The mother-daughter duo behind the new sustainable boutique on the block have a vision of creating fashion that gives back. “Fashion is not just a passion for us, it’s also integral to the bond I share with my mother. When we set out to build The House of Ara, it was never going to be just to share our sense of style and aesthetics. We believe fashion can be used to uplift artisans, change attitudes and help our customers build a sustainable closet. Of course, we also want to exhibit and explore the traditional Indian art that has been ignored for far too long by bland western styles of fast fashion” Avani Chandan
The house of Ara is named after a constellation of stars in the Southern Hemisphere, and is an apt name for this new brand by Avani K. Chandan and her mother Savita Jain, as they aim to revive ancient Indian traditions of patterns in vivid, modern silhouettes. This journey has been years in the making, beginning with Savita Jain’s abiding passion for fashion. While this may not have instantly passed over to her daughter Avani, destiny was at play when she was on her travels in Italy. A chance encounter with stunning designs at a boutique was the spark of inspiration she needed to take the plunge, and thus The house of Ara was born.
Fashion isn’t the only motivation for the duo. The brand is also important from the lens of sustainability. Crafting sustainable fashion for India is not a mere trend within The house of Ara, it’s an ideal. Every fabric used is organically grown and every colour printed is naturally derived from herbs and flowers. Even the packaging used is eco-friendly. Along with carrying a stylish, western approach to their designs, the Indian fabrics and prints also support rural artisans from different parts of the country, as they are the true heritage of India’s clothing traditions. Sustainability of both art and nature is their driving force when it comes to birthing The house of Ara, as the founders have envisioned a world where they can admire and take inspiration from Mother Nature, while also preserving her beauty by shunning ‘fast fashion’ production techniques.
“It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it never is when you follow your heart’s desire! We do face obstacles in terms of connecting with the right type of artisans, making them apply their art to sustainable fabrics, while also sourcing these fabrics that are eco-friendly. We never thought it would be easy, but we deal with each obstacle as it comes and over time we get better. There was a time when we would only sell to private buyers and display our work in exhibitions, but now the foundation of The house of Ara is well and truly ready!”, says Savita Jain
The very first collection released by the house is inspired by the Indian art of Ajrakh, which is a block-printing technique that uses floral patterns. The house of Ara has used this traditional style to create garments like skirts, jackets and other modern garments which would previously never have been adorned with block-printing. The fabric used is a Cupro fabric that was selected because of its sustainability benefits. This focus on being eco-conscious extends to the packaging, which is 100% biodegradable. The mother-daughter duo have big plans for the expansion of The house of Ara, and consider it their mission to create fashion that gives back to its community.
Also, in an attempt at being environmentally conscious, the brand has created packaging that transforms into a cushion cover. A constant reminder of our mission.