Cyclical Wisdom - Woven Story From The Mountains
Written by Sita Sunar, Anne-Lieke van Leeuwen & Jeanne de Kroon - 15th September 2022
FASHION WOVEN STORIES
With the warm summer days cooling and the greenery of the landscapes melting into all the warm colours of autumn, we are leaning into our deep intuition as Women to embrace the cycles of the Earth's body. Stepping into our cyclical wisdom – honouring the passing of seasons, harvesting the fruits of seeds planted many moons ago and giving gratitude to the abundance of nature.
This season marks such a harvesting for us - as we launch our much awaited 22 Autumn-Winter collection, we create space to highlight our magical co-creators Kullvi Whims, an all-female natural wool weaving collective of the Himalayan mountain village of Naggar, India. Women here since ancient times have been living in harmony with the cyclical rhythm of nature, singing songs of fertility, life and creation in the goddess temple.
Since the dawn of time, women have honoured the cyclical
connection of the Earth’s body while navigating this linear
world in their rhythmic flow. Women's goddess-like innate
need to nurture, birth and regenerate life is what we want to
highlight in this campaign. By going beyond the idea of
sustainability we move into regeneration and cyclical wisdom.
This season we ask our global fashion community to take the
time to tune into cyclical creation and push beyond the old
exploitative narratives. Replacing it with the cyclical wisdom
that heals and reciprocates beauty in nature, us and all
around. Through our collaboration with the natural wool
weaving collective - Kullvi Whims, we impose the deeper
question: What does it means to co-create in harmony with
local ecosystems and the rural women-led communities that
have safeguarded their ancestral knowledge throughout our
globalised ways of production?
For Kullvi Whims this foundation of creation is rooted in the
wisdom of the natural world around them that translates
through their ancestral craft of knitting “Fashions woven story”
while working with indigenous sheep wool and local herders
that regenerate the biodiversity and forestry in the area.
A MESSAGE FROM KULLVI WHIMS
Women in every country and on every land had their own unique connection to craft that later turned into a global fashion industry. Our artisan partner, Kullvi Whims is an all-female lead collective in the remote Himalayan mountain village of Naggar, India.
This Himalayan region is rich in goddess culture harmoniously
woven into everyday life. Women here since ancient times have been living in harmony with the cyclical rhythm of nature, singing songs of fertility, life and creation in the goddess temple. This is believed to be built by the Goddess herself who turned into a spider and weaved a temple that is shaped like a web.
This philosophy of life is beautifully translated into their craft of spinning, weaving, and knitting, passed down from generation to generation. The women work together with local shepherds and their community to revive the use of indigenous wool and natural dyes in harmony with the forest.
“We love working with our ancestral craft of knitting. But as
women of the mountains, we feel working on our land is such an integral part of our being. It’s in this work of weaving/ knitting we feel the interconnectedness of our work tied to the land. Working with our indigenous wool is rooted in the reciprocity of nature - the shepherd that walks the land and sheep that feed off the mountains then give the gifts of reciprocity - wool. Which we then weave them into beautiful pieces”.
- Lata ji from Kullvi Whims -
HONOURING THE VALUE CHAIN
At Zazi, we collaborate and co-create with artisanal communities around the world, allowing space for regrowth and working in harmony with our land, local biodiversity, seasons, and the incredible humans that weave our products into existence. Every collaboration starts with deep listening, to the land and community that protects and creates from it.
1) Regenerating Ecosystems: The Himalayan sheep herders have walked the foothills of the forestry since centuries. Passed down generationally, the sheep contribute to the diversification and flourishing of the local microbiome. They play an essential role in nature recovery.
2) Botanical Himalayan Dyes: The principal of botanical dyes
and the ayurvedic philosophy are interwoven with the legacy of Indian textiles. After carefully washing the wool in the fresh springs of the Himalayan water wells, the women work with seasonal botanical dyes.
3) Reviving Ancestral Craft: From the warping of the hand-spun wool on the old wooden Deodar tree board to the intricate process behind the wool weaving, the fulltime female artisan group Kullvi Whims is working over with 8 women and 250 pastoral families in their region to keep the craft alive and thriving.
4) Knowledge Sharing Across the Value Chain: Kullvi whims partnered up with our other artisan partner Akane studio on the art of natural dye and colour setting. The two Mumbai based sisters gave several workshops to support the collective on their
path to reviving natural dyes.
MEET THE TEAM BEHIND THE SCENES
This campaign and season marks such a harvesting for us - as we launch our much awaited 22 Autumn-Winter collection and highlight our magical co-creators Kullvi Whims. With the most filled hearts of joy and excitement we proudly share the team behind the scenes.
Photography by Dolly Devi @Doblist
Represented by Feat Artists @featartists
Styled by Zazi @zazi.vintage
Model: Archana Akil Kumar @archanaakilkumar
Artisan partner: Kullvi Whims @Kullvi_Whims