This 72YO Woman From Meghalaya Brought The Garo Culture Back To Life With Her Sustainable Fashion Items. This Is Amazing!
India has such rich heritage that you would find different crafts and cultures in every nook and corner of the country. The small lanes of bustling towns and cities are filled with traditional art and textile. The sad thing, however, is that while some of these are dejectedly unexplored, other few having either run their course or died in hands of international brands and labels. Where even the popular art like block print and ikkat struggle to survive in the industry, the undiscovered ones don’t stand a chance. But here is a woman entrepreneur who’s determined to change that. She has been turning the elements of Garo culture into fashion pieces through her business and reviving the fading art, while also promoting sustainable fashion.
The 72-year-old Ambi Cryspil K. Sangma hails from Meghalaya and has been on the mission to bring the Garo fashion on streets and runway. Garo A’chik is a tribe in Meghalaya and Cryspil draws inspiration from her heritage and the culture and history of the tribe to transform the ethnic pieces into contemporary styles. Her handicraft collection features the traditional attire namely Ganding-Chinding and accessories that make for gorgeous sustainable fashion items.
The best thing is that she is not only making these handicraft pieces just to promote the art but also to promote sustainability in fashion. She creates and designs these fashion items by recycling waste materials such as paper from old calendars and whisky covers and wires to make environment-friendly accessories and clothes which are 100% biodegradable and are completely non-toxic. How great is this!
Also Read: #Culture: Kareena Kapoor Lends Support To A Fashion Fundraiser To Help Artisans Hit By Cyclone Amphan And Covid-19 Lockdown. She Is A (Responsible) Fashionista!
View this post on Instagram
Cryspil K Sangma started designing A’chik Traditional Attire as well as Modern Attire drawing inspiration from her own life experiences and the rich Heritage & History of the A’chiks. I strongly feel, supporting and encouraging individuals involved in this genre of work is a step towards conservation & restoration of our vanishing Cultural Heritage. Outfit-NOT FOR SALE . Model wearing Ambeng Top, Gana Ripok , Sengki, Rigitok, Chunni by @cryspilscreations. Event- Fashion Mania 2018. 📸Photographer – @blue_print_photography#photography #vlogger #blogger #fashionblogger #fashion #style #styleblogger #jewelrydesigner #jewelry #jewelrymaking #jewelryaddict #photooftheday #photographer #traditionalart #traditionaljewellery #folkart #folk #folklore #styleinspo #vogue #art #ethnic #ethnicwear #fusion #indigenous #indigenousart #indigenouswomen #indigenousart #indigenousdesign #traditionaldesign
Although Cryspil had been trying the waters at various business ventures after the death of her husband, she found her calling with the eco-friendly handicraft designing that she turned into full-fledged business when she was 50. She says, “It’s never too late to start something that you are passionate about because it always brings you joy and satisfaction in life.” She founded Cryspil’s Creations which is an online store to sells her beautiful ethnic accessories and clothes which are pretty affordable too. “If you are in pursuit of your dreams and happiness but are having a tough time, don’t give up on your dreams.”
The fashion clothing features the ethnic attire including the ambeng top and lengti which is a bottom wear. The handmade accessories include necklace pieces like rigitok and kakam; kadesil and konal, types of earring, sengki which is a waist belt and kotip, a traditional head piece worn by women of the tribe. She also designs sling, pouch and tote bags, wall hangers and Garo baskets which are called kok. You can find her pieces on her Instagram page @cryspilscreations.
View this post on Instagram
Cryspil’s was approached by the Tourism Department for her traditional pieces like kadesil and kakam which were used for the Wangala dancers during the 2007 Independence Day Celebration in New Delhi. In 2016, she displayed her designs in an exhibition event at Asian Confluence, Shillong and at Fashion Mania in Tura in 2018. She was honoured with the Award of Excellence for Waste Management and Innovation during the Independence Day Celebration in 2018 by the Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills for the excellent efforts to promoting sustainability through her craft.
Sustainability in fashion and boosting the handicrafts and rich culture of India are two major concerns in the fashion industry today and this 72-year-old entrepreneur is perfectly feeding two birds with one seed, her business venture. We definitely need more people like her who not only understand the importance of saving the planet but also attempting to keep a beautiful art from dying. Plus, her designs are so stunning, I’d be stocking them up for sure.