@shriyanicollection // India
Shriyani’s collections are the outcome of ethical materials that pass through the hands of skilled artisans, who are ensured certified and have fair working conditions. Sonal Sachdev Patel, with an MA in Economics and Management from Cambridge University, is keen to bring the rigor of investment in the private sector to the development sector to help communities.
“Shriyani came from a very personal standpoint. In my day job I am heavily involved in my family’s charitable foundation and everything we do is around empowering women and supporting vulnerable communities. So often women don’t have a voice and they are exploited in different ways. I realized I didn’t want to be exploiting people through my purchasing decisions (men, women, or children)! This feeling, combined with the desire to wear beautifully designed clothing and accessories, led me to create the ethical luxury brand Shriyani. Women shouldn’t have to compromise how they look because they want to buy ethically. Ethical accessories need to be as desirable as their high fashion counterparts – only then will they become mainstream.”
“We partner with different NGOs and artisans on the ground. The clutches were a collaboration with Trésor, where their founder, Richa Varun, sits with the artisans in their own homes. She is a dynamic entrepreneur that doesn’t cut corners and you can see this in the finished product. At Shriyani, we only work with grassroots organisations where there is a close and direct connection. Only then can this be a fair and true partnership. I chose our first partner organisation in Gujarat since that is where I am from, so I feel a strong connection there.”
“Our artisans are involved in all stages from the design to the creation of the packaging. Our products are not just about the handmade pieces that they create, but are also a platform for the artisans to share their stories. For example “The Lotus” symbolises purity in the backdrop of murky waters. A lotus flower emerges from muddy waters unspoilt and unsullied. This story was based on a trafficked survivor that had been brutally treated, but who was rescued and managed to rebuild her own life. Despite adversities, we have seen women grow and flourish. We celebrated this triumph and beauty in the lotus design.”
“I believe businesses have a crucial role to play in creating social change. Every business can play their part in standing up and taking charge of their own supply chain and their own way of doing business in a fair way. Therefore I wanted to support vulnerable communities by giving them a voice through the art of fashion.”