No. 10 India – The Silk Road in the Fashion Around the World Series

The Republic of India, in South Asia, is the seventh-largest country, the second-most populated country (1.2 billion +), and the most populous democracy on Earth. It’s boundaries include: Indian Ocean (south); Arabian Sea (southwest); Bay of Bengal (southeast); Pakistan (west); China, Nepal and Bhutan (northeast), and Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh (east). Sri Lanka and the Maldives Islands are nearby. Many Indians adopted Hinduism as their religion, however, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Sikhism also exist. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later under Mahatma Gandhi, became famous for its nonviolent resistance towards Britain, and led to India’s independence in 1947. 

Today, its economy is one of the largest and fastest-growing. Still, the country faces challenges with poverty, corruption, malnutrition, and inadequate public healthcare. Two artisan companies that Joel Worldwear works with, addresses poverty and human trafficking problems in India. Sudara, famous for its “Punjammies” and FreeSet India, with a variety of unique fashion accessories, have highly successful non-governmental programs operating there. 

  • Throughout India’s 29 states and 7 territories, there exists the most vast fashion trends, with beautiful silks, jewelry and accessories galor to adorn women worldwide. Joel Worldwear seeks to find the ethical companies among the vast expanse, and we continue to support NGOs producing awesome Indian-flavored designs, while assisting the lives of Indian women and their families.

India is truly one of the most multilingual, multi-ethnic societies on Earth, plus it has some of the most diverse wildlife in over 500 protected habitats, with 172 threatened/endangered species.

Indian movies made in “Bollywood,” plus music and spiritual teachings have an ever-growing role in our world culture today. With so much diversity, culture, varying religions and ecosystems, it stands to reason that the fashion would be some of the most unique. Well, that’s an understatement!

Designer names like Satya Paul, Rohit Khosla (1958–1994) who co-founded “Ensemble” in 1987, with Tarun Tahiliani, and Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, inspired by the costumes of Mughal courtesans are synonymous with India. Meena Kumari, who introduced floor-length Anarkali-styles of churidaar-kurta (like ball gown) in 1988, has inspired young new designers on the fashion circuit in India today.

The government’s Ministry of Textiles opened the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi with the help of New York’s. It has and continues to play a major role in training local fashion designers, and now has 15 institutes around the country.  In 1990, economic liberalisation helped propel the industry, and now India’s fashion industry is booming.

Be sure to visit: for Sudara and other Indian fashion!



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