- Adivasi supports the indigenous craftspeople of India, providing financial stability and viable market outlets for both tribal and modern art pieces.
Adivasi develops products in specialized areas such as appliqué, embroidery, patchwork, etc, which now constitute a significant part of its product range. Together with garments – Indian and Western in design – home textiles, and accessories, Adivasi offers a diverse and colourful selection of products.
Adivasi began with boy meets girl, east meets west. Elissa, born and raised in Vermont, was on a study abroad program in India when she first encountered the adivasi culture and its many art forms. She was working for a non-profit reforestation project in Rajasthan when she met and married Shram, a recent business graduate. His mother, a social worker, instilled in him strong ties and respect for the tribal communities. Elissa and Shram soon realized they shared a common vision for the preservation of traditional art forms through creating financial viability for these indigenous peoples. They began the process of forming partnerships with artisan families and rural worker-owned cooperatives. Adivasi was born from these initial partnerships and in 1993, with a suitcase full of treasures the couple began their company.
In 1995, just before the birth of their eldest daughter, Shram and Elissa opened their shop in Brattleboro. They began with only a few products namely patchwork, wall hangings and incense. By 1997 they had welcomed their second daughter and expanded into the full store front Adivasi occupies today.
Their customers have watched them rearrange many times. They’ve seen both of their daughters grow and their inventory as well.
Adivasi brand represents a collection of sustainably produced goods consciously involving the artisan in the process and vision. It is a purveyor of natural-dyed garments, home furnishings and other merchandise.
Not only does it create new job opportunities for them right at their homes, it helps the artisans hone their skills and apply new concepts to age-old processes.
Adivasi encourages the artisans to produce anything and everything. As a result of which, it has a remarkable assortment merchandise.
Adivasi is a Whol Nondurable Goods company. It is categorized under Wholesale Trade – Nondurable Goods. Corporate HeadQuarters located at Brattleboro, Vermont (VT). The workshops are located in Udaipur, India.
The products are mainly sourced from villages helping to provide and sustain rural employment in India. The company encourages the artisans who make its products and the employees to become shareholders. This definitely is unconventional, especially when most of the partners are illiterate. This system can prove to be worth a million bucks in the developing world. The hand crafted products also encourage good craftsmanship.
Adivasi’s retail outlet in Brattleboro can be attributed to the brand building and hard work of Elissa, while Shram manages the creative wing one on one.
Apart from employing artisans at their houses and sourcing merchandise from all over India, the company’s Udaipur workshop has the following units—
- The Management
- The Embroidery Unit
- The Jewellery Unit
- The Production Unit
The company is pretty much run by the whole family together.
Apart from the active functioning of the various units of the workshop, Adivasi also engages in print development from time to time.
Block printing –one of the hallmarks of Rajasthan textiles, is the signature style of Adivasi too. They use 100% cotton fabrics, most of which are vegetable dyed in Akola and Barmer.
Barmer is famous for its hand block print. The prints are inspired from the Sind region. The designs are bold, the popular one being chirkala booti,which is a flaming red chilli having a blue-black outline surrounded by flower-laden trees.
Ajrakh printing is popularly done in Barmer. Adivasi’s collections exude Ajrakh prints.
Adivasi’s designs blend contemporary sensibilities with traditions of excellence. Its artisans, artists and designers seek the bold and the striking, the graphic and the colourful, keeping the spirit of resurgence always alive.
Over the years, Adivasi has engaged a number of designers. Unlike the usual, the purpose of collaborating with designers is not to increase the sales, but more to expose the workers to greater possibilities.
Every artisan/artist in Adivasi is given a creative platform and a designer heading. The company pulls all cords to ensure that all of its units function with a conscious effort towards design. It picks people who have the scope to go beyond their craft, or at least have the will to.
The workshop is always buzzing with excitement for new creative designs. Be is the French designer Paul Mathieu or the American designer Nika, they work with the artisans at the same stage. Adivasi forces its workforce to think out of the box and think of the unconventional.
Now it has reached a point where the artisans have developed an appetite for employing eccentric methods and incorporating value additions to traditional designs, to give them the required twist.
