Review: Earthica’s first store attempts to bring fascinating weaves from clusters all over India under to Hyderabad
Earthica, which was an online enterprise until a month ago, opened its flagship store in Hyderabad recently. Helmed by brother-sister duo, Priyanka Kondaveeti and KVS Sudhamshu, it aims at bringing crafts from clusters spread across the country to the city and add a modern spin to it. We visited the sprawling two-storey outlet, spanning over 3,000 sq.ft. in Banjara Hills, where we spotted a mannequin in a red and gold handwoven dress. Exquisite is the word that comes to mind when we attempt to describe it! We then moved on to browse through the jamdani collection, crafted in West Bengal. What we like are the placards beside every shelf that explains the origin of the weave.
As you walk past the section that showcases batik dresses from Gujarat, you discover meticulously crafted crochet accessories. “These trinkets are crafted by a group of women in Gaya, Bihar,” informs Priyanka. Keep an eye out for their fashionable jamdani dresses. Although saris in this fabric are common, ensembles in jamdani are rarely spotted in this city. We then moved on to the ajrakh saris, which were a vision in blue and maroon. Priyanka, shares, “We explored the weaves cluster wise, such as embroidery and silk weaving group from Karnataka, Kutch and Bhujodi clusters from Gujarat, and artisans from Bengal, Karnataka as well as Telangana.” The XLRI alumna started meeting weavers in 2012 while still in B-school. She reminisces, “We constantly travelled to the clusters over a period of six years.” Her mother, Manjula Reddy is an organic farmer and a handloom enthusiast who curates the collection, while she takes care of the weaver interactions, while Sudhamshu handles marketing.
After walking past the dabu and Chanderi pieces, we reached the ikat section only to find out there’s experimental couture — a fascinating blend of ikat on tassar. Apart from that, ikat can also be spotted on sustainable hemp, a clear breakaway from the usual cotton and silk blends. They also just have a range of handspun khadi outfits.
The replica of a spinning wheel, placed right in the centre of the first floor, is perhaps a nod to the weavers, we think and Priyanka concurs. “We aim to reach out to many more clusters in the next few months after the initial frenzy of the launch settles down,” said the founder, hoping to get more khadi ensembles in the next few days.
Rs 500 to Rs 35,000.
Pictures: Sathya Keerthi