Fashioning a sustainable future through
traditional and cultural knowledge
Vasanthi Veluri is the co-founder of Peoli, a sustainable fashion brand that focuses on sourcing organic raw materials, honouring indigenous skills and creating livelihood for the women of the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand. A winner of several awards, Vasanthi uses handspun indigenous wool and locally sourced dyestuffs processed using renewable energy to design handcrafted garments. She believes that an alternative model of responsible fashion is possible through design, craft and mindful production practices. Peoli’s handcrafted knitwear with minimal carbon footprint is a testament to this belief. Vasanthi decided to start from the primary sources of pollution caused by the energy and material use of traditional garment manufacturing methods, and to find a solution. Working with garment workers in Uttarakhand led her to an increased awareness of other related issues: forced economic migration, and a lack of women’s empowerment exacerbated by climate change.
Vasanthi seeks to address all of these in her work with local women. Her work falls directly within SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production. Peoli’s products have found their way into the homes of craft connoisseurs across the globe. Peoli has also been awarded with Word Craft Council Award for Excellence in Handicraft (2018), the Lexus Design Award for Textile Design (2020); the Sambhaava award for Women’s Empowerment (2019) by FICCI FLO and more recently India’s Best Design Award in Oct 2020. Peoli is also certified by AIACA’s CraftMark, a symbol of quality and craft for hand-made products in India. While this recognition is heartening, Vasanthi considers every artisan she interacts with who chooses to stay back and work with their community rather than migrating to cities, to be the truest indicator of her success.