We have always valued the artistry of handmade products - a value distilled in us by Audrey’s father whose love for handcrafted pieces was evident in every nook and cranny of his home. There is something about the beauty of a handmade piece that changes the way you value it. When we started Soluna Collective, we made it our mission to work with hands over machines in as many stages of the process as possible.
Hand looms and the traditional heritage of making textiles is an instrumental part of India’s past. Those colorful sari’s, beautiful antique rugs and extraordinary kanthas that make you double take as you walk into most homes in India, were most likely made by hand. That movement towards handmade goods have roots that tie back to Ghandi’s, Swadeshi Movement (the boycott of foreign-made goods). His movement inspired millions around India to produce their own goods, which in turn, created a market for Indian textiles around the world. The entire process was done by hand!
In today’s India, most garment production is for foreign companies. Quite a few of those companies are extremely large and produce quantities in the millions. That type of capacity can’t be met with the traditional making of textiles - so in came machines. I want to be clear, we don’t have a problem with machines. They can be extremely efficient, lead to increased production capacities and drive down the price of goods. We just think the world has enough of those brands to meet the needs.
For us, we saw an interesting void. As machines took over India, it left thousands of really talented artisans that specialize in handmade production without a job. When we met Five P Venture and learned of their ethos, we were inspired even more! Founded on the belief of revitalizing “textile heritage skills by contemporizing the use & relevance without diluting its core values”, Five P Venture is one of the world leaders in handmade textiles. By making all of our textiles with them, we can help provide more jobs to a more diverse set of artisans. We want to be clear, we are not keeping the textile heritage alive, Five P Venture and their amazing employees are! We are just enamored by the beauty of these textiles and think you will be too!
An added bonus to creating textiles by hand is the reduction of energy emissions. Weaving accounts for roughly 11.4% of the energy emissions during the production of textiles. About 85% of that comes from electricity and 15% from fuel sources such as coal and natural gas. Per piece, the total energy savings is roughly 2.7MJ for a standard shirt. On top of it all, Five P Venture’s hand loom facility is Green Building Certified and is 100% run on solar powered energy!