Narrow bridges

TribAttire bridges the great divide between northeast and mainland India via fashion – The New Indian Express

Express news service

The Adventures of Asterix and Obelix ‘, a comic book series, has entertained generations across the world. Perhaps, one of the most poignant of these adventures was Asterix and the Great Fracture, not least because it was the first adventure written by illustrator Alberto Uderzo, after the death of his co-creator René Goscinny. .

It is the story of two different, somewhat similar spaces, existing at the same time and having to learn to coexist since they are connected by a narrow and controversial bridge.

The mainland and northeastern India are aligned due to the Siliguri Corridor, the much-maligned chicken neck of Indian geopolitics. Without going into detail, let’s say there is a distinct divide. With her brand titled TribAttire: Magic of Weaving, journalist turned entrepreneurial activist Dolanchapa Bhattacharyya hopes to address this in several ways.

Weave a thread

“As someone who was, and still is in a sense, a journalist, the business aspect is really in the background. I want to introduce these woven products to the world, because the people who do the actual weaving are perfectly in tune with it. ‘comfortable to stay in their homes and villages,’ shares Bhattacharyya.

Absorbing the wear and tear of the social fabric during his time as a journalist enriched his understanding of the rich ethnic fabrics of Indian tribal communities. Her journey had started from the little gem of the northeastern state of Tripura, where her in-laws reside. Out of pure interest, Bhattacharyya began to explore the indigenous fabric of the tribal communities of Tripura, meeting the weavers and ultimately realizing the huge gap in the market.

Even before TribAttire began, Bhattacharyya immersed himself in the sartorial traditions of the Northeast. “I found all of these amazing weaving ways, which these tribal communities have been practicing for who knows when, because these communities are so isolated, they are happy to keep this knowledge to themselves because there is no commercial angle. to that, ”she said. actions.

Bhattacharyya picked up on some things, mentioning “I remember I went to this party about three years ago, wearing the traditional wrap skirt, called the puan, woven by the Manipuri tribes, which I had modified to my style. People were completely fascinated, and even more so when they found out that it was woven from raw, organic plant products, ”Bhattacharyya recalls.

As she notes, this quickly turned into orders (“previously I was just finding stuff for myself and for friends asking for the items I wear”), and it was finally last year that Bhattacharyya took the plunge and launched a brand.

Timeless elegance

Although she may be focusing on the northeast, Bhattacharyya realized that this was a model that can be used to present other forms of tribal art unknown to the general public. She has since made contact with tribal communities from Gujarat to Chhattisgarh.

Avoiding transitional trends and “hot takes,” TribAttire instead prides itself on being timeless, as clothing origins are, and while they can sometimes show how they can fit in, they will always stand out.

“It is a mission to popularize authentic tribal ethnic fabrics and to help weavers save their rich but nearly extinct works of art. At ‘TribAttire’ our goal is to make your choice simpler with a blend of elegance. We want to support sustainable fashion that connects you to nature, ”concludes Bhattacharyya.

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