Laloom, the home of beautifully made 100% pure silk kaftans and gorgeous resort wear. When I started this business the idea was to produce affordable kaftans and resort wear while using beautiful fabrics and making the garments well. I want my customers to know and feel their purchase represents good value in terms of price and quality and this desire keeps us true to our goal. In this week’s blog post I want to share my story and the origins of how Laloom came to be. I have been involved in the fashion industry dating back to the heydays of the eighties. Since then, together with family, I have pursued our mutual passion for travelling all over the world. These travels have taken me far and wide to many countries. A great deal of this travel was to third world countries which opened my eyes to amazing artisans located in remote locations.
I have come across untapped skills in all manner of handicrafts and not only in a fashion sense but in a whole way of life. This is how I came to pursue the idea of bringing simple styles to life using unique fabrics, utilising the skills of these special people and providing them with a way to create as a way of living.
Fashion with a conscience
Choosing a factory was difficult, with so much choice, from large organisations to small family groups. Foremost in my mind was to seek an ethical factory, where workers were fairly paid and treated well, I realised that the larger the operation the less I would know about who the staff were or how well they were treated. So I searched and found a small family operation, who receive their remuneration directly and this flows through to the communities around them.
Of equal importance to finding an ethical factory to work with, is a factory that is intent on, and capable of producing the high-quality garment that Laloom requires. Our machinists are fantastic. We source the highest quality fabrics so we need the highest quality makers. Our high standards are maintained by our close working relationship with the factory. We visit and inspect often and our presence is appreciated.
So far, I have worked in India. I have been invited into people’s homes, attended weddings and have been exposed to this rich and colourful history and the culture that is India. I sourced fabrics from local suppliers, and also personally search markets for embellishments, accessories, and ideas (not an easy feat in markets that can sprawl as far as the eye can see). It’s an exciting process and a cultural one too. Once I have fabrics, accessories, ideas and samples, I work together with the makers to refine styles, approve production samples and schedule production. All of this is interspersed with local events. March this year was the Holi festival, where most of India closes down for a few days to join in the festivities. The colours, the culture, it’s all interwoven into what Laloom is today.
There are stunning silks to be found in India, just look around the local markets and marvel at the elegant women in their colourful silk sari’s going about their business. What an Inspiration! I have sourced many different silks in India, but generally, I choose fabrics printed in China or Korea, where the printing technology is currently far superior, but slowly the Indians are becoming more involved in their own digital printing setups which is a really exciting prospect.
The cotton fabrics are amazing out of India. The locally grown cotton is of a fine quality, and I have been to many enormous screen printing plants where the cotton is all hand-screened and made. It’s an amazing experience to witness, visiting those areas in India is almost like driving through a huge laundry albeit, a much more colourful one. At Laloom, ladies can shop for high-quality kaftans from the very comfort of their own home. I want to help women find the perfect Kaftan for them and feel, as I know they can in a kaftan; beautiful, comfortable and elegant all at once.