Vaishali Shadangule

Biography

Vaishali S

Vaishali S is a brand committed to creating wearable art forms out of handwoven textiles. Since the inception, the brand has been committed to handloom weavers and worked with over 900 weavers and explored 14 different techniques of weaving from various Indian states.

Having left home at a young age, Vaishali realised her passion to pursue her dreams and the importance of empowering women in a community still deeply rooted in patriarchy. Although Vaishali had left home never to look back again, she remained deeply rooted in her traditions. Hailing from a small town in Madhya Pradesh, known for its traditional crafts – textiles had always been an important part of her life. Combining traditional handwoven textiles and craftsmanship to produce unique, sustainable and contemporary products for global consumers has always been her vision.

‘We consciously choose to work with female artisans and weavers across the country, thus empowering and enabling them to make informed choices that progressively enrich their lives. 80% of our weavers are female’ says Vaishali Shadangule the brand’s founder and creative director.

Vaishali S is also known to revive and adopt dying handloom weaves, and one such case is that of the ‘Khunn’ weave in Karnataka. Having stumbled across this colourful weave worn by local women, Vaishali struggled to find the handwoven weave as most weavers had switched to the power loom. Upon finding just a few surviving weavers who still hand wove the fabric, she decided to adopt the remaining 40 looms to support the families and promote the weavers by providing them a continuous livelihood. Vaishali visits her weavers and works with them at the loom to create and design the woven fabric from scratch. She says she can see weavers breathing life and soul into a fabric as they develop it.

“If only we could develop a segment for handwoven textiles, it can save weavers from switching to other professions and sustain on their traditional crafts.” In 2011, Vaishali S label debuted at Mumbai’s Lakme Fashion Week. She displayed garments made from Chanderi and Paithani handwoven fabrics that had only been used in India to make saris. Since then, she has launched several collections through New York and Milan fashion weeks for the last five years; introducing her unique sense of design globally. Apart from garments, the brand has forayed into the home decor and interiors segment with luxury lighting and handcrafted design, continuing to reinvent the use of han