Usha Satish graduated from St.Joseph’s College, Bangalore, India with a degree in Science and Electronics. Post her ‘formal education’ she was quick to discover her flair for creative designing coupled with her passion for ‘being one with nature’ which initially led to a diploma in Apparel Production and Pattern Making from Apparel Training and Design Centre(ATDC), India’s premier institute in this domain. She also had a short stint at a global Textile buying house as a Lead designer. The creative side was strengthened with a finer sense of design and patterns as she explored various options of using natural fiber and fabric.
This melding of a creative mind with an enterprising spirit finally led to the birth of “SriaNvi Inspired Interiors” in 2004 with a mere capital of 2,500Rupees (40USD). An amalgamation of her definitive belief in environmentalism & sustainable living and a strong conviction to revive the heritage-rich Indian handloom culture, Usha began relentlessly pursuing her dream of establishing India on the world map as a force to be reckoned with in the field of textiles.
Research and exploration led to creating art in the form of textiles using Agri(cultural) waste as raw material whilst also providing employment to women in the rural belt. These women were trained to process agri-waste into fiber and then woven into well designed and attractive patterned mats used in soft furnishing like Window Blinds, Curtains, Duvets, Headboards, False Ceiling, Lamp Shades, Runners, Cushions, Partitions, etc thus innovating to commercialize agri-waste in a sustainable manner.
And so, ‘Srianvi’ began its small but vital contribution towards ‘ Sustainable Living ’ . They work on theme-based weaving to suit design requirements in terms of exciting colors, creative patterns and textures infused with emotions. Turnkey projects were executed for Residences, Commercial Establishments, Resorts, Government bodies, etc in collaboration with Architects, Interior & Fashion designers.
16 years down the lane, a teeny tiny impact on nature has been made!
Thanks for being with us today Usha!!
Mounika: Tell us about Srianvi and what is the vision of the company?
Usha: Srianvi specializes in weaving natural fibers and threads with an interplay of color, pattern, and texture to create signature luxurious textiles. These textiles evolve into making blinds, duvets, drapes, lampshades, carpets & throws which are uniquely individual. We use fibers from the banana plant, sisal, hibiscus plants, aromatic vetiver roots, paper, plastic with cotton, linen, metal threads, nylon.
The Vision is to be a catalyst for change towards green living
From where do you source raw materials?
After harvesting the crop, the remains are conventionally set on fire in the fields by farmers. We instead purchase this agricultural “ waste “ from them. Not only does this reduce the carbon footprint of this industry, but it is also an additional form of income for the farmers who welcome this change.
What are the fibers you are currently working with?
Mainly agri waste. We experiment with whatever is indigenous to the land. Banana, of course, is predominantly used. Sisal, Hibiscus & Vetiver are also preferred.
Where is the production done?
The main unit is located near Kanakapura, Karnataka. We have teams in different hubs in Bengaluru for further processing and finishing.
What are the best practices you follow to ensure high levels of accuracy and quality at every level of production and processing?
Visual tests are conducted at every step. Tasks do not move to the next step until we’re happy that it is perfect. We provide rigorous training before projects are assigned to teams.
What are your expansion plans?
I want to impact as many rural communities as possible in this country. A plan to revive more forgotten skills & techniques, thereby increasing employment prospects.
Eventually set up on a global scale and spread the value of culturally rich Indian art forms throughout.
Being in this industry for more than 16 years, What are the strengths that have kept you going so far?
Being ethical and honest, in all aspects of life including business has helped my conscience strengthen my beliefs towards a greener planet. We are heading towards a point of no return, an irreversible change. Human beings as a species need to unite to radically change the ways of life thereby positively impact the Earth.
I believe in a ‘ Less is More’ minimalistic philosophy. Materialism is a definite no-no.
What differentiates your products from the others?
Srianvi’s products are as close to an organic product as you can get in the field of textiles & soft furnishing w.r.t Interior Design. Natural raw material, natural dyes, natural accessories.
The weaving centers comprise of rural women, helping add to the income of the household, who would otherwise stay at home.
What is the biggest challenge you faced in this industry?
a)People think these are ethnic products and gives a rustic look and users of modern and contemporary users refrain using them.
This is absolutely not true. Our upcoming venture ‘ Ind Eclectik ‘ aims to destroy this misconception.
b) People refuse to believe fibers last a lifetime!
Another silly misconception is that because we’re making it out of waste, it won’t last for long. The term agri — waste is thrown around widely in today’s society. It is considered waste to the farmers because they have already harvested the crop and the remains are of no use to them. Like how the crop is their main product, we use these remains as our main product. It is not waste, and it will last you a lifetime.
What is the market scope of natural fibers in India?
In a country, where the agricultural industry is a dominant force adding to the GDP, there is no shortage of raw material. We can even stop importing ‘ conventional raw material ‘ and propagate the Make in India program.
What are your suggestions for new bees in this industry?
Not an easy profession. But very soul-satisfying. You need to have a strong will and not be deterred by failures. If you’re passionate, nothing can stop you.
Thanks for your time Usha!!