Made with Ethics

A bridal gown is the most important and memorable attire a woman will wear in her life. Sanyukta Shrestha provides the essential ingredient for an everlasting memory, not only for the bridal couple but for their family, friends and guests who will also be wearing festive attire to mark this special occasion. What makes this celebratory attire even more special is that one can rest assured that by wearing a Sanyukta Shrestha gown, one also supports sustainability, fair trade, women’s equality and an ethical workforce and therefore can share fully in the happiness of this joyous occasion of a wedding.

Sanyukta Shrestha’s extensive range of innovative vintage-inspired gowns and millinery provides stylish options to all women who care for people as well as the planet. However, the end quality in both the designs and craftsmanship is in no way compromised through this ethical and ecological approach, resulting in an uplifting and luxurious gown.

‘I personally feel that supporting these women to become financially independent is the best way to ensure a brighter future for them and their children.’

 

Working with Tulsi Meher Mahila Ashram

All the hand-loomed organic cotton and bamboo fabrics used in Sanyukta Shrestha’s collections come from the Tulsi Mehar Mahila Ashram which houses homeless and destitute women. The Ashram is the first social non-governmental organisation (NGO) that was set up in 1927 dedicated to helping deprived women of challenging backgrounds in Nepal. The Ashram provides free living quarters, a small hospital, a kindergarten school, a play area for children and production workshops. The goal of residence at the Ashram is to provide these vulnerable women with shelter and training while educating their children. Sanyukta’s team then turns the handmade and hand spun fabrics created by these skillful women into wearable art. A staggering 50% of Sanyukta Shrestha’s fabric producers are from remote and mountainous areas. All these remarkable women are given the chance to employ their traditional skills in their own homes to generate extra income.

thread-process
Hand Spinning Tulsi Mehar

Khokana

Khokana is a tiny and traditional Newari village in Nepal, which was unfortunately one of the many places devastated by the 2015 earthquake. Proud of it’s history and intent in retaining it’s traditions and culture, the women of the village have been hand weaving fabrics for centuries and Sanyukta Shrestha is personally very connected with them as these weavers make the beautiful organic fabrics used in her wedding dress collections. Sanyukta travelled to Khokana during the aftermath of this devastating event, as she wanted to understand their problems and needs to be able to support them with effective self-reliance and long term sustainable projects.

The reality is that the small cottage industry and hand looming is actually on the verge of extinction. To improve their livelihood, providing necessary training and procuring more products made by these home-based workers is very important. Sanyukta is working directly with the women from Khokana and also through Tulsi Meher Mahila Ashram on various projects like design intervention, skill adaptation and development, using natural resources and capacity enhancing training so their products can get regularly exported and valued globally.

‘I feel incredibly privileged as a designer, to be able to put their inspirational skills to good use.
I am committed to continue my support in reviving their industry further as my bridal collections evolve and help them recover from the devastating earthquake.’

Beauty with a Conscience

Sanyukta’s decision to use these natural/eco fibres in her collections underlines her commitment to the environment and development focusing on ‘beauty with a conscience’. Through blending sustainability with her ethical believes, she also intends to create opportunities for village women in Nepal, by merging and turning their traditional skills into delicate fabrics and designs.

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