ILAMRA: Reviving Kalamkari Block Printing
Niha Elety is sustainable fashion advocate and designer.
She uses fashion, art and heritage to bring awareness about sustainability and its importance.
Growing up in Hyderabad, India, sustainability was not some new concept, it was the way of life. After moving to India from the US at the age of 11, Niha developed a lot of knowledge of sustainability from a South Asian lens and realized how ingrained it was BIPOC cultures. From the accessibility of locally made textiles and fresh food, to the flourishing cultural heritage, these systems were much healthier than what she saw in the Global North. But, unfortunately many countries like India are still reeling from the effects of colonization and capitalistic systems.
That is what inspired Niha to advocate through art and design.
When joining the sustainability space full of advocates and leaders, Niha noticed that there weren't many discussions about culture and ancestral knowledge. Since then her goal has been to bring inclusivity and a variety of perspectives from BIPOC creators (the original sustainability leaders) to the environmental movement.
Today and forward she actively works to bring these conversations to the forefront as a topic leader for Intersectional Environmentalist and speaker on intersectional environmentalism.
Creating with Communities
Niha is a Founder and Co-creator at Tega Collective, a sustainable fashion enterprise that champions Adivasi communities from India and their textile traditions. With each clothing collection Tega co-creates with communities by highlighting their traditional colors, patterns and natural symbols.
Tega collaborates with unique artisan partners for capsule collections where 7% percentage of our proceeds are funneled back to the communities we work with for each collection to remove traditional hierarchy of power and profit.
These communities are paid for sharing indigenous knowledge on platforms as a part of reparations. Tega strives to build healing and enriching relationships with the communities and ecosystems that support.