* E-commerce

Covid and its restrictions have resulted in many old and new businesses going online. At Metaphor Racha, we have been offering our work through our website for the past 5 years and have seen its benefits and challenges. Here are some of the reasons why we are online.

-In an age, when people search for their needs digitally, having a website allows us to be found easily. The set-up and running cost of a website is lesser than that of a physical store. Also, an e-store business can be operated from anywhere yet reaching new customers worldwide.

-Unlike stand-alone stores and exhibits,...

* Textile design

The fabric you notice in the image is ambara charaka spun cotton and handwoven way back in 2016 at a large village called Shirahatti in north Karnataka. The azo-free colours blue and red were dyed by Amarappa, at an inconspicuous small hamlet called Shirola. We converted this fabric into womenswear, which was well received.

Stay with me as I am going to try and explain the textile design here.

Generally, the weavers of north Karnataka do not involve in the warping process. Hence, most cooperative societies employ a different person for warping. Mr Kotreshi was this warping person for the Shirahatti co-op...

* Copy-right!

At our work, many a time we have copied ideas from others. Not designs, weaves, colours, or prints, mind you!. There are one too many people designing our products, right from the yarn dyeing to garment stitching and everything in between. So, none of our designs belongs to one person.

But what we have copied over the years is to try understanding what should be the living wage? What does design democracy mean? How to collaborate with craftsperson? What are the benchmarks for transparency in business? How to communicate with consumers? etc., and we continue to learn. We...

* Vest

Like some of you, the past eight months has been a hibernation and have been looking forward to sunshine. Over the years, brightness has come to me in the form of people. One such bright young man is Vijaya krishnappa of Kosha designs who visited me recently. He is also the soberest Einstein amongst my friends.

 Apart from being a technologically advanced human being, he is also a barefoot runner and an activist, promoter, and user of all things handmade.

 In our recent rendezvous, apart from discussing his passion towards a technology-based solution which enables authentication of handloom, he drew my attention to...

* Packaging.

Our online business is more than four years old and we have always been attentive towards waste and plastic.

We do not use plastic buttons, labels are always hand block printed, price tags are screen printed on recycled paper then tagged using cotton thread, and most of our bills are e-generated. It's a journey, where we are still learning and hope to get better.

One of the challenges which we had initially encountered was with the packaging material. Brown carton box was not suitable for us, as not only it required a plastic cover packing inside (or outside) but also...