending locations in another browser)? At Kleiderei, our new discovery during a recent trip to Hamburg, we discovered that it’s possible to have personalised lending – borrowed clothes delivered to your doorstep.

So if you’ve grown up wearing hand-me-downs from your older sister or brother, don’t beat yourself up. You’re right on trend.

Text: Kanak Hirani Nautiyal
Photo: Victoria Onken 



Seeking comfort this winter

Seeking comfort this winter

It’s 4 pm and already 6 degrees Celsius. The sun is still out but its warmth can barely be felt. Men and women grip their cups of tea to find comfort in the hot steel glass, their shawls wrapped a little tighter to keep out the cold mountain breeze. Fires are prepared to be lit and the pace of work slows down. Winter in the Himalayas feels like a winter in the northern hemisphere. The cold hits your face. Fingers go numb without gloves and everyone is happier when the sun shines. 

Even in the cold Himalayan winter, their day in the village of Bareth begins long before dawn for silk spinners Surma and Sangeeta. While the rest of the house is still asleep, enveloped in darkness and mist, they head out to feed their cattle. The sisters-in-law work together silently in freezing temperatures until everyone awakes to the aroma of breakfast, typically hot roti (Indian flatbread) and subzi (seasonal vegetables), being made. For Surma and Sangeeta, their day has only just begun.

From December until February, people go through their daily chores each winter in the Himalayan mountain villages without any central heating. The elements you brave outside are the very elements you would have to survive indoors. A heated workplace is an unthinkable luxury, as is hot water running from the tap. The best way to stay warm is to remain as active as possible and, of course, layer!

Winters arrive and our artisans bundle themselves in knitted caps, scarves, sweaters, gloves and thick socks, ready to work shorter days. In addition to spinning, dyeing, weaving, finishing and tagging, their daily household chores of tending land, feeding cattle and cooking must be completed with the same efficiency as in summer, but keeping in mind the shorter days. 

As another winter sets in, we as a partner in this journey of co-creation seek a little bit of comfort for our artisans. For an entire month until Christmas, KARIGAR will contribute €5 (or Rs 350) from every purchase made by you towards thermal wear (a set of warm inner wear costs approximately Rs 900) for our skilled and inspiring craftspeople. We work closely with 50 artisans and for the next 30 days, our goal is to add some warmth to their cold winters.

Text: Kanak Hirani Nautiyal
Photo credit: Marloes van Doorn









A city to match your style!

A city to match your style!

New York. Rush hour. Finely tailored suits. Women in stilettoes striking a perfect balance as they confidently walk the traffic crossing. Now think Tokyo. Pink Cherry Blossoms and gentle, mild mannered folks who are always on trend. Amsterdam? Delft Blue. Casual chic. ‘Stoer’. 

What looks like an association game to you was the exercise we went through before we came up with the names for our handmade KARIGAR Capes. When we designed this multi-functional and innovative fashion garment for all seasons, we wanted it to work for every stylish and conscious woman living across the globe.

For instance, how she drapes and combines her Cape in New York (with a suit) would be so different from how she would wrap it in New Delhi (with a dress) or in Toronto (under a jacket).

KARIGAR Cape New York can be worn to create that awesome business look 

Apart from the many styles of wearing our Cape, because we do have many ways, we also offer many colour options -- 10 to be specific. The navy cape is so New York (think confident, girl-boss, corporate, work hard/play hard). The pastel cape had to be called Oslo (it has such a Scandinavian vibe!). The colourful cape was Cape Town (bright, happy hues) and the green cape Berlin (sustainable and trendy).

 Cape Berlin comes in shades of green -- the perfect colour to be associated with sustainability

In our collection, there’s a Cape for every woman, every colour of skin or hair, even every shape (our Cape is one size). And there is also a drape for each of us who wants our fashion choices to express our personal style – from confident to mellow.

From Tokyo to Toronto, KARIGAR has a Cape for all.

Photos: Karen Kikkert and Bimala Naysmith
Text: Kanak Hirani Nautiyal