Today's textiles are mass-produced at unimaginable speeds and designed to last a few seasons before they are replaced by the next. This is the nature of Fast-Fashion, and it's enabled by low-cost labor and at an incredible toll on the environment. Studio Variously challenges this modus operandi by producing uniquely designed textiles that are ethically made and with the goal to last through generations. Wrap yourself around the beauty of these modern textiles created using traditional techniques.
Hi Anjali, tell us about your studio, the founders, and its origins.
Born and raised in India, I am the owner & founder of Variously which is based out of Michigan. I pursued my design degrees in Accessory Design & Retail Design from esteemed colleges in India & Italy and have worked for 15 years in the design industry, besides running my independent design label since 2016.
Why did you come up with "Studio Variously" as the name for your brand?
As a designer, I have lived & worked in various cities, connected with various communities, and absorbed inspiration from various cultures. Also, I don’t believe in signature style for my work as much as I believe in creating things in collaboration collectively. Variously is this, a collective harmony of thoughts, ideas, and energy, as it truly takes a village to make sustainable goods.
What makes a Studio Variously product?
Essentially a product that is eco-friendly, handmade by artisans, and modern in aesthetics.
In what direction do you see your brand growing?
I see my brand having a growing presence in diverse urban spaces that are consciously shopping and choosing products made to last and grow old with you—the type of products that don’t follow in the trap of short-term trends but long-term concepts.
Please share with us what are the Sustainable Design Goals set by United Nations and how they are reflected in your products.
There is a lot to dive deeper into this subject, and as an independent designer, I feel there is no one-size-fits-all. However, it is important to pursue one step at a time towards the goals, one of which is the economic sustenance of artisan communities which is the heartbeat of Variously as a brand. Ensuring that the small artisan communities who are part of the cottage industry get reliable orders and enable socio-economic growth for their heritage legacy is one of the goals we keep in mind while executing & planning our production.
As my design and manufacturing process is in sustainable textiles, it is in line with Sustainable Design Goal set by United Nations, and I am working hard to continue growing in this sphere.
How does India, the United States and weaving come together to inspire your collections?
The more significant takeaway is connecting cultural stories with products, which is my main inspiration behind the collections.
What inspires your designs?
Meeting the artisans and talking to them and learning more about their process.
You work with artesian families, can you share how you build those relationships, and how is it to work with them.
There is a lot of in-depth research that goes into scouting for reliable communities and interacting with them one on one, primarily by also making in-person visits and learning about their setup hands-on. Each artisan is unique and different in their approach, their process, their connection with their craft & legacy, and it is very important to be mindful of these elements and learning as we go along the way of exploring concepts and innovating with their heritage skills.
It has been an incredibly humbling experience for me as a designer, and I have learned to appreciate more attention to detail, and that patience is key to this process.
How do you decide which artisans to work with?
Mostly their compliance with sustainable materials, attention to detail, and high-quality finishing. Also, how unique is the element of their legacy in shaping the work they pursue on a day-to-day basis.
What do you hope customers experience when they use your products? What has been your most memorable experience with a customer?
A lot of my products are bought for gifting close and loved ones. It is most memorable when a mother sends me an email of how her daughter loved the scarf or a granddaughter gifting throw for her grandmother. These personal notes make the process very personal, and it's wonderful to know these products have found their special homes.
What do you think is your responsibility as a designer in the world of today?
To innovate thoughtfully and to make what matters for the well-being of our and our makers ecosystem.
What did you wish would be better in the textile industry?
I wish textile industry adapted more eco-friendly dyes and was not trend centric for seasonal products which has led to the problem of deadstock over several decades with bigger retailers.
A few thoughts of what you like about being part of the Aztro community?
I love the clean modern aesthetics of the products curated at Aztro and that it is supporting independent designers & new brands for more accurate and relevant visibility.
Some of Studio Variously products
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