Khadi is a Sanskrit translation of cotton and means 'hand-woven' and 'hand-spun'.
HOUSE OF KHADI cloth is woven from cotton grown locally in rural India. The cotton is spun into yarn on a spinning wheel called a charkha. It is an extremely versatile fabric that keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In India, khadi is not just a cloth it is a whole movement initiated by Gandhi who sought to stimulate the native economy by encouraging the growing and spinning of local fabrics rather than the punitive import of foreign cloth. Ghandi himself took to the charkha (the spinning-wheel which became the symbol of the movement) and inspired millions of Indians to literally 'follow suit'! As he obliged all members of his Indian National Congress Party to take up hand-loom weaving and to pay their party dues in yarn. The inspiration from above proved infectious and the quality of production quickly shot-up to Gandhi's exacting standards.
House of Khadi
HOUSE OF KHADI pays homage to this traditional and celebrated of Indian fabrics whose expert handling has been passed down from generation to generation over millenia...
We only use the very finest khadi selected from small rural villages of West Bengal that we have personally visited. The cotton is grown on the village outskirts and then received by the first home in the village where it is transformed into khadi thread. The next house spools the thread, the following house spins the cloth with traditional wheels and weaving machines and so on from house to house until in the last our khadi shirt fabric emerges, fully finished. The entire process involves the whole village community,creating a strong sense of satisfaction and pride in the exquisite hand-made garment just as the Mahatma Gandhi (who revived the process in reaction to industrialisation) envisioned as he led India toward Independence after The Second World War.
This is the essence of 'slow fashion'... it takes at least 3 months from harvest to fabric completion for enough khadi for 500 shirts. With time, patience and many skilled hands, the end result is a heavenly, high quality and visibly fine, soft and luxurious 100% cotton fabric described by legendary 12th Century adventurer Marco Polo as 'finer than the spider's web'.
HOUSE OF KHADI business partners Rima Sams and Ralph Shandilya grew up in North Kensington where their mutual passion for fashion, fabrics and design was cultivated by regular jaunts through Biba and Kensington markets plus daily sashays along Portobello Rd.
Rima's design portfolio for the International ethical luxury goods market includes her (and her brother's) pioneering organic energy drink GUSTO (still the best of the bunch!), a PYJAMA line for kids and adults, a women's summer wear collection and a range of kids cowboy shirts all sold under her Honey Habibo logo both on-line and from her Ibiza shop RIMARS. Rima is now totally focused on Indian materials and pre-industrial production techniques, of which KHADI is the perfect expression. She details her adventures in ethical and slow fashion in her blog in The Huffington Post's 'Style' section.
Previously creative director to Japanese menswear fashion designer Takeo Kikuchi, Ralph is a sought after photographer, film-maker and stylist who was drawn to the KHADI PROJECT by a blossoming desire to explore his own Brahmin Indian roots and to engage with them both creatively and spiritually.