Converting the nation to Indian artisan

Monday 05th October 2015 10:24 EDT

The energetic chief executive of Good Earth, Simran Lal, enthusiastically styles silk cushions, patterned china, as well as beaten-copper bowls. She aims to make vibrant contemporary Indian homewares accessible to a wider audience.

Good Earth was founded in 1996, by Simran's mother, Anita Lal, who is also a potter, after noticing that traditional Indian terracotta kitchen vessels were being displaced by plastic pots which led to village potters to be out of work.

The Lals' values consist of supporting craftsmen, as well as contemporising craft with innovation.

Having started off nearly 20 years ago, Good Earth has flourished into a company with a £14 million turnover. The company has employed 720 employees and has nine shops in India and one shop in Ankara, Turkey.

In 2014, Good Earth launched its ecommerce website and Simran Lal discovered that most of the demands for her products came from out of India; from places such as Mexico, Hong Kong, South Africa, as well as the UK.

Good Earth, which is known as the leading luxury lifestyle label in India, are the sponsors of The Fabric of India exhibition taking place at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, which started on 3rd October 2015.

Simran Lal's passionate about printed fabric. During her master's degree in history of art, at Bangalore University, India, she wrote her thesis on on the craft and political history of chintz.

Speaking about the silk work in the company, Simran said, “We work closely with the silk brocade weavers in Benares [Varanasi]. It is one of the most fascinating cities in India- five centuries of unbroken crafts heritage. The weavers were languishing, because, because in China they machine-made all our hand-loomed motifs and sold them at a quarter of the price. Now we're working to revive the tradition of shot-silk brocade weaving.”

Simran now aims to covert the British to Indian artisanship and looking at her international demand, it may become possible.  

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