Business and ethics
Priyanka Sarkar, Founder of House of Biori, comes from a lineage of art historians, restoration artists and academicians who have spent their lives working with design, craftsmen and art. With her maternal roots firmly placed in the cultural hub of India, she always had a strong connect with 'design thinking and sustainability' since childhood. The core values on which she grew up and still held on to, are resilience, resolve, re-imagine, return and reform. Combining these to create the foundation of her company was most natural and obvious.
With eyes set on the creation of her brand, Priyanka joined the National Institute of Fashion Technology, which further stretched and strengthened her attributes towards the scope of design and sustainable choices, along with piquing her interest in fashion and jewellery.
Staying true to one's roots and bringing people together is what ethical and fair means to Priyanka. Her jewellery company is a fair trade jewellery brand, which works directly with the artisans minus any middlemen. Every design that one sees in her company has a story and an origin inked into its design, which is fascinating. To be able to design and create jewellery with natural, eco-friendly, sustainable materials without any alterations to their shape, texture or colour gives Priyanka the most fulfilment and purpose. The feeling of being able to spread and reach out to such a varied base of culture and craft with an affordable price range feels incredible.
The perfect platform
Middle East consumers are becoming increasingly connected. Internet platforms are thriving, and international digital players are wooing local consumers. Local and omnichannel players have also sprung up to capitalise on this trend. The local fashion companies are raising their game consciously towards sustainable trends and adaptability, with designers, platforms, social media stars and local style trends starting to feature more on the global fashion narrative. There is a definite shift, from being a historical importer of fashion trends to a nascent exporter. Partnerships will continue to play an important role in the form of franchise relationships, joint ventures, or, in some cases, distribution-only models.
Priyanka's cultural roots sit at the very core of her being and the value system she weaves into the brand. Indian workmanship, the diversity in designs, the stories engraved into the metal and materials, the rich cultural heritage that backs the authenticity, just can't be missed. "I am very proud that I can live, embrace and dwell into such a wide and varied palette into my work and throughout my upbringing," she said.
A sustainable future
Since 2013, the rise in ethical fashion brands has truly begun to make an impact on the way fashion brands approach their production and overall business. Consumers have made it clear that they care about who makes their clothes and accessories, how they are treated, and how their clothing affects our environment and the world.
The urgency of addressing climate change has driven investors to put sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices at the heart of their business strategies. Both regulators and government authorities have also started a series of nationwide sustainability initiatives aimed at reversing the consequences of climate change and calling on institutions to act as champions.