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Our Brand Story

Hello

We are Fabric of Humanity, a social enterprise creating sustainable employment and positive impact with natural dyes and textiles. 


We invite you on an uplifting human journey intricately woven into our 100% natural, compostable, hypoallergenic Khadi and handloom cotton and natural dyes. 


We exist to revive traditional textile wisdom and culture because for thousands of years naturally dyed, hand-loomed textiles such as ours have provided therapeutic properties for humanity and underpinned myth, ritual and life-affirming celebrations around the world. We believe by revisiting these ancient ways we can positively effect social change


Our goal is twofold : to work together with rural Indian village artisan communities to empower them with skill training and support that will lead to secure, safe and sustainable employment and to effect behavioural change by enabling designers & artisans in the Australian textile industry to choose natural fibres and natural dyes.


We pledge to tread lightly on the planet while upholding a strong moral fibre. We foster tight knit and sustainable artisan communities by offering beautiful, contemporary future-heirlooms that have an ethical, social and environmental ethos embedded in every thread. 


Our makers are paramount to us. We aim to secure a high-quality livelihood for them by reviving ancient textile traditions alongside the pursuit of future innovation. 


We design and make only premium products that are ethically sourced, biodegradable, non-toxic, zero waste to be treasured and stand the test of time. 


The care and feeling invested by our artisans and producers transmits magic into the luxurious hand feel of our bedding range (coming soon!) and creates the brilliant spectrum in our natural dye collection.  


When you support Fabric of Humanity you are not just a customer. You become a custodian and take a vital place within our story.

Our beautiful logo symbolises our brand ethos. Our icon features the Charkha which is the wheel that spins the cotton that makes our Khadi and handloom textiles, it rises like the sun from the hand of our artisans, the human energy that brings our work to life. The floral motif is central to these elements, as nature is the source of all of our products. 

Our Challenges

Fabric of Humanity uses intelligent, heart-centred design and production processes to honour ancient cultural textiles traditions and the people that practice them. We also care deeply about shaping these practices into an innovative, sustainable and collaborative future.


Humankind is urgently seeking solutions to monumental environmental, ethical and social problems due to industrialisation. The modern textiles industry gobbles up fast-depleting, non-renewable resources, emits huge quantities of greenhouse gases and uses massive amounts of chemicals and water. Synthetic dyes used in mass production directly expose workers and the end user to a harmful cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals, dyes, salts and heavy metals that not only contaminate the land but pollute drinking water through run-off and wash cycles. This must stop.


Before these destructive methods were introduced, for thousands of years handloom cloth and natural dyes made from local botanical resources were the backbone of rural economies. Spinning, farming and weaving skills were handed down through generations.

Sadly, many of these traditional artisan communities and customs have been all but lost over the past century thanks to the relentless march of modern machinery and industry.


In 1918 Mahatma Gandhi recognised the empowering benefits of hand-spinning and hand-weaving in the face of industrialisation by promoting the human-powered Khadi movement. At Fabric of Humanity we follow in Ghandi’s footsteps and recognise the positive political force of Khadi in providing regenerative agriculture opportunities, employment and particularly benefitting women who make up the majority of global textile workers and artisans. While organic fibres are of particular importance to us, we strongly believe they cannot come at the expense of our artisan communities. Our vision is to revive the Khadi movement and support an industry that is fair, restorative and sustainable. 

Our Goals & Ethos

Fabric of Humanity is a sustainable social enterprise made by the people, for the people, and of the people. Everything we do stems from how we can do better by our planet and all who live here. We want ethical and sustainable consumer choice to be easy.


Our artisans do more than bring beautiful products into the world. They bring humanity back into the picture. In return we support them as they strive towards economic independence. And we challenge the power structures that often undermine their rights and opportunities for a flourishing livelihood. We believe something as simple as a return to hand-loom and natural dyes will lead to a much more sustainable social and textile fabric for humanity, supporting integrity and sustainability for artisans and designers in the textile industry. We also hope conscious consumers will be encouraged to make more meaningful choices.

 

We are driven to:

- revive artisanal dye and textile traditions

- bring vitality and sustainability back into rural Indian village communities

- re-invigorate tightly knit rural Indian communities with safe, respectful employment

- celebrate ethical, sustainable production that delivers high-quality products that are made to last

- empower and educate women and their communities, giving them sovereignty, returning dignity and celebrating a regenerative way of life

- constantly innovate to ensure our textiles and dyes have the smallest possible footprint

- create more circular supply chains


Our collective experience as founding directors of Fabric of Humanity covers:

- over 25 years of hand-on slow textiles practice including natural dyeing, weaving, sewing and educating

full-time on the ground work over the past 4 years with village women artisans in India’s rural Bihar zones of Bodhgaya and Gaya to restore textile traditions, create transparent production processes and create a supportive work environment that includes training and childcare

- vast experience in sustainable textiles global supply chains 

- 20 yrs of business, brand & retail marketing strategy expertise for leading global brands in the fashion, wellness and lifestyle sectors

- 15yrs of business strategy and digital marketing for various social enterprises in Bali and India


Our business model insists on small-scale ethical production, fair wages for workers and healthy working conditions for all. It also uses a decentralised supply chain in order to support the small business ecosystem.


