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MA Student works with artisans in India to create new ethical fashion brand

MA Fashion student Riddhi Maasrani will be showcasing her fashion brand Maasrani, which uses handmade fabrics by artisans in India, at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Canterbury and Rochester MA Graduation Show from 24 August. 

Riddhi, who studied MA Fashion Design at UCA Rochester explained: “Maasrani is a 'slow fashion' brand with ethical sourcing, transparent supply chains, and carefully curated natural fibres that respect the land and biodiversity. Through my brand, I hope to provide sustainable fashion that celebrates non-binary identity in a world that is increasingly global, and where gender and social roles are increasingly fluid. This is emphasised through the brand’s key message, ‘Cult of One’.”

© Riddhi Maasrani

Maasrani 'Cult of One' © Riddhi Masrani

While Riddhi’s designs use traditional fabrics and artisanal techniques, her most recent collection has been given a modern makeover by incorporating Glitch art – a visual style characterised by using digital or analogue errors for aesthetic purposes – into her pieces. This mix of traditional and digital is the essence of Maasrani.

At the MA show, Riddhi will be presenting looks from her gender-fluid collection, including a sarong-style skirt inspired by the traditional wrap-around skirts worn in India, and season-less statement pieces.

Maasrani 'Cult of One' © Riddhi Masrani

Maasrani 'Cult of One' © Riddhi Masrani

Riddhi said: “I grew up in India, and my family’s history is in textiles so I was lucky enough to grow up learning traditional handweaving techniques. Fabrics for this collection were made using ‘Ikat’, a yarn-dyed weaving technique using 100 per cent organic cotton. These fabrics are handmade by artisans based in Odisha – an Eastern Indian state – where my parents were both born, so using these textiles was a natural starting point for me.”

Photo courtesy: Dhruv Prakash @phatmanphoto

Local artisans in India Photo: Dhruv Prakash @phatmanphoto

With Maasrani, Riddhi hopes to support more artisanal communities based in remote places, and work with other like-minded sustainable designers to evolve her range of beauty and lifestyle products.

Riddhi explained: “Through my MA course I learned how to create and manage a brand, and developed a comprehensive business strategy that supported my plans to help artisanal communities. Unlike other university courses, the MA course at UCA had an equal emphasis on both design and business, which meant that it was perfect for a young aspiring entrepreneur such as myself.” 

Riddhi’s work will be on display at the Canterbury and Rochester MA Graduation Show from 23 August at the UCA Canterbury campus. Click here to find out more.

Learn more about Riddhi’s work on her Instagram pages @maasrani and @riddhimasrani

Photo of Riddhi Maasrani

Riddhi Masrani