Tega Collective: Small Businesses We Love!

Tega Collective: Small Businesses We Love!

This year, we wanted to do something new for Valentine's Day - we wanted to show some love for our favorite small businesses & accounts that align with our sustainability and equity values. This past year has been a tough year for small businesses (ourselves included!) and BIPOC influencers due to many factors, including inflation, layoffs, social media algorithm changes, to name a few. One thing that has personally kept us going is you - the continued love and support from this community has been amazing. You showed up when we needed it the most during the holiday season last year and we are truly grateful :) 

So, this Valentine's Day, we wanted to share our love for other small businesses and accounts that might interest our community.

Now without further ado, check out our favorites below by category!

Fashion

1. Oshadi Collective is championing the regenerative fashion initiative by building a seed-to-sew supply chain in rural Tamil Nadu, India. They are helping farmers grow cotton and indigo on their own farmland using restorative practices. Moreover, every step of their production is carried out by the local collective - from the initial farming through the final weaving, knitting, and sewing of garments, it all takes place within a 100 kilometer area. The decentralized, or re-ruralisation, model allows the local community to be completely self-sufficient and work on their own terms. There has been a lot of discussion about the current fast fashion systems not being sustainable. Now, Oshadi Collective’s work is creating a new blueprint for the global fashion industry!  Oshadi Collective currently creates their own pieces in-house and they also produce seed-to-stitch clothing for brands with similar values like Christy Dawn. 

2. Ilamra is a slow-fashion brand that creates beautiful kalamkari hand-block prints - a 7-step process and involves natural dyes created from iron, jaggery, indigo cakes, myrobalan flower, to name a few! In order to minimize their carbon footprint across the supply chain, all Ilamra pieces are created within a 5 km radius and they engage the local Hyderabad community to give their unused plastic bags a new life! While we love all their beautiful prints, if we were to select one, our top choice would be the Esmeralda Tier Dress!

3. Moi namaste is based in Helsinki and features ethical designs that both honor Indian culture & craftsmanship and empower women artisans in India. They partner with small family-led businesses to primarily create clothing from existing materials or sustainably certified materials. They pledge 10% of annual profits to skill development programs for their partner’s female garment makers and artisans. We personally love their Nostalgia Everyday Bag, made with deadstock and hand block printed fabric!

4. Buno Behen creates small, handmade, upcycled collections that empower female artisans while also supporting traditional crafts. We personally love their W’aari collection, which pays homage to two ancient techniques from Western India - Warli folk painting and Aari embroidery. We truly admire their transparency in all aspects of their business, from their origin story to their production process. Learn more about their story here

5. Tega Collective: we may be biased here but we do love our brand and our mission! To those of you who are new - we’re a slow fashion brand that co-creates our pieces with adivasi (indigenous) communities in India, celebrating their textile techniques with each collection. All our pieces are handwoven, naturally dyed, hand-embroidered and designed to last! Check out our Alankara and Samudram collection.

Influencers

1. Karishma (@karishmaclimategirlis a climate storyteller who’s not afraid to speak her mind! We personally love her conscious brand collaborations and reels educating her followers on climate policy worldwide and actions that individuals can take!

2. Zahra Biabani (@zahranurbiabani) is the author of Climate Optimism and founder of In The Loop, a startup that works with secondhand sellers to streamline their sourcing and selling process. Every week on her page, she posts the latest climate positive news - something we view as inspirational and extremely important. The climate space often seems very doom and gloom and makes us often forget that there is a lot of positive change happening right now, so her page (and her book!) are great reminders of the things that are improving!

3. Summer Dean (@climatediva) is the page for everyone interested in slow fashion, beauty and climate! We LOVE her feed - it’s both aesthetic and informative. In addition, she has a blog where she discusses topics such as living a low(er) waste lifestyle, ethical shopping, and sustainable furnishing in more detail!  Check out her blog here.

4. Aja Barber (@ajabarber) is a writer and consultant who brings very important discussions on sustainable fashion through the lens of wealth inequality, racism, feminism, and colonialism to the table. If you are trying to learn more about sustainable fashion from an intersectional perspective, or simply want to be a part of a community with similar values, we recommend her page!

Jewelry

1. Surmeyi: a jewelry and accessories brand (from the co-founder of Saeyri) that aspires to evoke your sense of belonging All pieces are beautifully handcrafted. Our personal favorite is the Mango Slices, because not only are they BEAUTIFUL but they’re also multipurpose. While originally designed to be stud earrings, they can also be worn as a hairpin, pendant, or a brooch. Additionally, Surmeyi recently launched a ‘Spring Stories’ campaign on Instagram, check out the beautiful storytelling and visualizations here!

