Multi-strand Sari Necklace - Mustard
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This striking necklace is handmade from wooden beads covered in vintage silk sari fabric, finished with an amazing attention to detail. The tie on the back allows the necklace to be worn at differing lengths, making it a versatile piece for a variety of outfits, from a denim combination to a minimal glam evening look. This piece is completely unique.
Length can vary from 11 to 22 cm based on how the ties are fastened
Wooden beads covered with vintage silk fabric
I was greatly touched by the resilience of people living in the most desperate of circumstances and struck by the tremendous inequality I saw around me. I wanted to contribute in some way to addressing this inequality, and this was the seed for House of Wandering Silk.READ THE STORY
We asked Katherine about her journey and her vision, how she so successfully married two passions to create a fashion brand both beautiful and socially aware.
Your story is so inspiring - could you give us a brief narrative of your inspiration in founding HOWS?
In addition to wanting to address the inequality I saw during my years as a Humanitarian Aid Worker, a compelling factor in founding HOWS was my growing appreciation of, and fascination for, the rich textiles and embroidery I saw during my travels. Stunning embroidery made by women in remote villages in Swat Valley in the mountains of Pakistan, for example; the women were able and extremely willing to earn a living to support their families and themselves but had no way to make this happen. The textiles represented the culture and history of the people, and offered a safe and dignified livelihood for women.
We first identify the materials (mostly upcycled and vintage) and the skills available to us through our partner NGOs, women’s cooperatives and self-help groups. We then look at gaps in the market and the needs of our customers, brainstorm and sample a range of styles that can be made from the resources available. Finally, we test these out in the market - so it’s an ongoing and very fluid process.
Social consciousness is very important to you - how do the artisans you work with perceive your philosophy?
The most important thing for the women we work with, who are from very poor families in both rural and urban settings, is to be able to work from home and to receive a fair salary for the work they do. They are all well aware of how much they would get paid working for the usual middleman (which is how most women doing sewing have to work), who takes the biggest portion of their pay. Working with HOWS and our partners, they value our philosophy in that they receive a far higher salary than both the market and minimum wage, they get constant work and have the flexibility to work from home.
Thank you for your time Katherine, we wish you much success!