We take our materials as seriously as you take your fashion.
To stay true to our promise of sustainability and supporting local communities, we use natural raw materials sourced from the areas where we produce.
From farm to forest, each material has its own story and lends a unique personality to the KARIGAR product that it’s transformed into.
Where your Cape comes from
We source our wool from government-approved farming communities in the high altitude Himalayas. The free-roaming sheep graze out in the open on natural (and pesticide-free) grasslands and are cross breeds of Merino and local sheep such as Gaddi (also known as the white Himalayan), Rampur Bushair and exotic fine-wool breeds like Rambouillet.
By keeping our sourcing small and local, we work closely with selected farming communities that genuinely care about their sheep.
The chosen farms we partner with not only support cruelty-free shearing but also treat and recycle their waste water for agricultural use. It’s a double win!
WILD PEACE SILK (used in our Shawl Cosmopolitan)
Sourced from the wild and 100% peaceful, this ethical silk has a double dose of power.
Where your Shawl comes from
Back in the ‘80s, wild silk harvesting tackled the twin issue diminishing forest cover and folks looking for work in the Garhwal Himalayas. Until the government partnered with NGOs to come up with a sustainable solution. Oak and Mulberry trees were planted in thousands, encouraging communities to safeguard the forests that would go on to sustain them.
Our Wild Peace silk is sourced from the very villages that championed the cause. We love it for many reasons -- that it lets the moth complete its natural life cycle and break out of the cocoon. That it’s hand spun by hundreds of women in the courtyard of their homes. That when it’s woven into our Shawl, the final result is one remarkable piece of craftsmanship that combines love and respect for nature.
Silk farming empowers more than 150 rural women living across inter-connected villages. Each owns a ‘paletha’– a portable spinning machine that allows them to work from home and earn a little extra, while being ever-present for their families, especially their children.
Finding new ways of being sustainable extends beyond the design process and into the materials we choose. KARIGAR’s Home collection for German retailer Manufactum uses two very exciting and we think, under-utilized materials: Kala Cotton and Nettle.
Kala is indigenous to the region of Kutch in western India and naturally organic cotton. Yup, you read right. It’s a rain-fed crop that doesn’t need pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Even better, it creates a powerful value chain that empowers everyone, from the farmers to the ginners to the weavers, in the process of converting the raw material into a hand-woven perfection.
A stinging plant fibre that grows abundantly in the Himalayas, Nettle literally needs to be whipped into shape. But for decades, the common Nettle plant had a more functional use amongst the local communities – as rope. Extensive training from locals NGOs exposed the communities to the real value of turning this fibre into a super strong yarn that could be woven – a yarn with personality! And they haven’t looked back since.
The extracted fibre (thankfully, minus the sting) is processed, spun and combined with other fibres like organic cotton and woven into unique textiles, including our plaids and cushion covers.