Piece & Co., a textile company that works with artisans worldwide, collaborates with retailer Shopbop to deliver a limited edition capsule collection featuring sustainable designs from fashion brands Diane Von Furstenberg, Veronica Beard, Mara Hoffman, and alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet. The Piece & Co. x Shopbop collection, comprised of seven styles ranging from dresses, blouses, and a short-suit ensemble, incorporates fabrics created responsibly by skilled artisans in the Tamil Nadu region of India, masters of the traditional dobby weaving technique.
"The mission of Piece & Co. is to create a more responsible fashion industry," says Piece & Co. founder Kathleen Wright, “and it has been an honor to work with such talented designers, sourcing fabrics that make the most impact socially, and the least impact on our environment.”
Each garment in this seven-piece capsule is made from artisanal fabrics and showcases the unique characteristics of the brand that designed it. The fabrics in the Piece & Co. x Shopbop collection are made by primarily female artisans at weaving co-operatives located in India’s Tamil Nadu region. The fabric used by each designer is handcrafted and dyed in India and showcases the traditional methods of textile design and weaving, while remaining particular to each respective brand.
The founder of the weaving co-op that made the fabric used by Veronica Beard is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology who started her business with the mission of creating more opportunity in her community. The founder trains and supports her workers to keep traditional weaving alive in the Tamil Nadu region. The work of women trained by the founder can be seen in the Veronica Beard dress, where the vibrant blue pattern is created using the traditional dobby technique. “It’s incredibly inspiring to work with Piece & Co. because of their work in helping artisans!” say designers Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard, ”I love that our dress uses a traditional weaving technique and captures the style of the region.”
The alice + olivia dress and short is a display of the colorful workmanship and handwoven technique that was inspired by embroidery work. In the female-led weaving community that created this special textile, weaving is a way of life, providing sustainable work for women to support their families.
While the same dobby technique is used to create all the fabrics, the raised yarn process makes many different designs and patterns possible. The geometric design and floating threads created for the Diane Von Furstenberg top, for example, are inspired by what would usually be the reverse side of the material and exemplify the versatility and skill of dobby weaving.