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— Jasmeen Dugal

Having grown up seeing her mother wearing beautiful weaves and realising its potential, Vaishali S left her hometown in Madhya Pradesh to study textile design in Bhopal and open a store in Mumbai with a loan of 50,000. She updated indigeneous weaves with silhouettes relevant to the modern consumer… and there's been no looking back since. She has opened a flagship in South Mumbai, employs several thousand artisans' and works with weaver clusters in Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra and Bengal to handcraft globally relevant ensembles. In conversation with the designer on life after the pandemic.


''If we are to continue with a sustainable lifestyle, it's essential to look at it as a circle of life. Our villagers, even in the remotest areas, have perfected the art of sustainability. In India, being sustainable has been imbibed into our culture, into our way of life. For example, we build a veranda around the house because we believe that we are a part of nature, we use waste food as fertiliser for trees… So, we need to take this time-out to rethink what it means to be responsible. We need to nurture the same values that have been passed down generations because taking that road will lead us back to a full circle… to maintaining an effortlessly sustainable lifestyle. Today, we cannot surpass the environmental dangers we face nor can we supersede them. We need to acknowledge that the earth is a sphere of living beings and we are merely a part of that. If we can do that, then not just our actions, but our whole perspective will change.


As a race, we have evolved with one another on a selfish basis… the need for more. Nature has given us an opportunity, an opportunity to rethink and repurpose ourselves to its needs, to concentrate more on the efforts we're willing to make to contribute to the environment than on demanding more. It's time we imbibe it in ourselves to be mindful of the nature around us, to be conscious while making decisions and to return to our roots. The simplicity of life lies in living in sync with nature and that is something we need to realize, not just in our business policies as we revive ourselves after the crisis, but also in our lifestyle. We should think about nature the way we think about ourselves.


It will be a slow process to realign ourselves to a circular world from the hierarchical human invention we've been following but it is the need of the hour. To stay in tandem with every living being that surrounds us is the only way to survive and sustain.''

Vaishali Shadangule
Vaishali Shadangule
Vaishali S with weaver clusters in Assam
A beautiful handcrafted ensemble by Vaishali S
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