Khumanthem is an eco-friendly fashion brand, established in the year 2014, aiming for the luxury end of the market. The brand’s pledge is to establish lasting relationships with its clients by not only supplying high quality, one of a kind, statement pieces, but also by engaging them with the beautiful ancient culture of the Northeast. Indigenous handloom and handicraft is the backbone of the brand.
Richana Khumanthem is the person behind the brand. Her brand believes in individualism and being different. It does not believe in mass production. It believes that every single human being is different, and it is this difference that inspires the brand.
Richana Khumanthem, Designer
The fashion industry is a fast growing industry. Born of creativity and authenticity, it is now increasingly becoming technology mediated and ﬁercely competitive. In such an industry, establishing meaningful relationships become, but an implausible notion. But the people, at Khumanthem, believe otherwise. They strive to bring their clients closer to the true heroes of the brand, the local artisans. Every piece of indigenous handloom has a story to tell. It is these stories, behind every motif, every textile, that will ultimately be the binding force between the artisans and consumers - not as two separate strata of the same glamour industry, but as one entity who understands, feels and cherishes the depth and history behind every handloom creation.
The strength of the brand lies in its ability to give indigenous textiles a fresh breath of life through the presentation of the same in a unique and modern context. Its strength therefore, also lies in local artisans, and the women folk of Manipur in particular, to whom the indigenous craftsmanship was handed down from generation to generation. Compared to other Indian textiles, the handloom industry of Manipur is still in its nascent stage. The brand has the advantage of being a pioneer in introducing this beautiful handloom heritage to the world of fashion.
Khumanthem strictly adheres to its “NO TO PLASTIC” policy. Plastic buttons, zippers and other types of trims are replaced by eco-friendly materials such as wood, shells, metals, and even unconventional resources like coconut shells and bamboo. Khumanthem creates pieces that blurs the line between Prêt & Couture. Each piece can be dressed up or dressed down. Every Khumanthem piece is handwoven. The brand does not use readymade and machine-made fabrics from the market for its collections*. Each textile is carefully planned and designed by the R&D team and then woven by the local artisans before every collection.
Hand embroidery is the only form of embroidery that is practised at Khumanthem. We feel machine embroidery, although more cost effective and less time consuming, does not measure up to the intricacy, detailing and above all, the ‘humanness’ that one ﬁnds in hand embroidered pieces.
(* Every fabric used by Khumanthem is handwoven, except for the polyester linings used in some of the garments. The brand is currently working with local weavers to create a more eco-friendly fabric to replace readymade polyester ones)