Indigo Handloom: World's Greenest Clothing Line. project video thumbnail
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$26,042 pledged of $50,000 goal
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$26,042 pledged of $50,000 goal
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About

Our mission at Indigo Handloom is to create the 'world's greenest clothing line.'

This fabric does not require any fossil fuel energy to come into existence -– instead we rely on beyond the human energy of our talented weavers. No coal, no gas, no electricity, not even a light bulb and none of the dangerous chemicals normally used to create cloth. Our talented artisans make cloth one inch at a time, continuing a heritage of weaving that is thousands of years old.

Indigo Handloom has been in business for 12 years and has provided fabrics and scarves to some of the best known brands in the world like Eileen Fisher and Anthropologie. Now we want to launch our own clothing line using these unique and rare materials.

What are the benefits of handwoven cloth?

In the making of an average button-down shirt today, the weaving of the fabric alone consumes 30% of the total energy used to make that shirt.

Each year, the world uses 132 million metric tons of coal, or 1,074 billion kWh of electricity, just to fuel the weaving of cloth.

Our cloth doesn’t consume even one piece of coal. Each handloom-woven garment saves approximately 1kWh of electricity, which is enough energy to power a laptop for 8 hours.

Indigo Handloom preserves the ancient skills and jobs of artisan weavers in India, home to some of the greatest textile artisans in the world.

When we started Indigo Handloom textile wholesale in 2003, there were 12 million handloom weavers in the world. Now, there are only about 3 million left. We are losing the battle to preserve an ancient art form and all of it’s beauty.

Once upon a time, beautiful, woven textiles were considered more valuable than gold. Fabric was  buried in the tombs of nobles around the world.

We have lost sight of our connection to these intimate materials - the materials that are physically closest to our skin.

Instead of treasuring beautiful textiles, we have largely replaced the art of handloom by automated, energy hungryweaving machines.

But, with your help, Indigo Handloom can work to revitalize this craft in the interest of creating a more beautiful world.

Why does it matter to you personally?

In order to prepare cotton and silk for the giant industrial milling machines, companies use stiffening chemicals must be applied to the fiber. Then, after  those fibers are woven into fabric, more chemicals areapplied in order to re-soften the material.

What are all of those chemicals doing to our planet, to the factory workers, to our own bodies?

Conventionally milled cotton today requires anywhere from 4-20 lbs of chemicals for one shirt. This involves dyes, stiffeners, defoamers, detergents, bleaches, brighteners, equalizers, softeners and more.

Synthetic fibers can be even worse; polyester, acetate, acrylic, nylon, spandex, rayon and many others utilize numerous harmful chemicals in their making. Many of these materials are even derived from petroleum, aka fossil fuel, which is the root cause of so many issues on our delicate planet.

Not only do these chemicals and petroleums harm the people who handle them and contaminate the waterways of the communities in which they are made, but they are also carried on the materials into our homes and our lives.

As the fabrics break down over time, tiny particles are off-gassed into the air that we breathe. Then, when we discard these materials, they pollute our land and our oceans, slowly degrading and releasing their toxins into our global ecosystem.

We are committed to using natural fibers such as cotton, silk, linen and wool. Currently about 60% of our cotton product are made with non-GMO certified organic cotton. Eventually we will move toward 100% organic.

With handloom, few chemicals are required. Our fibers are naturally beautiful and do not require extensive softening. The yarn is managed, thread by thread, by the hand of a skilled weaver. Our ‘khadi’ fabrics are even created with a hand-twisted fiber that is not only unparalleled in its beauty, but also completely chemical-free. Our all-natural fibers are safe to be next to your skin and in the vicinity of our children. They are even biodegradable. 

You will feel the difference the first time you don an article of our clothing. The fabric produced by our incredible artisans is supple, breathable and luxurious. The process required to create our clothing is gentle on the environment, the artisan and you, the wearer. 

Handloom villages are truly a step back in time. The weavers often work side by side with their family members - their looms becoming a central fixture in their homes. Indigo Handloom weavers act like small business owners, taking contract work and setting their own work hours as well as their own wages. This beautiful symbiosis allows our weavers to support and raise their families while earning a living wage.

With your support, Indigo Handloom will help these artisans create beautiful materials that translate to a modern aesthetic. Your donation directly supports artisan villages by creating fair work and fair wages for talented men, women and children in rural India.

How will we use the $50,000? Your donation will help us to get through our first season of production, allowing our business to get off the ground and to flourish.

