India has always been a land of jackets, whether it is the sherwani, bandhgala or the Nehru jacket. Now, designer Payal Jaggi gives them a twist with kantha fabric and a new revival story. Jaggi started Kinche.com in 2012 as a home linen brand, but soon branched into upcycled premier clothing for women, using primarily kantha fabric from West Bengal. “I made a jacket for myself from an antique quilt which was picked up by a friend who offered to purchase it. I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t,” she recalls.
Encouraged, she made a few more and it worked. Not only were these one of a kind pieces, but the thought process behind them was also simple—sustainability. “I do not intend to add more fabric to the world, for me sustainability is reducing and repurposing,” she affirms. Vintage kantha quilts, gudris or phulkari chaddars, vintage saris and overstock fabric are a few of the mediums Jaggi works with. She focuses on jackets as she believes they are a strong statement piece. Moreover, the materials she uses have a limitation with making flowy garments.
Earlier, she would procure raw material for the jackets by physically going and picking the fabrics while travelling. Now, she has set up a system where she works directly with artisans and housewives in various states of India over video calls.
Besides Kinche, she has another brand, Kaito, and both of which are dedicated to upcycling and reducing waste in the environment. While Kinche makes clothing with vintage fabric, Kaito procures organic overstocked organic, biodegradable fabric from various cloth companies across India. Looking ahead, Jaggi wants to set up a platform for connecting sustainable and overstocked fabric with designers across the world. “I am working on it,” she signs off.