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Meet our newest maker at not just a shop, Parali by Aarushi.

Parali by Aarushi was founded in September 2022. The brand aims to stop straw stubble burning and to reduce the air pollution caused by burning paddy straw waste. To achieve this, Parali by Aarushi have introduced paddy waste as a raw material, used to make their eco-textiles.

We spoke with founder Aarushi to find out more about their products and inspirations behind the designs. Read more below.

What attracted you to your craft? 

I love to explore new materials in my work. I grew up in a place which is surrounded by agricultural and textile industries. These two sectors also happen to be the most polluting. The waste generated from them either gets burned or thrown into landfill. It motivated me to work towards improving the harmful effects the industries have on the environment. I merged these two industries and created a circular business model.  

Chevron Woven Straw Placemat

Woven Placemat £22

What does your typical day look like? 

Our office is situated in a small village, where rural women come for work.  

No day is the same. Some days we take field trips to source materials. We meet with local farmers to discuss the option of trading straw with us instead of burning the leftover crops. On other days we run workshops for rural women, providing training and skills to work with rice straw as a textile material. We have a separate day for making paper, paddy mud workshops and more.  Our usual traffic is a cow blocking the way to the office!

It’s a small unit so most of the work like social media, photography, product development etc is done by me.

What is the unique selling point for your products? 

We are the only brand in India who are making textiles out of rice straw. Our products prevent the major environmental issue of stubble burning, that leads to air pollution.  Our designs are minimalistic and have wide public appeal.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs? 

Nature, my surroundings, travels or new learnings in life. I try to communicate through my designs, weaves and choice of material. To tell a story of how beautiful nature is! 

Please can you provide a little more info on how your interest in design started and developed? 

As a kid I loved to draw, play with fabrics and materials. My father started a very small textile firm when I was born. He used to bring work back home, which I loved seeing. My mother used to paint as a hobby, the textures and colours in her paintings moved me. Living in a rural village always made me feel connected with nature and the fields.  

Studying design as a professional course taught me a lot. Visiting museums and galleries and finding a community of likeminded people gave me whole new world to explore.

Do you have any favourite items in the collection? 

Every product and every design have its own story which are made from personal experiences and learnings.  

Woven Straw Coasters

Set of 6 Woven Coasters £32

Coasters are small, handy and carry the essence of rice straws perfectly. It can be used on multiple locations like on dining table, office table, side table, kitchen or dressing table. The diagonal design in products was inspired from UNESCO heritage Bali Terraces.  

The coasters were the first textile piece that I made with paddy straws during lockdown. It motivated me to experiment more with larger pieces.

How would you summarise your collection in a few words? 

Nature, giving back to earth, sustainable, upcycled rice straw products, biodegradable and compostable textiles, handmade, for conscious consumers.   

Does your work have a social impact? 

Yes! Our working model is based on circular production system. In order to upcycle rice straw waste, we are generating employment for rural women, teaching them skills to handcraft textile products so they can be financially independent. 

To reduce textile waste from the landfill, our products can be recycled and they are biodegrade and compostable.

What are your hopes for the future? Where would you like to take your collection? 

I want to grow into a recognisable brand! Where international artists, designers and brands want to collaborate with us and become the part of the sustainable movement that we are trying to start.   

Not to burn agricultural waste but to upcycle it. ‘Rising before the ashes’ is our motto.  

Giving back to environment and society. With our designs, we want to create an awareness about environment and agricultural practices.

We want Parali by Aarushi to be known for its quality, aesthetics and commitment towards the environment.