Growing up, I was always in awe of my mother’s seemingly limitless sari collection. The fabrics, the colours, the patterns, the stitching techniques, they were all beautiful. And every sari had a place and a purpose.
There were saris for special occasions: jaunty numbers in bright colours with shimmering details for weddings, parties, celebrations; for temple visits in more subdued, but no less stunning, colours and prints; for sombre occasions in subtly stylish silk; and for everyday in block printed cotton and flowery rayon, in spring greens, deep dark reds, sunny yellows and beautiful blues.
Just as saris enveloped my mother so elegantly, so I felt that they did so her stories of life and my childhood self in their comforting folds. So when we received our first box of tote bags made from upcycled saris, my heart was filled with warmth. Every bag seems to represent the stories of the women who may have worn them – and in India every woman is your “auntie”!
The whole pre-loved sari is used to make our bags, with a sari’s “pallu”, the part that hangs over the shoulder, being the most patterned. Each of our sari tote bags is unique, handmade from many different saris, all imbued with stories.
They make beautiful reusable giftwrap, a chic carry-all for quick plastic-free top-up shops, and every kalai purchase will come contained in one. You’re welcome.