It was the year 1952. Inspired by Gandhian ideologies and Vinoba Bhave’s ‘Bhoodan movement’, Rohan Lal Chaturvedi, founded Sarvoday Ashram in Etah, Uttar Pradesh with the aim of generating rural-employment among the masses and carrying on the legacy of the freedom movement into modern India, by concentrating on khadi.
Manoj Chaturvedi, picked up the thread from his father and decided to lead Sarvoday from the forefront, consolidating the movement into a more cohesive form, creating a robust structure for a leading socially-responsible institution. Today, the Sarvoday Ashram breathes easy, as one of India’s largest and integrated khadi producers which works directly with over 3000 artisans of whom over 90% are women.
Almost six decades later, the retail arm of Sarvoday came to form in 2011, as ‘Ekmatra’.
Hand-crafting of fabrics in the Indian subcontinent can be traced back some 6000 years in time to the Indus Valley civilisation- an overwhelming textile legacy that Ekmatra envisions to preserve and restore.
Ranging from course thread-counts as low as 2 and 3 to fine counts as high as 500, our khadi retains the ability to ventilate and breathe, marked by it’s porous, loose and relaxed construct that does not cloy to the skin or act as a greenhouse for the body; keeping the wearer warm in winters and cool in summer.
Ekmatra celebrates khadi for it’s inconsistencies, accepting and acknowledging the touch of hundreds of hands that construct the yarn and fabric. The slubs and knots are not defects but organic irregularities that make no two products completely identical.
Ekmatra understands the importance of clothing as second skin- ‘if your skin breathes, so should the fabric that adorns it’.
An organisation-led brand, Ekmatra, along with Sarvoday Ashram has a vast network of almost 3000 spinners and weavers who produce khadi, in clusters in the interiors of India. The family extends to numerous other craft clusters across the country, where this khadi is embellished with indigenous Indian textile craft techniques by skilled hand-embroiderers and printers. Open and accepting to changing market trends, craftspeople of the Ekmatra family work on a one-to-one basis with the design team.
We believe that sustainability is one of the biggest challenges today in the cottage Industry sector with age old textile hand-techniques suffering from poor patronage. Our products are an attempt to bring to our customers, a fragment of our culture that needs to be remembered and patronised, respected and made to thrive. Every purchase is a step towards craft sustainability.