Adivasi involves local artisans to create products for the niche market.
Each product is unique, with high quality standards. The merchandise may be eccentric and untried with creative free flowing design/patterns, but it doesn’t give the artists leverage or justification to slip from the strict quality standards.
Each product is hand packed meticulously and checked for quality. If a product fails to meet the desired standard, it is worked up again.
Once the season’s work is concluded, the whole process of packing and exporting begins.
The fumigated, sealed boxes arrive and the procedures start, once the agent takes the invoice. They also export in LCL containers. Items are packed, with tags, COO, etc attached to them and the product list for the shipment is prepared.
Everyone at Adivasi gets together to place and pack each creation skillfully and fondly, when time comes to a standstill and fun time is on a spin. All are rather delighted at work.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Over the years, the Adivasi family has expanded and reached out far and wide and towards its roots. People here share out little pieces of joy and shrink their sorrows together. To those who are a part of Adivasi, it is a relationship that would last a lifetime.
The artists are not only full time paid employees, but everyone is drawn into the variety of processes involved in creating each product.
Adivasi associates with people on an individual/ one-to-one level, and hone them up to lead a sustainable lifestyle. Just as it tries to provide them with work at their homes, it offers them help at their homes too. The company does its most to groom each one into becoming their best and make available the best working environment for them.
Adivasi hopes to become an entirely employee-based company, and that is why everyone here get’s its shares. It looks forward for them to take the torch forward, and proudly present –Adivasi.
All that Adivasi did was recognize this disparity, put two and two together, and come up with a holistic solution.
The tradition of textile weaving, dying and printing in Rajasthan dates back many centuries. The textiles of the state have a huge and ever growing international demand. Traditionally the Koli, Chamar and Meghwal tribes were the reputed weavers of the state. Block prints and tie and dye fabrics of the state have made their mark in the international textile market.
The block printed textiles of Sanganer in Jaipur are very famous. Organic mineral dyes were used traditionally but recent trends see the preference tend towards chemical and synthetic dyes. The myriad colors that catch the eye in the textile markets of Rajasthan include the bright and cheerful greens, blues, reds, pinks and the gold used for overprinting (Khan Work). The prints of Bagru and Jajams are distinguishable by their dark hues and attractive circular designs. The tie and dyes of the state are used to create salwar suits, skirts, shirts and various kinds of dresses.
The array of kaleidoscopic colors and spectrum of hues used in creating these textiles is mind-boggling. Be it the patterned Bandani or Bandhej or the wavy Lehariya, the crackled Batik or the Shikari, the Cheent or the Mothra, Rajasthan is the hub of tie and dye work. The choicest of Bandhani textiles can be bought from Jodhpur, Jaipur, Pali, Udaipur and Nathdwara. Embroidery and patchwork is practiced well in Bikaner, Barmer and surrounding regions.
The Zari or zardosi work of the state is also very famous. The communities considered experts at these tie and dye crafts are the Leelgarhs and the Rangrez. The visitors and tourists to the state cannot resist picking up these attractive textiles and fabrics that are lined along the local markets of most cities in the state.
Udaipur, a city of marble palaces and lakes surrounded by a ring of hills was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559, and became the capital of Mewar after the fall of Chittorgarh in 1567. It is referred to as the “Venice of the East”, the “Most Romantic City of India” and the “Kashmir of Rajasthan” (a reference to Dal Lake) and not without reason. Tourists flock to this enchanting old & modern town in the heart of the Aravalli Mountains, which offers three interconnected lakes within the town – the Fateh Sagar Lake, the Lake Pichhola and the smaller Swaroop Sagar Lake; along with forts, palaces, temples, gardens, mountains and narrow lanes lines withdrawn with stalls, relives the reminisces of a heroic past, valor and chivalry.
The crafts are still commercially active in Udaipur region due to tourists and aspirations of the local population. To the northeast of Udaipur is Nsathdwara, home to the 18th century temple of Shri Nathji and the pichhwai, pictorial painted clots. Udaipurand Chittorgarh region support an active tradition of miniature paintings.