Fashion by SEWA Hansiba: Ananta Event

"Ananta - The Flamboyant Stitch" a fashion show, was held on December 19, 2009 at Ahmedabad. This was a stepping platform for SEWA artisans to show off their hard work and open doors to a sustainable and opportunity-filled future. 

Garba DanceSEWA Hansiba Museum

Ananta — The Flamboyant Stitch

Women artisans of Gujarat, rural and semi literate, are taking on global fashion markets. More than 3000 women artisans from arid areas of Kutch and Patan have worked with leading French and British designers to produce garments for world markets. The women have not only stitched the garments with great care and added embroidery of fine quality but have in the process learned ways of the world of fashion. They have learned to plan new designs, search new markets, adjust price and revise export procedures to reach out to new 18 key locations worldwide with vibrant craftsmanship. A first ever global market access initiative of traditional craft women of Gujarat the collection has attracted attention from the key fashion and design centres. 

Chhunni (Head Cover) in Ahir StyleSEWA Hansiba Museum

Women of Gujarat, spread in thousands of homes across Kutch and Patan districts, have come together to gain from the economic upswing.

“If the markets do not reach us, we will reach the markets,” said Reema Nanavaty Chair Person of Trade Facilitation Centre of SEWA. The centre is owned by 15000 SEWA member women.

"Ananta-The Flamboyant Stitch" was held on December 19 2009 at Ahmedabad. It was a collaboration between SEWA, Alliance Francaise and the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad. After the resounding the success of this fashion show which featured apparels from the Hansiba brand "Ananta" was showcased in Delhi on 27th March, 2010.

It aimed to provide a platform for women to market their craftsmanship skills and to support them in improving their socio-economic status and building a sustainable income through various opportunities. "Ananta" covered a fashion show, an exhibition of home furnishing and sketches, films, folk music, dance, workshop for children and rural cuisine.

Traditional Embroidery StylesSEWA Hansiba Museum

Young artisan from Patan walking on ramp

Traditional Embroidery StylesSEWA Hansiba Museum

The SEWA communities' daughters showcased their attires at the Ananta event through the night and then did a fine display of Garba, the traditional dance of Gujarat.

Ahir Embroidery StylesSEWA Hansiba Museum

Daughters of artisan from Ahir community in Patan, proud to display their craftsmanship at Ananta fashion show.

Garba DanceSEWA Hansiba Museum

Garba is a traditional dance form of Gujarat, India, where women dress up in their bright traditional clothes, usually a flared skirt and a blouse, with an optional head scarf or odhani.

The dance is performed for the Navratri festival, that spans nine days, in honour of the autumn harvest.

Shree Ela Bhatt with Women Artisans, From the collection of: SEWA Hansiba Museum
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Shree Ela Bhatt, Founder of SEWA with women artisan from Patan at Ananta event quotes, “Ananta – means 'iterative or never ending' in Sanskrit – I would like to convey the message that we the sisters of SAARC countries will stitch, weave, embroider ourselves together through our work and build a peaceful neighborhoods which ensures 'Economic Freedom' to all. ‘Ananta’ links the local artisans to global markets."

“In Ananta I see my vision of regional integration by women, for women and of women – as workers, producers, artisans, designers – which has my dream of poverty commission – outcome. I wish Ananta all success and may Ananta travel to all our neighbouring countries and build our collective brand of Ananta – the 'Made in SAARC' regional markets."

Shree Reema Nanavaty with Artisans, From the collection of: SEWA Hansiba Museum
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Shree Reema Nanavaty, Chairperson of SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre, interacting with artisans at the Ananta show.

Ananta na Taal (2010)SEWA Hansiba Museum

Combination of Ari and Rabari embroidery on KurtaSEWA Hansiba Museum

Breath of Cotton: The Ma Dhuli Collection

The Ma Dhuli collection at Ananta is made using organic and herbal cotton. Thus preserving the environment. The whole production process comprises from sowing of seeds to sapling of cotton, plucking of cotton, deseeding it, ginning, hand spinning and then weaving them on the handlooms to create fabric. Styling it for menswear and women’s wear by Hansiba with value added ornamentation by the SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre, STFC rural skill artisans.

Ma Dhuli Collection at Ananta ShowSEWA Hansiba Museum

Combination of Ari and Rabari embroidery on Kurta. The design is given by Graham Hollick, an European Designer.

Ari and Rabari stitchesSEWA Hansiba Museum

Ma Dhuli Collection at Ananta ShowSEWA Hansiba Museum

Daughter of Gauriben, Artisan from PatanSEWA Hansiba Museum

Daughter of Gauriben, Artisan from Patan, displaying Peacock logo-motif, the Ma Dhuli collection at Ananta show.

Ma Dhuli Collection at Ananta ShowSEWA Hansiba Museum

Shri Ela Bhatt with SEWA Artisans at Ananta ShowSEWA Hansiba Museum

“When I wear khadi, I embody a worldview. Khadi stands for all that is local, and sustainable in the economy, in society and in the environment. By wearing it, I honor the spinners, the weavers, and workers who work with their hands. My money supports the poor village producer.” - Shree Ela Bhatt, founder of SEWA.

Credits: Story

Online exhibit:
Ela Bhatt
Reema Nanavaty
Tejas Raval
Parul Sagarwala
Neeta Trivedi

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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