“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”

Fred Rogers

2020; The unprecedented year that truly needs no introduction. Covid-19 has affected and moved the entire world in a way we never could have imagined or expected. What seemed like overnight, our daily routines  ground to a halt forcing us all to stop, take a step back and reflect on what’s really important. And whilst Corona virus continues to wreak havoc across the globe; many of us have started to resume some kind of normality or what is now deemed to be ‘the new normal’.

You can almost hear the silence. Mumbai during Lockdown, April 2020

But how have our ideas and attitudes changed as we adapt to our ‘new normal” lives?  We know that we’ll never again take for granted a meeting with friends, a family gathering or a holiday abroad. But experiencing a global pandemic has made us think more about the future and the world we’re leaving behind for future generations.

For us, and probably most of you who are reading this blog, the industry we work in is focused on creating beautiful, material things.  We work in a fast paced environment and long hours in order to meet fashion week deadlines- Spring/Summer, Autumn/Winter, Resort, Couture… Each season we create new collections to meet our clients’ demands; we innovate and research future trends, and samples that are ‘last season’ go into our archives.  But if life can come to a grinding halt overnight, the value of seasons, trends and things going ‘out of fashion’ becomes trivial and irrelevant.

A Red Carpet moment; Poppy Delevingne in custom Paolo Sebastian at the NGV Gala, Melbourne.

The extravagance of the fashion industry and its affects on the planet have long been under question (long before Covid-19), but it feels like now is the time that collectively, we’re all ready to make a change.  We want to focus on the great things about fashion; the creativity, the innovation, the quality and the joy.  We want to continue to make beautiful designs that bring our clients happiness. Continue to make brides sparkle on their big day. Continue to see our work on the red carpet and burst with excitement every single time. Having experienced a global pandemic, the need to celebrate the special moments in life is needed now more than ever. Fashion can and should be celebrated; and now more than ever, the world is ready and eager to do it in a way that doesn’t compromise good, honest values or damage our planet. Creativity can once again take priority over trends.  Quality can take priority over quantity. 

The below quote sums it up for us:

“We’ve done everything to excess [so] that there is no consumer for all of it, and everybody is exhausted by it. It’s all become a chore that’s just a waste of time and energy, and money and materials. I just think that the whole waste is taking the luxury out of fashion, as well as the creativity out of it, because when you’re on such a tight calendar and you’re just told to ‘produce, produce, produce’. It’s like having a gun to your head and saying, ‘Dance, monkey’. It’s just ridiculous, you know? I think if the system doesn’t change then we’ll change”.

Marc Jacobs

Creativity, quality and joy are at the forefront of the core values we hold at Ricamour Embroideries. We started this business because we absolutely love creating, and have always had a passion for embroidery. Embroidery is a huge part of India’s cultural heritage; an ancient art that has been passed down through generations. Each and every one of our workers has honed their skills through years of hard work, and we are determined to not allow machinery or fast fashion to kill this beautiful and unique art. Having used our time in lock-down to connect online with designers and our clients worldwide, it has been so encouraging and inspiring to learn that our clients too recognise the value and the story that our embroideries represent, and are as eager as us to support and allow this artform to thrive.

Going forward, we are excited to start working on a collection of sustainable pieces, and know that this is hugely in demand by designers right now, as the well-being of our planet is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Awareness of the fabrics and materials we are using will be crucial, as well as the focus on classic and beautiful designs that don’t need to conform to any trends or seasons.  Synthetic fibres like polyester and plastic release carbon emissions and don’t break down naturally, so the focus for our sustainable collection will be on natural fibres and fabrics; cotton, hemp, linen, modal and jute.  Our hope and wish is that moving forward, this collection can grow and sustainability can become a fundamental part of every embroidery that we create.  With enough demand and adaptation from designers in terms of design and budgets we are confident that we can achieve this goal.

Going Green: Using sustainable fabrics like jute and cotton along with natural threads and recycled beads and sequins are a few ways we can help look after our planet.

Our industry and many other industries alike are certainly at a turning point of change and progression; and we are excited to embrace the positive discussions that have arisen as a result of an otherwise very bleak year.  Let’s move forward and once again celebrate the great things about our amazing industry; creativity, quality, innovation and joy.

“What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for? A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow”.

Leslie Dwight