It is fair to say that we are infatuated with the entire process of growing, sourcing, harvesting and preparing our plants and textiles. We work with small-scale farmers in Bihar and support their pesticide and chemical-free methods including the use of animal-led ploughs, growing flowers for natural dyes and human hands for harvest. We also seek to understand and encourage individual producers’ requirements and goals. In 2021 we began a new project to support farmers grow crops with indigenous seeds that require less water and no fertilisers. We also grow some plants in our own dye gardens in Australia.


Fabric of Humanity pledges to invest profits from our sales to create an off-grid, solar-powered Khadi weaving unit, dye-house and production house run by our women artisans in Bihar. Our policy will be to produce 100 per cent zero waste products. We envision a dignified, profitable workplace supporting both the creation of quality artisanal cloth and the quality of our makers’ lives, where people can flourish both professionally and emotionally. We are also passionate about re-invigorating local manufacturing in Australia, enabling with the supply of premium natural dyes and textiles.

Health Benefits

We exercise and eat for health, it follows that the fabrics we expose our skin to should also be nurturing and chemical-free. 

Synthetic, chemical dyes create millions of tonnes of wastewater every year poisoning aquatic life, the food chain, the ecosystem and ourselves. The heavy metals are not biodegradable and can therefore build up to cause allergic reactions, gastrointestinal problems, skin diseases, birth deformities and alter basic human physiology. Our natural products are renewable, compostable, biodegradable and promote positive impacts to health. Our regenerative processes leave artisans and their environment in an improved state as they are not exposed to harmful toxins nor is chemical run-off harming their waterways or health.


Fabric of Humanity’s goal is to break the industrial cycle and create a positive, healthy and environmentally-friendly legacy. 

Responsibility & Transparency

Fabric of Humanity values our earth, our artisans and our health. We recognise the social responsibility to keep our business practices as transparent as possible and encourage you to ask us questions and hold us accountable about the ethics and sustainability of our products. We love what we do and invite you to join us on this journey to revive artisan traditions and positively shape the future of the textile industry. 


Our collective buying decisions have environmental and ethical consequences that greatly affect the future of our planet. Every time we buy something we choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution. Fabric of Humanity is always seeking to be part of the solution, whether it is refining our production practices or reviewing our business model. We are committed to making sure every stitch of our products can return to the earth, without harm. 


Here are some examples:

- our renewable, compostable and biodegradable natural dyes are plant-based

- our mordants and modifiers are mineral based

- all plant waste is used as compost-style fertiliser

- textile waste is minimised with any small fabric off-cuts used in other textile projects or to produce labels on our bed linen packaging

- we re-use our vat dyes two or three times to produce multiple colours on our cloth, then hand-stamp our labels/cartons

- our Natural Dye labels and stand-up pouches are compostable and the packaging meets the highest EU environmental standards including the resealable zipper, elastic and lining and our glass jars are designed to be re-used

- we purchase sustainable carbon offsets for any mandatory travel to our partners in rural India and are otherwise carbon neutral, including our delivery service

- zero waste production

-  training and skill development for all employees

- 100 per cent compostable packaging for our bedding range (coming soon)

- project to support farmers with indigenous seed for crops

- redye-ing service

Meet the Team

KATHY

Kathy has spent her lifetime accumulating and refining her textile practice. Sitting in the warmth of her grandmother’s kitchen she was taught to hand stitch at the age of 7, an experience that establlished a lifelong passion for traditional hand created textiles. After developing many skills through self-direction and practice she discovered the endless aspects of natural colour. Kathy’s work is a journey of tradition inspired by cultural history and techniques whilst maintaining harmony with nature. She met Praveen Chauhan and through that connection her pathway to India. Kathy has been visiting Bodhgaya since 2017, a rural area in Bihar where she has been sharing her unique skill set with the rural village women. Together Kathy and Praveen established a social enterprise - The Happy Hands Project whose focus is to empower village women with sustainable employment. Kathy’s intention with her textile practice is to have patience, simplicity and a gentle understanding while maintaining a minimal impact on the world around us. Fabric of Humanity is an extended platform for her to support and empower the rural women in Bihar and forge forward with equality and sustainability.

TOM

An avid digital marketer and entrepreneur, Tom ran Melbourne’s most celebrated inner-city organic farm cafe before jumping head first into a career that combined both social enterprise and digital marketing. With over 15yrs experience in the digital game, he is the Founder of Upify creating holistic data-driven digital solutions to Shopify businesses. His passion to make a difference in the world led him to also found Bali.love, a social enterprise offering wedding solutions to budding couples and providing sustainable employment and development opportunities for his team. His digital agency supports technicians & specialists with ethical and sustainable employment. Fabric of Humanity represents the opportunity to combine his passion for social enterprise with his digital skill-set and make a positive impact on an even greater number of lives. Tom believes in social justice and creating thriving opportunities for all.

