Morii Aims To Turn Indian Heritage Crafts & Textiles Into Sustainable, Modern Heirlooms

Morii, derived from the Japanese word, 'Mori', meaning forest, embodies the essence of nature.
Morii, derived from the Japanese word, 'Mori', meaning forest, embodies the essence of nature.Morii

Founded by Brinda Dudhat, a textile design graduate from NID, Ahmedabad, Morii began as an exploration of the intersection between art and design through craft. Over time, it has grown into a beacon of cultural preservation and innovation, presenting hand-embroidered textiles as distinctive pieces of art. Through Morii, age-old narratives have found new life in modern settings, bridging the gap between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design.

Brinda's journey with Morii is deeply personal and profoundly impactful. Her extensive work with various craft clusters across India, from Sujini to Kalamkari, revealed the vast potential within these artisan communities. This realization, coupled with her unflinching vision, led to the creation of Morii in 2019. 

Morii, derived from the Japanese word, 'Mori', meaning forest, embodies the essence of nature. This name reflects Brinda's experiences during a semester exchange in Japan, where she was influenced by the Japanese approach to design at TAMA Art University. Here, she learned to express her personal artistic style within a design framework and began to understand how Japanese culture values tradition and integrates it into daily life. The concept of 'Mori Girls', a subculture that values nature's abundance, further inspired her. Mori Girls symbolize a return to a time when villages were self-sustainable and resembled a forest ecosystem.

Morii's impact is not just in its beautiful creations but in its community-driven approach. The studio works with over eighty women artisans from more than seven different villages, building trust and relationships through workshops that celebrate and develop their skills. These artisans receive work at their doorstep, ensuring that craft continues to enable and empower them. On-ground coordinators stationed near the craft clusters facilitate smooth interactions between the artisans and the studio team, with monthly visits for sampling, development, and interaction.

This step-by-step, stitch-by-stitch approach has created a robust community of artisans who co-create with Morii. Each piece of art is a culmination of the synergy between craftsmanship and design as well as skill and strategy, resulting in contemporary heirlooms with the potential to last generations.

Morii is committed to ethical and sustainable practices at every step of creation. From locally sourced raw materials to azo-free dyes, the studio ensures that every stakeholder, including the environment, is treated with respect. All artisans are paid fair wages for their work and the studio strives to include ethical and local processes throughout its operations.

By co-creating with artisan partners, Morii minimizes waste and maximizes the use of resources. By turning textiles into wall art, Morii has brought craft into contemporary spaces and conversations. These pieces have become contemporary heirlooms, valuable enough to last generations and forged by the current generation of Indian craftspeople. They represent a form of heritage that's been birthed anew and evolved to better suit the design language of today.

Morii's creations are formed through a slow, meditative process that's anchored in the strength of an unwavering relationship with its makers. This process not only preserves the craft but also imbues each piece with warmth and authenticity, making them beloved pieces in contemporary homes.

The brand stands as a bridge between the past and the future and is an artistic interpretation of age-old legacies infused with global sensibilities while remaining rooted in Indian traditions. By bringing work to the doorstep of craftswomen in rural communities, Morii ensures that craft continues to provide economic empowerment and preserve cultural heritage.

By valuing tradition and integrating it into contemporary design, Morii not only preserves but also revitalizes Indian crafts. In the process, they ensure that they remain relevant and cherished for generations to come.

You can follow Morii here.