Vriksh: A Handmade Journey Through Indian Identity
At Vriksh, we have been on a quest to revive some of these dying and rarest weaves of Odisha, — now in the form of tussar, silk, and cotton saris which are extremely rare, sensuous, and comfortable to wear. Take, for example, the exquisite handwoven tapestry weaves found with only two weavers left in Odisha who have the rare knowledge of weaving them.
Another such weave is that of the Bomkai saree, a beautiful thick cotton, extra-weft sarees that is inspired by the elements of the local heritage of Odisha. Today, only four weavers are left in the village of Bomkai who still weave this beautiful fabric. Our collective efforts of reviving this rare weave were awarded by the Delhi Crafts Council and the Crafts Council of India, Chennai when our weavers were presented with the Sutrakar Samman for Excellence in Bomkai Weaving 2015 and the Shanta Prasad Award 2017 for Excellence in Weaving respectively.
For the past two years, Vriksh studio has been representing India with its innovative natural dyed Ikat textiles at the international 'World Ikat Textile Symposium & Exhibition' which carries the theme 'Ties that Bind' held in London, India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Vriksh has also displayed its textile works in California, New York, Singapore, and multiple locations in India.
Our founder, Gunjan Jain, has been passionate about reviving the dying weaves of Odisha since she set up Vriksh in 2008. For Gunjan, Vriksh has been a discovery of herself, her art, and Odisha's weaves. Like most fashion school graduates, Gunjan started her career in the apparel export industry. But disillusioned with the industrial process of making clothes, she moved to Odisha where she set up her design studio. Twelve years that followed took Gunjan into the inner precincts of the land, interacting and learning at every step. A journey where she lost herself inside the villages and towns of Odisha, only to resurrect the dying and rare weaves to greater glory. More than a decade has passed but her fire to explore, revive and reinterpret the heritage weaves of Odisha is still blazing fresh. Gunjan was awarded the 'Vogue India Fashion Fund for Designer of the Year' under the saree category in 2016.
Vriksh sarees are not just garments, they are stories woven into threads. We believe that every saree has a story to tell and that it is our responsibility to help preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of India through our sarees. At Vriksh, we are committed to sustainability, ethics, and social responsibility, and our focus on preserving traditional weaving techniques and empowering local communities is a reflection of our commitment to preserving the beauty and richness of India's cultural heritage for generations to come.
When you wear a Vriksh saree, you are not just wearing a piece of clothing. You are also making a statement about your commitment to preserving the rich cultural heritage of India and supporting ethical and sustainable fashion.