Khadi Initiative

naturalfibres khadi intiative
September 05 to 09, 2018
Main event of Saturday, September 08, 2018

At Craft Central, London – organised by Khadi Initiative, facilitated by Freeweaver Saori Studio

Buy tickets here

Festival of Natural Fibres

Textiles and fashion can be a force for good. And a vehicle for change. Gandhi’s use of khadi for political and economic organisation in India’s non-violent movement was a master stroke. Khadi helped create a mass base in rural areas and forge a new nationalist identity which was neither traditional nor colonial.

As we are witnessing today, textiles and fashion can also be a force for destruction. If present trends continue, the textile industry will add 22 million tons of micro fibres to the ocean, have a 26% share of the carbon budget and consume 300 million tons of oil by 2050.

naturalfibres khadiinitiaitve
A frightening scenario awaits the future generation if we don’t act now.
Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Nature has the answers!

if we act now, this can change. Textiles and fashion can become a force for good. Nature has the answers. An amazing array of fibres and dyes. Ways of using them in less harmful ways. Good for the environment, great for the global community of artisans and friendly for your skin.

Natural Fibres Festival is organised by Khadi Initiative and facilitated by Freeweaver Saori Studio in collaboration with a growing number of network of ethical and eco-conscious designers and businesses. This is a follow up event to an event which was organised by Khadi Initiative at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London – A Way Ahead: Ethical Khadi (AWA:EK).

The festival takes place at Craft Central, a stunning venue for events and craft studios located on the Isle of Dogs, just 10 minutes walk from Mudchute and Island Gardens DLR stations.

The event will include talks, presentations, panel discussions and workshops.

naturalfibres, khadi initiative
While cotton, wool and silk continue to be predominant natural fibres used for making fabrics, other traditional fibres such as flax, hemp and nettle are finding new markets. Wool, flax, hemp and nettle are important for the ‘Khadi Way’ to progress in UK.
Photo: Simon Williams

There will be Q & A sessions on natural fibres and the way forward for the ‘Khadi Way’ in UK. In the afternoon there will be a a series of talks and presentations on the theme of ‘experiencing the supply chain’, followed by a panel discussion.


markmaking, botanicalinks, handmadebrushes
Ross Belton will lead a workshop for mark making on khadi paper using botanical inks and handmade brushes on Saturday morning. Photo: Modern Eccentrics

Workshops on the main event day, Saturday, September 08, 2018, include workshops for natural dyeing, spinning wool, nettle twining. You can buy tickets for the markmaking workshop, Botanical Inks and Handmade Brushes, here. The workshop, scheduled for 10.30am on  will be led by Ross Belton. There will be demos for hand spinning cotton on book charkhas and weaving on Japanese Saori looms on the main event day.

Erna Janine of Freeweaver Saori Studio will lead two workshops on Sunday, September 09, 2018 for handweaving with natural fibres on Japanese Saori looms. A few tickets are still available for both, the morning and afternoon workshops.

An exhibition will on the walls will be displayed from September 05,2108 to September 09,2018. Entrance for the exhibition will be free except on Saturday, September 08.

Chaatit will set up a Indian vegetarian street food cafe on Saturday.

it promises to be a family friendly event for a cause.


Khadi Initiative: Genesis and Growth

Five sustainable organisations, Khadi CIC, Moral Fibre Fabrics, Where Does It Come From?, Action Village India and Fresh Eyes: People to People Travel – joined forces to found the Khadi Initiative and organise its first event – A Way Ahead: Ethical Khadi on November 2017. Held at a prestigious venue, London’s Fashion and Textile Museum, was host to over one hundred exited people from all walks of life – including designers, producers, brands and charities.

khadi initiaitve, natural fibres awaek
About a hundred people attended the event AWA:EK, generating a sense of movement for natural fibres.

The event generated a sense of a movement – heightened by a collaborative creation of a ‘Khadi Patchwork of Dreams’ Attendees wrote their dreams for khadi upon khadi patchwork squares, before pinning them to create a large patchwork. This beautiful piece of khadi art symbolises the collective effort, energy and enthusiasm of speakers and attendees at the event. Their ‘Khadi Dreams’  marks the beginning of a movement and has contributed towards the idea of the festival.

Patchwork of Khadi Dreams

There was a sense of consensus around principles and future directions.

Illustration: Smera Kumar
Illustration: Smera Kumar

Since then the movement has grown through collaboration and exists to unite others who want to bring about generation defining social change through fashion and textiles. Khadi Initiative also helped organise tours for designers for getting a first hand experience of the supply chain. The Festival of Natural Fibres is the first major initiative after AWA:EK. The possibility of AWA:EK II, to be held in India in January 2019 is being discussed.

To stay informed about future plans of the Khadi Initiative, please subscribe to our Newsletter.

Get involved:

Get creative: Khadi is an exciting fabric. Experiment with this ethical fabric in your next fashion endeavour. Check out the selection available from MORALFIBRE or Khadi CIC.

Get active: Spread the word about the Festival of Natural Fibres September 05, 2018 to September 09, 2018 at Craft Central, London , facilitated by Freeweaver Saori Studio.

Head over to Instagram to see and be part of the story of khadi and natural fibres, join our community on Facebook or spare a tweet for khadi.

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