Ages ago, our sagacious ancestors observed in the Rig Veda and the Upanishads that the universe is a continuous fabric with a grid pattern upon which cycles of life are painted. In the Atharva Veda it is said that day and night spread light and darkness over the earth as weavers throw a shuttle on the loom. That is the tradition of handloom textiles in India, handed down through generations till the present times.
From the Bronze Age, our textiles have kept pace with the development of our civilisation and have often assumed social, religious and ritual connotations, carrying forward narratives of our origins and legends of our ancestors and Gods.
Ours handloom weavers still weave multitudinous stories with each stroke of the shuttle. With every skilful bonding of the warp and weft, God’s own creation still comes alive. It is our solemn duty to protect our civilisational tradition from extinction and help this wonderful art reach today’s connoisseurs.
Bunkaari India pledges to operate with conscience and be fair and ethical in business.
Bunkaari India pledges to deal only in products that have been made by hand.
Bunkaari India pledges to contribute part of it's income towards improving the quality of life of weavers and for rejuvenating, developing and promoting traditional Indian craftsmanship.
Bunkaari India pledges not to support systems of oppression in any manner.
Bunkaari India pledges to live the ageless prayer 'सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः' (May all be happy).
Handloom woven sarees are, unfortunately, a dying art of India, now on the verge of extinction. There are several weaves, known mostly by the place of their origin, that have very few master craftsmen left to either weave the magic of yore or to pass on the skill to future generations as the earnings are not good enough for them to stay aligned to the trade of their forefathers.
This is the tale across the nation, be it Sambalpur in Odisha, known for it’s unique Sambalpuri textiles, found wrapped around a Pharaoh in Egypt 5000 years ago or Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh, weaving textiles patronised by Emperors Akbar and Jahangir, the Patolas from Gujrat, whose colourful and ostentatious weave and figured body merge subtly in colors, just right for a bride or the distinctive Narayanpet saree from Andhra Pradesh, the weaving of which was initiated by Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj while travelling across the Narayanpet region in 1630 AD right upto the now near extinct Chettinad saree from Tamil Nadu, that were known for their dramatic and spontaneous use of colour and pattern with bold checks, stripes and contrasting hues.
We, wanting to save the dying art of Indian hand woven sarees, got together to formBunkaari India. Padmashree Nabaneeta Dev Sen, the famous Bangla litterateur and poet, named us as such and lent us her home in Kolkata to start our first outlet.
We wish to rejuvenate, develop and promote traditional Indian sarees and textiles through a chain of stores across India as we believe that the unique and varied weaves, if marketed boldly and aesthetically, shall appeal to the connoisseurs of good living and help the weavers regain the centre stage of their glorious past.
Though there are several stores selling handloom and handicraft products, there is none as a chain of stores that focus solely on near extinct or endangered weaves of India, and certainly, there is none that offers the best of our tradition from the remotest villages of our country under one roof, with the objective of revival of dying art forms. Our initial assessment shows that there is enough scope of business as good things always has good takers, if they can be exposed to the uniqueness of the product in a modern retail format.
Hence Bunkaari India.
We understand that very little income from sale of exquisite hand woven sarees and textiles actually reach the weavers, resulting in exodus from the traditional trade. This needs to stop and only when partnership replaces exploitation, can we hope to have our supply chains flourishing and expanding to cater to our future needs.
We take it upon ourselves as our social responsibility to prevent this rich National Heritage from a slow and painful death, all in the process of business as usual, only more meaningful and satisfying.
Bunkaari India therefore shares income to provide seed resources to weavers in rural and backward areas. We buy back their entire produce of eco-friendly hand woven textiles and encourage entrepreneurship, particularly amongst the women.
We, through our NGO Bunkaari India Foundation, have embarked on training women, having limited access to alternate livelihood, in elementary business skills for managing home based businesses.
We believe sensibilities of traditional skills matched with available resources and emerging consumer aspirations will create a new India in our villages, spearheaded by empowered women as the binding and decisive force in their family’s economic growth.Bunkaari India’s growth has therefore been interlinked with the prosperity of traditional handloom weaving families across our nation.
For further information please contact: -
Mr. Akash Deep Sinha
Contact No. 09958248524