The Indigo Handloom team has more than a decade of experience in textile and clothing production. 

The biggest expense we face lies in manufacturing. While all of our fabrics are made by traditional handloom techniques, we must still make that cloth into clothing. The cutting and sewing will be done in factories located in California and India - costing around $28,000.

Our second largest expense lies in the weaving of the fabric itself. We must pay for fibers, dyes and other supplies in addition to the wages that we pay to our handloom workers. Hundreds of meters of gorgeous fabric will cost around $17,000.

The remainder of our cost lies in logistics. Customs, duties, freight, customer shipping, credit card fees and Kickstarter fees are all a necessary part of this equation.

What’s next?

We will keep you informed of our progress - your involvement in this company and its mission is important to us. We will share photos and stories of the whole process - from dyers and weavers to stylists and CEO.

You, along with everyone behind Indigo Handloom, will be with us for every step of our journey. We can tell you everything about handloom fabric, but we know that once you touch and feel this incredible material, you will know the true value.

This is why we will be taking to the road in our mobile Airstream retail store! We will be traveling around Northern California for the next two months and we hope that you will be able to join us in this experience.

You can keep up with us via social media. We call it “Clothing without a Compromise” because Indigo Handloom is just that; beautiful, wearable clothing that feels as good on the body as it does to the soul.

For us, style and sales will never come before ethics, worker safety, or the environment. With each Indigo Handloom purchase, you will inspire hope in an industry that often incites despair and destruction.

We thank you for joining and supporting us, and we know that the artisans behind Indigo Handloom are thankful, too. We are looking forward to sharing the beauty of handloom with you!

With love and thanks,

The Indigo Handloom Team

Our 4-Seasons Tunic in Grey
Our 4-Seasons Tunic in Grey
4-Seasons Color Options
4-Seasons Color Options
This tunic is one-size-fits all
This tunic is one-size-fits all
Side and back views of our Bengal Border Tunic
Side and back views of our Bengal Border Tunic
For sizing, this shirt uses traditional S,M,L of Banana Republic
For sizing, this shirt uses traditional S,M,L of Banana Republic
This shirt is adjustable from size "0" to "14."
This shirt is adjustable from size "0" to "14."
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This dress is highly adjustable due to the elastic smocking in the back
This dress is highly adjustable due to the elastic smocking in the back
The Ikat Maxi Dress front and back views
The Ikat Maxi Dress front and back views
Explore this beautiful world of handloom!
Explore this beautiful world of handloom!

Risks and challenges

Risks and Challenges

Indigo Handloom is the ultimate in slow fashion. As our fabrics are made without machines, we are subject to unique challenges for a fashion company.

Our fabrics take 2-3 months to be created from raw, undyed yarn. Once we receive the textiles, they must be inspected and taken to our cut and sew factories.

This means that our production time is longer than that of a fast-fashion company and therefore, requires a larger investment. We think that the true beauty of our clothing is absolutely worth the extra effort. We are reliant upon selling a certain volume in order to justify the weaving of specific handloom cloth.

Therefore, our goal is to sell at least 100 pieces of each style. If that goal cannot be met, we may need to drop a certain style in favor of another. If this occurs with any of our Kickstarter gift styles, we will be sure to contact our backers and allow the value of their gift to be applied to a different product of their choice.

Our Guarantee:
We know it's risky to buy clothing online. However, we have great faith in our clothing. You will feel the difference as soon as you touch it. And fits are adjustable However, if for some reason you are not completely satisfied, we are happy to give you a complete refund if returned in the same condition within 30 days.

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Support

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A special thank you and mention on our FB page!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Come celebrate with us! General admission for one to our launch party - complete with a fashion show - in the SF-Bay area in Fall 2015. Final date TBA.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Spread our idea and we will send you a vintage silk batik scarf from the 1970s. In perfect condition, these scarves are unused. Please specify 1st and 2nd color preferences and we will do our best to match you up with your favorite color.
    Dimensions: 20" x 20"

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    Pledge $16 or more About $16

    We love Jute! Buy one of our beautiful jute bags - choice of messenger, backpack or shopper bags. Jute is a natural fiber that is completely sustainable fiber. Stronger than cotton and naturally resistant to insects - there is very little fertilizer or insecticide sprayed on it.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Our handwoven 'Chambray Shimmer" cotton khadi scarf. This scarf is made with hand-twisted cotton yarns made without electricity. From fiber to fabric - giving it an almost immeasurable carbon foot print. Incredibly soft cotton is mixed with stripes of sparkling metallic yarns called 'zari.'
    Dimensions: 76" x 38"