2. Olio Stories has been one of our longtime favorites! Everything about Olio Stories - from their name to each of their collections is built around storytelling. This thoughtful approach makes their pieces truly unique instead of trendy. We love that their pieces are created to be passed down to future generations! Check out our favorite pieces: Gulaab Earrings and Sun Earrings.

3. Rumri: a handcrafted jewelry brand (from the co-founder of Saeyri) meant to empower the wearer, while promoting self-love and positivity. We love how bold and unique each of the pieces are, and the beautiful story behind each one. One of our favorites is the Perched Tota Earrings - the design represents the grit and valor a woman carries everyday while also symbolizing the tender soul she carries from within. 

4. Kira the Label is known for their contemporary and bold jewelry pieces. Each piece is handcrafted and uniquely represents nature and the fluid movements around us. The founder, Swati Khatuwala, works directly with her artisan team in Jaipur to design beautiful, one of its kind, statement pieces for the wearer. Our personal faves are the WBG earrings and Pearl Blossoms!

Beauty

1. Kulfi Beauty: Just like Kulfi ice cream, we love the colorfulness that Kulfi Beauty brings to makeup. Growing up as a brown-skin person, it was definitely hard to find colorful eyeliner that would actually be visible in its true color. Kulfi Beauty changed the game with their high pigment eyeliners and we love the artsy and fun approach they bring to the beauty industry. Their emphasis on self-expression and inclusivity is shown through all aspects of their brand - from their product imagery to the influencers they work with. Check out their Kajal Eyeliners here!

2. Mango People was born from a quest for finding both inclusive and non-toxic lipstick shades. After a lot of research, in 2020, the company launched with 3 products, including our personal favorite, the Multi Stick! All of their products are made with natural ingredients and adaptogens, which when applied on skin, can protect and calm the skin from external stress and exhaustion - essentially makeup that is both clean and revitalizing to the skin!

3. Activist Skincare is an artisanal small-batch beauty lab in Southern California. Their products are designed with ethically sourced clean ingredients and come in refill pouches as well! Refill pouches help reduce emissions and shift away from single-use packaging in the beauty industry. The process of recycling glass is a long and not-so eco-friendly, so we do see refill pouches becoming more common in the future, and Activist Skincare is one of the brands pioneering it.

4. indē wild was created with a simplified yet effective skincare routine in mind - which we love! All products are formulated through the lens of Ayurvedistry - a combination of ingredients from ancient Ayurveda rituals and conscious chemistry. We were at the stage where our skincare routine seemed to be getting a bit much - there were too many products to be using every morning and evening routine. So we loved that indē wild helped simplify this process. Our personal favorite is the PM serum - made with a plant-based retinol alternative!

Podcasts

1. Conscious Chatter discusses various sustainable fashion topics in a roundtable format. We love the nuance they bring to each episode through the various guests they interview in this space. One of our favorite episodes was episode 301, which discusses the scalability of natural dyes, and to what extent that is actually needed as people advocate for a different fashion system. As a slow-fashion brand that is trying to navigate both ‘scalability’ and the use of natural dyes in all our products, we love the various points this episode brings up!

2. Eco Chic discusses topics ranging from environmentally conscious brands to plant-based living. We love the educational yet approachable way host Laura Diez discusses these topics. One of our favorite episodes includes How to Spot Greenwashing (episode 173) where she delves into how to look beyond the buzzwords like “eco-friendly” or “clean” and find brands that are actually backing up their claims. With the continued rise in greenwashing, we find this topic and the resources it mentions to be crucial.

3. Crash Course Fashion: We’re a fan of Sustainable Fashion Forum and love that the topics they discuss are further explored through the podcast.  The podcast focuses on the relationship between sustainability, consumer behavior, psychology, business and ethics. Each topic is discussed through an interdisciplinary lens with various guests from industry experts, to professors to sustainability professionals. One of our recent favorite episodes was the Circularity 23 Debrief (episode 19). In this podcast, host Brittany Sierra discusses the various things she learned from the Circularity 23 conference - including discussions on Gen Z leadership and the history of the rise of consumerism. Lot of great lessons here!

4. Conscious Life & Style: explores topics ranging from mindful lifestyle to systemic challenges in fashion and possible solutions. We love the in-depth focus on each topic. One of our favorite recent episodes was Episode 84, which explored if slow fashion businesses can scale without influencing overconsumption. Here at Tega, this is something that’s constantly on our team’s mind and plays a role in how we create a marketing strategy, and we found this episode to be very insightful!

 

If you’ve made it all the way to the end of the list you’re a true trooper! We truly appreciate the love and support of this community and hope you found some more brands and accounts that you love :)

 

P.S. Our team is working on new strategies on how we can create and share content more mindfully, so please let us know if you like pieces like this and would love to see more!





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