All our colorful creations are created from textiles that previously have been worn by women as saris; traditional female garment that consist of a drape in thousands of variations. Saris are considered to be one of the oldest forms of Indian art and with this in mind we up-cycle these prints with both great humility and respect for the tradition behind and the heritage each textile has embroidered into its pattern. As far as we know saris are mostly common in Eastern Asia and traditionally worn by women. Every region offer a different style of sari fabric crafted and designed using ancient techniques perfected over many years by the rural artisans. In the past, most saris were made of natural fibres such as silk and cotton, but synthetic materials such as polyester are also common these days. With a little help from our team in Kathmandu we carefully handpick every single sari and choose the ones that truly calls for us. All these magical fabrics come from different parts of India and Nepal where they previously been worn by women who have decided to sell their garment. The reason why these women choose to pay forward their special piece of art differs from case to case but most of the time the sari has been damage in some way and it can therefore no longer be used as a sari. Up-cycling the material gives each sari a second chance chance to radiate once again and we feel so honored to be a part of the process.
Traditional ways of wearing saris (the picture was found on Pinterest).
Our ambition at Cornelia Sun Collective is to restore the beauty of these textiles and pass on the stories that are embedded in each print. Me and me sister are always striving to learn more about saris and the culture they belong to. One way of doing this is asking the people that wear saris in their daily life. Let us introduce you to Kabita Neupane – a 42 year old woman running a grocery store in Kathmandu, Nepal. She dressed up in one of her saris, a sari that later would transform into a Cornelia Sun Kimnono. Kabita decided that her beautiful garment was ready to move on into a new shape and we are so glad that we got this eternalized in pictures. It's so amazing to be able to share with you the two different looks.
What do you think about this transformation? We love it ❤
Kabita also explained to us her view upon the symbolic significance in general and what saris mean to her personally:
"Wearing a sari is a way of dressing up. Where I live this is a common way to dress and no one reacts if I wear sari or salwar suit. If I have a more fancy sari some neighbors may ask if I am going to a party – and yes – this is a way of dressing both in your day-to-day life but also at special occasions. This particular saris has for example been to many weddings", Kabita explains.
Kabita managing her store dressed up in Cornelia Sun.
We also asked Kabita what she thinks about us up-cycling saris when women do not find them wearable anymore,
"I think it is a great idea to create something new from saris that are not used anymore. That is so much better than just keeping them in the closet".
Kabita also shared with us her thoughts about clothes consumption and how she tend to walk the talk;
"It never happens that me or my friends shop clothing just because it's fun. When we buy something, it's because we need it and of course we do care for how it looks. I often fall for durable materials and I would say my wardrobe contains long lasting pieces. I do not was unnecessarily and when I do, I always hand wash. Another good advice to become a more conscious consumer is to actually care for the clothes you already have and try to repair instead of throwing away to buy something new".
Kabita outside her store in Kathmandu wearing her Cornelia Sun kimono, made from textile that previously was her former sari.
We couldn't agree with her more, there is always a way to give fabric new life and continue the story. According to us, that is how we make sure to both bring herstory forward but also the way to make history that ensure a more sustainable future. With that said, we want to give thanks to Kabita for sharing her story with us and for letting us eternalize her garment going from being a sari into a our kimono design. We hope that you gained a little more insight and knowledge about the material we use and we are looking forward to continue telling your more about the colorful, inspiring culture in which saris belong. Always remember that every single print we provide to you carry on a unique history and our global sister´s memories and experiences lay within these threads. We would love for you to look at your garment as a canvas with a incredible story written to be told.
Wearing these up-cycled prints give us not only the chance to change the course of the future, but also make herstory matter. Let your garment be a reminder that what we share is more powerful than what divides us. Prints that matter to us and to Mother Earth and the next generation to come – from one sister to another.
Love & light
Lisa Bläckt, co-founder of Cornelia Sun Collective