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    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    Our 'Austin Blues" dynamic scarf is handwoven in wool and cotton, giving it a luxurious feel. We played with a series of stripes imagining several of our favorite men's shirts all rolled into one. Starting with a turquoise base, we mix it up with ochre, tangerine and jade. To keep it girly and fun, we added beautiful 'jamdani' dots at the very ends in matching colors.
    Dimensions: 71" X 32"
    Normal retail: $85

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    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    Our Mesa Scarf : A blend of marigold, grey, red, black and ivory come together to create this scarf. Handwoven with thick borders of geometric shapes, lines and ikat with a fringe finish.

    Dimensions: 75" x 35"
    Normal Retail: $100

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    Pledge $119 or more About $119

    Our '4-Seasons' beach tunic is made with the softest 'khadi' cotton in a yarn-dyed plaid. The border is made like a real sari border - yarn-dyed and woven into the fabric. This tunic comes in four different colors based on the border color: Grey, Navy, Red and Lt. Blue. One size fits all. Please specify color: Brown, Blue, Red or Grey
    Normal Retail: $149.99

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Our "Folklore - Ivory" is a luxurious scarf made with a nubby hand-twisted silk thread. First we yarn-dye it and weave it, then its hand-embroidered by our skilled artisans. We had fun with the colors of this scarf - deep reds, orange and green with a touch of black. It has embroidery on all edges, large orange nubby tassels on the four corners and a beautiful circle of embroidery in the center.

    Content: 100% Silk with cotton embroidery
    Dimensions: 39" x 39"

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    Pledge $129 or more About $129

    Our "Bengal Border" beach tunic is based on one of our best selling scarves. The jacquard border of this tunic is based on a vintage sari - yarn-dyed and woven into the fabric. One size fits all. First delivery in August.
    Normal Retail: $159.99

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    Pledge $159 or more About $159

    Our 'Ikat Denim' shirt is a heavy-weight handwoven cotton. We developed this exclusive ikat print - which is dyed into the yarn before it gets woven. It has buttons down the front and half-way down the back. Available in S-M-L Please see size chart for specifics. Normal Retail: $225.00

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    Pledge $189 or more About $189

    Batik Silk Kimono-Sleeve Wrap shirt. This handwoven pure silk shirt is printed with blue and brown batik - done with a wax resist method. It can be worn three different ways: as a wrap shirt, twist the two ends to make it into a plunging neckline shirt and just tie the two ends together in the front for a loose fitting jacket. One size fits all - from size "0" to "14." First delivery in September
    Normal Retail: $249.00

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Your name on one of our spring 16 collection of scarves + 5 pcs of your signature scarf for your friends and family

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    Pledge $289 or more About $289

    Our reversible "Ikat Maxi' dress is actually two dresses in one. We have a beautiful mustard/grey/white ikat print on one side. This print is done with real ikat printing - which means the pattern is dyed into the yarn before weaving. The other side is a beautiful grey and white stripe. In the back we have smocking to create a snug fit. Available in S-M-L. Please see size chart for specifics.
    Normal retail: $429.00

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    Pledge $499 or more About $499

    A mini-resort collection: jet off to your favorite beach with just our reversible maxi and two tunics of your choice.

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    Pledge $999 or more About $999

    Full Resort Collection: Pick the Maxi Dress, two shirts, two tunics, two scarves and a jute bag and batik scarf.

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    Pledge $1,499 or more About $1,499

    Be the Designer! Bring us your original design of fabric or scarves and we will get it woven. It will be exclusively yours. The reward includes design guidance as well as 45 meters of the finished cloth or 24 finished scarves. Your signature scarf would make an amazing gift for the holidays.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Discover the amazing world of handloom in India with an inspiration trip with Indigo Handloom founder Smita Paul. An experienced guide, Smita will take you to three different unique regions of India with an emphasis on amazing shopping, spas, and textiles - with a dose of natural and spiritual beauty. She will take you to places rarely seen by tourists or even natives. Explore the handloom villages where we get our fabric and scarves woven, an amazing indigo dyeing center and real ikat weaving. In addition we will take you on an 'insider' shopping trip in Delhi. All internal flights, transport and housing included. Flight to India not included. Dates are to be determined Nov. - March.

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Funding period

- (56 days)