Welcoming the social enterprise I was a Sari as a Women on Wings partner

I was a Sari makes lifestyle clothing and accessories, turning pre-loved Indian saris into unique new products. In a world where profit margins are all too often the absolute priority, I was a Sari sees things differently – taking an eco-ethical approach to fashion. Women on Wings and I was a Sari are now joining hands to grow the social enterprise to its next level and increase the number of jobs for rural women. For the time being with online workshops only till that time that travel is allowed and safe again.

New life for saris
I was a Sari is the flagship brand under the registered company, 2nd Innings Handicrafts Pvt Ltd which is founded and managed by Stefano Funari, and Italian who has been living in India since 2009. The idea for starting I was a Sari stems from 2013 when Stefano entered the workshop of a sari dealer in an old market in Mumbai, realizing he had come across the definition of circular economy. From floor to ceiling the shop was packed with saris, all waiting for a second life. Stefano was convinced that with this fabric supply, he could create livelihoods for disadvantaged women from the Mumbai area.

Looking after I was a Sari family
With women empowerment at the core of everything it does, I was a Sari makes a real change in the life of every artisan involved. The women gain new skills and financial independence. The women engaged with I was a Sari are united by a passion for their work, realizing that their involvement matters and that I was a Sari’s success is contingent on their dedication and creativity. Currently, I was a Sari closed its operations due to COVID-19, and the entire team is on paid leave, including the women artisans. Orders are still being accepted, but only delivered when it is safe for all people involved. Workshops with Women on Wings are done in online sessions.

Supported by Gucci
I was a Sari finds support from Italian brand Gucci, through its Gucci Equilibrium, a destination designed to connect people, planet and purpose, and part of a 10-year plan to embed a comprehensive sustainability strategy into and around the Gucci brand. Gucci is committed to transferring knowledge and left-over materials to be up-cycled by I was a Sari to produce one-off handcrafted designs. By harnessing Gucci’s strategic expertise, creativity and reach, I was a Sari breaks new ground in the socially-driven fashion sector.

Believing in working together
I was a Sari is implementing a sustainable, eco-friendly model which focuses on a ‘triple bottom line’ – constantly analyzing its social, environmental and financial impact. It invests all its profits back into developing the brand and advancing its main cause – the empowerment of women. Women on Wings and I was a Sari have agreed to collaborate to create livelihood opportunities for women in rural India engaged with I was a Sari. The relationship with the artisans and the entire training and production process is managed through its two NGO’s partners: Community Outreach Program and Animedh Charitable Trust.

Picture: I was a Sari artisans