Diving Deep : Sustainability with Tia
What was (and is) your Visual and ethical vision of studio Tia?
From the start of our journey to our present day, we’ve envisioned Tia to be a company that prioritized bringing comfort to the hearts and minds of every type of woman. We visualized and acted upon advocating for a pace that syncs up to the earth's natural rhythms in lieu of overproduction and falling into the system of fast fashion. And with that in mind we move forward with producing simplistic, delicate yet powerful clothing for everyday wear. Inspired by our love of nature & the beauty and consciousness that India has to offer!
Transparency has always played a vital role in our growth as a company; We are constantly reflecting on ways in which we can transition and grow the sector of sustainability within our own business. For instance we are working towards curating our SS21 collection to be made 100% organically and through recycled fibers!
What fabrics do you use for the production of garments? And why?
Our cotton is grown without chemical fertilizers, defoliants, pesticides, or herbicides, and from untreated, non genetically-modified seed. With this taken into account; we want to honestly communicate that we are still transitioning into producing garments 100% organically. We use a crepe silk that is made in India and by digitally printing we avoid waste dyes being let off into our system. Our cottons are dyed using AZO free dyes therefore, are significantly less harmful. We are also looking into transitioning to herbal/ natural dyes in the near future!
Why should people care about organic/ eco friendly fabric?
Organic fibers sustain the health of the planet and the people. This was the only route we really wanted to go down. Creating one beautiful thing in exchange for the destruction of another didn’t seem logical. The climate crisis is real and the impacts of the fashion industry are undeniable; this pushes us to act upon our duties as curators and to educate when we’re given the opportunity to. Organic farming is healthier and safer for farmers, fieldworkers, nearby communities & the planet. And while we constantly grow and continue to learn, we acknowledge that big changes in environmental consciousness are led by small steps that are ingrained in the right places.
How do you source materials & who curates the clothing?
Our journey to sourcing our fabric started and continues to move forward with travel and experimentation. We obtain textiles by many different means. Touring and absorbing the grounds of India highly inspired us as we searched for fibers that we believed aligned with our vision. But our journey hasn’t stopped there; we continue to study and venture new alternatives as we grow as a brand and strive to lessen our footprint!
We’ve collected swatches of varying types of silks and cottons. From travelling to Hyderabad to find khadi cotton, to Jaipur where we created our own block prints. These experiences have further opened our eyes to the beauty of trusting the process that comes with trial & error experimentation.
The clothing is curated by me (Tia). I started by making garments for friends here in Goa. We built our clientele and gained an understanding of their wants through selling within the local weekly market. A few years later we launched on etsy and then created our own website which we have been successfully running and sending globally for 3 years now. I design and create everything with the help of my master pattern cutter and tailor, Munna. He is from Karnataka but moved to Goa with his family more than 15 years ago. He’s been the reason I have been able to create and bring alive all my designs.
The talented seamstresses & the hands behind Studio Tia all receive comfortable working conditions and ethical wages.
We believe in giving back and collectively working alongside the community and culture. Our values not only express the importance of the ethical treatment of the planet but also the people within it, hence we believe it is just as important to know who made your clothes and to support your local artisans.
How would you define ‘Slow fashion’ compared to ‘Fast fashion’?
We are all consumers. But, we have choices to make regarding what we consume and how much we consume of it. We believe that Slow Fashion encourages us to buy less and focus on high quality goods that are produced through a sustainable process; its conscious consumerism. It also acknowledges and celebrates the devoting hands that bring the garments to life. Whereas Fast fashion revolves around quick accessibility and mass consumer culture which consequently leads to the harmful effects of waste production, unethical wages, & instant gratification instead of long term appreciation.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have been working alongside Project Três; an organization which supports women through education and skill-training in India and Kenya. We have collaborated through donations and giveaways to further support and advocate their voice regarding the importance of education on fair trade and self-sustainability. Additionally we donate excess/unused fabric to them and as a result they curate scrunchies, scarves, stuffed animals and many more items. This process eliminates waste production and provides opportunities of work for women! We look forward to working on new projects with them in the near future.