A social enterprise, Folk specializes in designing and manufacturing a host of products that have been crafted from natural materials like Jute, Cotton, Linen, Silk, etc. Our focus lies in creating products that are eco-friendly, functional, and impeccably crafted for people who are looking to find style and sustainability in one neat package.
Since our genesis, our primary motivation has been to make daily lifestyle practices simple, organised, and clutter-free. At the same time, we are committed towards integrating India’s local, traditional craft into the global mainstream. Folk is our way of marrying their traditional craftsmanship with minimalistic sensibilities and ergonomic solutions, thus creating products that enjoy a universal appeal.
We are all about combining simplicity with versatility. We don’t launch products based on seasonal trends, instead we take our time in perfecting and improving our existing range so that we can make your user experience better. We employ the process of Design thinking to guide us in our practice of slow fashion.
Design Thinking is a people-centric, iterative process of redefining problems and challenging assumptions which helps us identify alternative strategies and solutions that can only be understood through an in-depth analysis. This dynamic solution-based approach dictates not just our way of thinking, but also our way of working as we strive to create the very best version of every product that we offer.
Our design thinking is informed by muscle memory; it’s derived from our habitual gestures. For example, all our Bags come with an elastic band where you can tie your keys. It’s because we know that most people spend a lot of time rummaging for keys in their bags. This design innovation saves time, and makes the user feel more organised and in control.
And that’s just one aspect. Our creations, along with being versatile and timeless, are also equipped with pockets – whether it be a top, a dress, a bag or a pouffe. We deploy our design thinking sensibilities to push the envelope and experiment with things that have never been done before. And we do it the ethical way.
Moreover, our entire design process revolves one central idea – Sustainability.
A buzz word that gets thrown around like confetti but what does it actually mean? According to the Oxford Dictionary definition, “Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
But we believe that sustainability isn’t just one thing, but a multi-faceted concept with a much larger implication. Sustainability is also consistency. It is endurance. It is balance. And this is exactly what Folk strives to deliver in all that we create.
We strike the perfect balance between beauty and utility, between aesthetics and durability. And we realise this promise by mindfully designing innovative and eco-friendly products that rank high on style and functionality. Made exclusively from pure and natural materials, our products enjoy a global appeal which is predicated by our ergonomic, minimalistic, and sustainable approach.
Extracting and processing new, virgin material consumes more resources and accelerates the climate crisis. Thus, we are constantly coming up with innovative ways of increasing the life cycle of all our products so that we can maximise utility and minimise wastage. Guided by the UN SDG 12, we consistently focus on doing more with less as we create products and designs that remain “new” forever.
Folk’s Spruced collection of Upcycled products highlights our belief that it’s never about what was, but about what can be. We are a team of visionaries and Spruced is proof of that. By taking the idea a few steps beyond just Recycling, we Upcycle everything to make it better, more functional, than it was before. This collection helps us ensure that practically nothing from our factories goes to waste but is put to better use which doesn’t harm our planet.
Our passion to design durable and utilitarian products is preceded by our commitment to only use natural materials so that we can reduce the disastrous impact of Fast Fashion on this planet that we call home. Minimizing waste and upcycling everything we can has been our motivating mantra from Day 1. Even the Leather that we use comes from only those animals that are already reared for their meat. Therefore, we use a by-product of another industry which would have otherwise been discarded. Thus, we help people in finding a style that speaks to them without sacrificing our morals, our health, or our ecosystem.
Right from the outset, we design all our products to be used repeatedly for years by using durable, natural, and high-quality materials. While many brands focus on the latest trends, new colour palettes and silhouettes, we take a different route altogether. At Folk, we identify the most neutral colours, and then create classic silhouettes that remain timeless and evergreen.
We lay more emphasis on how our customer will use a particular product, and how we can encourage them to use it for as long as possible. We also have the technology in place to upcycle and recycle those products that have reached their shelf-life to further reduce our environmental impact.
We have further pushed our efforts towards environmental sustainability through our collaboration with the global giant, Tata Steel – New Material Business, a part of the Tata Group of Companies. Together, we have undertaken an initiative to develop and use Graphene, a super-material unlike anything ever known before. One of the strongest materials out there, Graphene is also waterproof, hypoallergenic, bacteriostatic, and a certified non-toxic material. Working with the only material in the world with a Nobel Prize to its name, Folk is all set to design and produce a range of innovative products which will change the face of sustainable fashion as we know it.
But our responsibilities don’t just end here. We believe that there is only one way to grow, and that is to grow together. Along with empowering our customers with the best quality product, we also believe in empowering its makers.
At Folk, we use the craft of Kantha stitching as an instrument to empower rural women with consistent and dignified livelihood. An age-old tradition, Kantha captures the chronicles of the weaver’s stories through an expression of embroidery. They were handed down as heirlooms, with grandmother, mother and daughter working on the same kantha and leaving behind a piece of themselves.
Conscientiously made from layers of old cotton saris, Kanthas are regarded as the most precious and cherished gifts, wrapping loved ones in warmth, care, and good fortune. Through our efforts, we have so far engaged 10 women and enabled them to nurture their children with a good standard of life and education, thus ensuring that the future of mankind is in safe hands.
Having committed ourselves to preserve our cultural heritage, Folk supports community development in India by working with hundreds of handloom weavers in the country’s rural villages. Our hope is to give an international platform to the Indian handloom industry by re-inventing it and designing products which are suitable to the modern palate and making it available to the global market.
Folk’s objective is to re-popularize this craft by making products that bust all the myths that come attached with the “handloom” label. For the longest time, Indian handloom fabrics have been considered as being limited to ethnic wear. We break this misconception with our deep understanding of silhouettes and the right construction techniques to use handloom fabrics for a far wider variety of apparels which cater to the tastes of any and everyone.
Another popular myth about handloom products is that they are erratic in design and must necessarily bear a hefty price tag. We defy this stereotype by making all our products with great precision and attention to detail so that they maintain consistency and uniformity. Moreover, with our capacity for large-scale production, we ensure that our handloom merchandise can compete (and win!) against their industrial counterparts. So, you can find high-quality, budget-friendly, sustainable, and genuine handloom products all in one place. The fact that our Carbon Footprint is dramatically lesser than these other industries is a huge plus!
Currently, Folk is diligently working towards creating 1,00,000 sustainable livelihood opportunities by way of Comprehensive Skill Training Programs. Our most significant guiding principle has always been to be, to make others, self-reliant. To this end, we have been strong advocates for vocational methods of learning that provide practical courses through which one gains skills and experience that are directly linked to a career in future. We have taken the initiative to develop the skills of the local rural population by participating in the flagship welfare projects of the various Ministries under the Government of India.
Folk aspires to lay the framework of a new paradigm of livelihood creation through skill training which would encompass both Hard and Soft skills thus imparting a holistic guidance which would make the participants job ready as per the current and future market trends. The plan is to customise the training program in accordance with the ground reality of the participants so that it can work as a practical solution to their manifold problems.
Through design interventions, we also make sure that the inherent skills of these people don’t go to waste in making handicrafts that no longer serve any utilitarian purpose in today’s world. Instead, Folk equips them with a contemporary skillset which is relevant and much needed in the present scenario.
Visit our website at www.folkindia.in for more information about what we do and how we do it!