Tell us about Bunosilo.
Bunosilo, started in November 2015, So it’s just 4 months old now! We provide good quality, well fitting, handcrafted clothes made out of hand loomed fabric to the customers worldwide. We aim at promoting the dying craft techniques of our country and to generate sustainable employment opportunities to them. We also collaborate with other designers who share the same ideals. The name of our organisation is a combination of two words- Buno- to weave and Silo-to stitch. So it basically means to weave and to stitch.
What drove you to develop the company as you have, cutting out the middleman?
We strongly believe that ethics are very important for any business to survive and we aim at making and selling products, which are ethical in true sense. Both the makers and the buyers should benefit, by selling and buying through our website.We ensure that the buyers receive good quality, comfortable products and reasonable prices. The get what they have been promised and we promote informed consumerism as well.
The makers, i.e. the artisans are supported as they get a good market to sell to the customers, eliminating middlemen. They are able to support their livelihood and the dying out crafts also gets revived in the process. We believe in fair wages and our model is based on Made to Order. We go the extra hard yards to ensure no wastage happens, give better fit, there is less dead stock. We try and source fabrics directly from the weavers, we also collaborate with designers who are working directly with artisanal groups in different parts of the country.
How do you develop a line of products?
Our products are designed with an intention to promote all the different art forms from all over India. We aim at making comfortable everyday clothing using the fabrics developed using these techniques. Right now we are trying to concentrate on classic styles which can appeal to people from various countries. We are also trying to understand tastes of people from all over through this style of marketing, and eventually based on this insight we will work on specific designs. We’d like to promote the wearing traditional textiles amongst the younger generation as well.
Handmade is all the rage in the global West but it is age old tradition in the global East, particularly India. Could you share with us the value of handmade?
Handmade clothing is an intrinsic part of India. India clothed the world till 1850s before the industrial revolution. Each region of india has a textile speciality which has evolved over hundreds of years and has been passed on over generations, from fine cotton muslin hand spun and woven in Bengal to intricate silk found in Benaras. India had a culture of saris and dhotis, unstitched garments mostly draped on your body.
Handmade outfits are still the norm in India, specially for all festivals and occasions. One can see a lot of small scale makers of handmade garments doing very well in our country. The imperfections of handmade add to its uniqueness. These outfits have irreplaceable charm.
We feel artisans of both genders- men and women alike do not get recognition or correct value for what they make. Women in particular, in villages look after their houses and kids and are not able to step out of their homes to work. Working with crafts such as embroidery can be done from home. Handicrafts provides them opportunities to earn a living and become independent.
Are there particular products/items that have sold better than others? If so, why?
Our handwoven and handloom based garments are doing very well, as they look and have their own identity, such as the ikats, which have woven patterns and look attractive. These garments are very comfortable to wear as well. Hand woven textiles have their own texture which makes it very comfortable.
Who is your primary customer?
Our primary customers are those people who are conscious about what they are wearing, in terms of the fabric. People who believe in slow fashion and who are ready to spend on garments which serve a purpose, other than just having an aesthetic appeal. We currently display at some stores in india and do pop up show to create awareness about the brand and visually make the consumer experience the product.
We source our fabrics directly from artisans and sell to the customers directly through our e-commerce website. This helps us in cutting down our costs significantly. Our pricing truly reflects the quality and craftsman required to create superior products and sustain communities creating it. We also work on a made to order model, which reduces dead stock and brings down our expenses. These are a few ways in which we meet our financial goals. Since we source directly from the artisans, the availability of fabrics is limited in terms of quantity, this makes maintaining uniformity difficult, at times.
What can we expect to see from Bunosilo in 2016?
We would like to become noticeable in some of the international markets and to be able to collaborate with more people working in this sector to make slow fashion a movement and made to order a sustainable model.
For more information about Bunosilo please visit: http://www.bunosilo.com/