Designer Rumana Chowdhury’s Extensive Work On Style and Sustainability

By MWB Desk

Warah’s khadi creations are Earth-friendly and elegant

Since its inception in 2008, Warah has built a name for itself with its focus on sustainable, ethical fashion, built with locally produced khadi as its cornerstone. This forward-thinking approach has made it lifestyle brands in the country. Warah founder Rumana Chowdhury’s extensive work with block and khadi breathed new life into the under-utilized traditional textile, and helped revive a dying artisan community. Warah’s designs incorporate the use of moisturized cotton and natural processes, which has a very low carbon footprint.

Because the company employs local artisans, it has ensured that our centuries-old weaving heritage remains economically viable. The brand is directly responsible for ensuring that at least four such artisan families have a livelihood, and can continue the textile traditions handed down over generations. It is this combination of contemporary style, eco-conscious design approaches, and a deep understanding of the deshi urban lifestyles that has given Warah a strong brand recognition.

Three types of Khadi

You can’t begin to talk about sustainable fashion in Bangladesh without mentioning khadi. The handwoven and handloom textile is labor intensive, and has a much lower carbon footprint than other textiles. It is the ideal fabric for the Bangladeshi heat and humidity.

At Warah, Rumana’s artisans use three kinds of khadi. There’s the thinner, sheer khadi that is used in the dupattas because their translucent quality is perfect for the drapes. The medium count khadi, which is thick enough not to be see-through, and yet light enough to sit comfortably on the body, is used for dresses, tops and kameezes. Finally, the heavier, lower thread-count khadi is used for skirts and bottoms. By adapting the different kinds of khadi for different uses, Warah demonstrates the possibilities of the fabric for innovative design.

Shades and hues

Rumana Chowdhury’s signature shade is ivory. This regal shade from the white family appears strikingly for the Mughal-inspired angrakhas and anarkalis that have made her work so distinctive. She has told many stories in this shade, on that fabric, and in those silhouettes, and it has earned her a retinue of loyal clients.
But while ivory is the mainstay, it is by no means the only colour in the store. From sweet sherbet shades to gentle pastels and bold fluorescents, Warah is vibrant and full of options. The house maintains their commitment to eco-friendly practices with the use of organic dyes.

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