" ‘Kaiyare’ means made by hand in Kannada. Kaiyare stands for handmade, community, culture and preservation. The idea is to celebrate objects made by hand, and the people that make these objects." - says Nikitha Satish, co-founder of Kaiyare.
We at IN-D spoke to Nikitha from Kaiyare to get an insight on the inspirations, values and processes behind the brand. We hope you enjoy this summary of our conversation!
Image: Kaiyare works with women in Kabini, who create beautiful banana fibre products. Check them out here.
I : What are the biggest inspirations for Kaiyare?
N : The materials we use(banana fibre and handwoven fabrics) inspire us to create. We look into the people making the products, their skills along with the history and culture of the craft itself - and these inspire the products. For example, we did a collection in collaboration with Women Weave, and the beautiful handwoven fabric itself became the inspiration behind the collection. Useability, wearability and versatility are integral, along with a respect for history, and these are the common threads for all our products.
Image: The Round Beach Bag by Kaiyare
I : Tell us a little more about the materials you use at Kaiyare?
N : Banana Fibre, which is agricultural waste is used as the primary material for our bags and our home collection. The banana fibre is sourced from local farms around Kabini and also from Hampi. The handwoven cotton and silk fabric comes from Maheshwar - from Women Weave. At Kaiyare, we (co-founders Nikitha and Anvitha) believe in material exploration and are always working on new products and experimenting with new materials. We hope to work with a range of materials to create products with many uses in a holistic sense.
I : Who is your ideal customer?
N : Anybody who takes a second look at what they are buying. Somebody who not only is looking for the sustainable alternative, but also appreciates something made by hand and by women in remote locations. Someone who looks at the story behind the product and can relate to it.
I : What are your goals for Kaiyare?
Our goals are to employ more women and build a larger community. We want to explore new regions in which we can provide employment to women and also teach them new skills.
Many of the women we currently work with have never worked prior to this. We have given them their first jobs, an independence and their first salaries.
We want to tell the story of the women, the craft and make people aware about how these natural materials can be used to create beautiful products without harming our environment.
Image: The women of Kabini, who hand crotchet the banana fibre products of Kaiyare
I : And now for our IN-D question, what does independent mean to you?
N : Independent to me is the freedom to be vulnerable. Because everyone is very protective of themselves - as a society, as people, even as a brand, we have become very protective and closed. I think there can be a lot more compassion when one feels that they can be vulnerable.
As a brand - Kaiyare has always been vulnerable. We've been open and transparent through our ups and downs. We've explained everything, our mistakes and our flaws. When we are open and talking about what we go through as a brand or as people, the people who buy our product feel a connect. They are reminded that there is a human behind the product.