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Because of Nature – an ethical, sustainable, slow colour label

Because of Nature brings you high quality, sustainable fashion pieces and a sumptuous range of luxury homewares and accessories. We source, collaborate and create with purpose, so you can wear beautiful garments and surround yourself with textural natural fibres inspired by nature, created with ancient artisan skills, and driven by knowledge and passion collected through our nomadic journey of life.

Our designs are simple and functional. Khadi only gets better with age and we support this longevity with French seams and hand-cut bias. We aim to highlight the hand loomed selvedge – the sign of true hand loom and a beautifully delicate finish to a garment’s hemline.

Natural dyeing

Natural dye, along with Khadi, is a primary focus at Because of Nature. Traditionally, all Khadi was coloured with natural dyes. That was before the fast fashion industry and development of chemical dyes eroded these historic textile practices.

Natural colour is a slow process that’s beautifully in harmony with nature. Patience is always rewarded!

We grow as much of our plant dye materials as possible. Our colour range is dictated by the seasons. Many shades of colour can be produced from one vat, creating another aspect of sustainability. All waste from the vat, both dye matter and liquid, can be returned to earth.

Different fibres require prior treatment called mordanting. This process can be done 2-3 times to strengthen lightfast qualities. Once done, cloth can be redyed many times within its life.

Care of naturally dyed Khadi is simple. Use a gentle washing soap, as close as possible to a neutral pH. Harsh powders may soften the colour. Definitely no wool wash, bleach or soakers. Cold wash and dry in the shade. You’ll find Khadi is very low maintenance and needs less washing than other cloth. It just keeps on giving!

 

A journey so far

A lifetime’s obsession with colour, fibre and creativity has led to the evolution of Because of Nature. This passion was kindled the day Kathy’s grandmother taught her to hand stitch when she was seven years old. Ever since, she’s felt an innate affinity with textiles, fibre and colour.

By 2011, Kathy realised she needed to research the direction of her life’s work. How would she develop her love for natural fibres, natural colours, and working and supporting artisans with extraordinary and ancient skills?

Cultural textiles have always inspired and fascinated Kathy for the way they interpret history, tradition and culture. Hand spun, hand woven, hand dyed with natural dyes, and embellished – the artisan creating a visual story of their life.

Kathy spent almost five years researching Khadi fabric and establishing honest fair trade suppliers. Through this research she met Praveen Chauhan. An invitation from Praveen to Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai (August 2017) brought them together to present their work during Sustainable Fashion Week. The response to this collaboration was overwhelming. Immediately Kathy and Praveen realised their balance of unity would combine to create an incredible journey.

Their collaborative journey began with the purpose of empowering and supporting women in India, particularly in rejuvenating natural dyeing skills in Gaya, Bihar. It has now grown with their passion for Khadi into developing a sustainable spinning, weaving and natural dyeing community within Bihar and the international promotion of genuine hand spun, hand loomed Khadi.

“A life time of building skills and knowledge has finally lead my passion to peace and contentment. When I asked myself why and how I’m taking this journey, the answer was simple: because of nature. The answer became our brand name and our clear purpose. Because of Nature was developed to highlight what is ancient, what is sensible, what is contemporary.” Kathy Williams

 

Praveen Chauhan’s work in Bihar, India

Praveen is CEO and founding Director of a Social Enterprise called MATR. As the name signifies the meaning “mother”, the creator of all origins, he considers himself in partnership with all his artisans. His matr bhoomi “India” is a diverse land of art and craft. Getting inspiration, he aims to promote the skills of artisan communities to produce high quality, hand crafted product which matches international standard. They use natural resources throughout their production to promote environmentally responsible initiatives for a sustainable future. This provides their artisan groups to have better sense of consumer market with increased production volumes as well as the opportunity to share their untold stories. He recently moved to Bihar to revive Khadi in all those part of state where weavers encountered problems like unawareness about market trends, lack of innovative designs, out of date looms, yarn not of required count and poor quality yarn. These aspects hindered the Khadi exports. In order to give a facelift to the Khadi sector, these issues are being resolved with the support from the government. For this kind step Praveen Chauhan has been getting applause for its refreshing break from past and contemporary inclusiveness that it offers to the consumers.

His true dedication is to make ‘Bihar Khadi’ very famous in Australia, London, Newyork, Milan, Paris and other places rich in Fashion and Lifestyle.

Praveen has devoted the last 6 years working to inspire sense and practicality among his people to adopt traditional textiles. He studied fashion but it is knowledge of traditional textiles that gives him strength and determination to succeed in his vision for Khadi. He received an award for Young Entrepreneurs of Bihar in the sector of Traditional Textiles from the Government. An award of recognition for his work and dedication to the revitalisation of traditional textiles, he continues campaigning for support in this sector to this day.

Through experience and his nomadic life, Praveen has learnt so much more than study could offer. He feels it begins and ends with knowing he must work hard to uplift the artisans who maintain their unique traditional spinning and weaving skills to create the highly sought-after Bihar Khadi.

“We are not collaborative because of business. We are collaborative Because of Nature.” Kathy Williams and Praveen Chauhan