PRAVEEN

Praveen completed a design studies at NIFT in Bangalore in 2009. Following his study he gained a position within the Indian Government as Empaneled Designer at The Ministry of Textiles. It was during this time of employment that his deep respect and knowledge for handicrafts and the handloom sectors throughout India grew into dedication to support and revive of traditional artisan skills and knowledge. Throughout this time he became obsessed with Khadi, establishing an extensive village artisan network, particularly throughout his homeland of Bihar. He is known as the Khadi man of Bihar for his outstanding contribution providing sustainable employment to rural women in the Khadi and natural dye sector. Praveen invited Kathy to Mumbai to take part in his show at Lakme Sustainable Fashion Week in 2017, an event that cemented their friendship and work within the rural villages of Bihar. Praveen’s connection with village artisans is unique as he considers himself to be a free spirited nomad and understands their struggles and strives to better their circumstance. He truly believes it is the artisan who deserves recognition and empowerment more so than the designers who benefit from extraordinary skills and knowledge. Praveen’s intentions are for a textile revolution founded on reviving the traditional skills and knowledge of ancient Indian artisans. Together with the team at Fabric of Humanity in Australia he works tirelessly on the ground in India at a grassroots level. 

RENEE

Renee is an expert in branding and marketing with a career spanning 20+ years. Growing up in the rag trade, as the daughter of fashion retailers, she pursued a fulfilling career as a retail marketer, working for major fashion brands in Australia and in the sports/lifestyle space in Europe. Driven to make a positive impact on the global retail fashion arena, Renee sees Fabric of Humanity as an opportunity to bring wisdom, artisanal ways and sustainability to the forefront of the textile industry; invoking respect and appreciation of old ways; supporting and uniting rural communities; and importantly, to celebrate creativity and freedom. Renee believes in the importance of connecting to nature for body, mind and spirit

Meet the Team

KATHY


Kathy has spent her lifetime accumulating and refining her textile practice. Sitting in the warmth of her grandmother’s kitchen she was taught to hand stitch at the age of 7, an experience that established a lifelong passion for traditional hand created textiles. After developing many skills through self-direction and practice she discovered the endless aspects of natural colour. Kathy’s work is a journey of tradition inspired by cultural history and techniques whilst maintaining harmony with nature. She met Praveen Chauhan and through that connection her pathway to India. Kathy has been visiting Bodhgaya since 2017, a rural area in Bihar where she has been sharing her unique skill set with the rural village women. Together Kathy and Praveen established a social enterprise - The Happy Hands Project whose focus is to empower village women with sustainable employment. Kathy’s intention with her textile practice is to have patience, simplicity and a gentle understanding while maintaining a minimal impact on the world around us. Fabric of Humanity is an extended platform for her to support and empower the rural women in Bihar and forge forward with equality and sustainability. 

TOM


An avid digital market and entrepreneur, Tom ran Melbourne’s most celebrated inner-city organic farm cafe before jumping head first into a career that combined both social enterprise and digital marketing. With over 15yrs experience in the digital game, he is the Founder of Upify creating holistic data-driven digital solutions to Shopify businesses. His passion to make a difference in the world led him to also Found Bali.love, a social enterprise offering wedding solutions to budding couples and providing sustainable employment and development opportunities for his team. His digital agency supports technicians & specialists with ethical and sustainable employment. Fabric of Humanity represents the opportunity to combine his passion for social enterprise with his digital skill-set and make a positive impact on an even greater number of lives. Tom believes in social justice and creating thriving opportunities for all.

PRAVEEN


Praveen completed a design studies at NIFT in Bangalore in 2009. Following his study he gained a position within the Indian Government as Empaneled Designer at The Ministry of Textiles. It was during this time of employment that his deep respect and knowledge for handicrafts and the handloom sectors throughout India grew into dedication to support and revive of traditional artisan skills and knowledge. Throughout this time he became obsessed with Khadi, establishing an extensive village artisan network, particularly throughout his homeland of Bihar. He is known as the Khadi man of Bihar for his outstanding contribution providing sustainable employment to rural women in the Khadi and natural dye sector. Praveen invited Kathy to Mumbai to take part in his show at Lakme Sustainable Fashion Week in 2017, an event that cemented their friendship and work within the rural villages of Bihar. Praveen’s connection with village artisans is unique as he considers himself to be a free spirited nomad and understands their struggles and strives to better their circumstance. He truly believes it is the artisan who deserves recognition and empowerment more so than the designers who benefit from extraordinary skills and knowledge. Praveen’s intentions are for a textile revolution founded on reviving the traditional skills and knowledge of ancient Indian artisans. Together with the team at Fabric of Humanity in Australia he works tirelessly on the ground in India at a grassroots level. 

RENEE


Renee is an expert in branding and marketing with a career spanning 20+ years. Growing up in the rag trade, as the daughter of fashion retailers, she pursued a fulfilling career as a retail marketer, working for major fashion brands in Australia and in the sports/lifestyle space in Europe. Driven to make a positive impact on the global retail fashion arena, Renee sees Fabric of Humanity as an opportunity to bring wisdom, artisanal ways and sustainability to the forefront of the textile industry; revoking respect and appreciation of old ways; supporting and uniting rural communities; and importantly, to celebrate creativity and freedom. Renee believes in the importance of connecting to nature for body, mind and spirit.