How Marasim Co. Is Creating A Vital Bridge Between Global Designers and Indian Artisans

How Marasim Co. Is Creating A Vital Bridge Between Global Designers and Indian Artisans
Marasim Co.

Whether it is luck or Meta’s efficient algorithm, which in all honesty scares me a little, my instagram has been suggesting the most interesting, homegrown initiatives of late. From social initiatives to the coolest new brands, it has been picking up on my love for textile and craft preservation-related interests and recently suggested Marasim Co. At first glance, the brand seemed to be doing impeccable work preserving traditional craft techniques and providing employment for those who practise them. But on taking a closer look at their website, I realised that they are a hidden gem that has been working with aristanal clusters across India and connecting them to some of the best fashion brands in the world for sourcing, designing, and more.

Founded by Nidhi Garg Allen, Marasim Co. is a social venture that I have recently discovered that is based out of New York. This homegrown initiative was started by the tech professional turned textile and fashion entrepreneur to connect global designers to traditional Indian craftspeople for sourcing and/or collaborative projects. With the aim in mind to enrich lives through authentic craftsmanship, Marasim Co. stemmed from the founders’ observation of how a thriving city like New York was somehow lacking when it came to colour and culture. She dreamed of bringing the vibrance of India, to New York and the world through the preservation of authentic craftsmanship and craft culture. 

How Marasim Co. Is Creating A Vital Bridge Between Global Designers and Indian Artisans
French Artistry & Indian Craftsmanship Come Together At This Pondicherry Atelier

Since its inception in 2014, Marasim Co. has worked and/or collaborated with many brands and designers of repute that include, but aren’t limited to Bode New York, Oscar De La Renta, Gary Graham, Tory Burch, and All Roads Design. Marasim Co.’s biggest defining factor is how they have found a way to create effective workflow and solutions to track projects and deal with crises that are unique to traditional craft clusters in rural Indian homes and workspaces. 

What is most impressive is their their resoluteness to key aspects of social responsibility, human rights, and employee rights as well as their commitment to providing safety through measures to address discrimination well as health concerns. In the 10 years since the initial thought struck the founder, they have established artisan clusters across 29 states of India; liaising with the locals through a ground team that fosters collaboration and strives to overcome any cultural and language barriers that may arise. This team leads the check-ins, observations, data collection, and resolution of issues when needed. 

What Marasim actually does includes design, sourcing, and other forms of collaborative work between traditional artisans and reputed international brands. With design, Marasim offers the skills of their artisans to select ateliers, brands and crafters, for commissioning intricate Indian craft and design works. They also offer inspiration and information drawn from centuries-old generational knowledge around certain crafts and even repositories of old works from craft communities and clusters.

In addition to designing original designs, they also provide brands the chance to source unique textiles and handicrafts that can be interpreted in their own way. For this, Marasim works with the clients to select the right people to deliver flawless, high-quality materials while ensuring the artistans are getting both fair pay and the safe working conditions they deserve. Over the years, they have created economic opportunities for rural artisans and farmers across India, helped empower more female artisans to engage in their craft work, and have catalogued and preserved the generational knowledge and heritage of countless communities. Their meticulous approach to sustaining mutually beneficial artisanal relationships and consistent has production paved the way for them to work with many reputed brands.

The lengths to which Marasim has gone to ensure that they are staying true to the values of sustainability is what has perhaps set them apart. They make sure that the artisans they are working with have an easily accessible space and a workflow that minimises their commute and the overall effort required. Their on-ground team also works to ensure fair wages, ethical compliance, transparency, and quality management. This team is given international-level training to ensure the most efficient supply chain management and they keep things completely transparent when it comes to information — everything from raw materials to work process and related data is shared with their clients. 

Maybe it’s the founder’s technology background that has proved to be a key factor in ensuring the successful management of Marasim’s day-to-day operations, which is process-heavy, analytics-driven, and most importantly, profitable for both the artisans and the clients. 

Follow Marasim Co. here.

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