MarketPlace Directors Visit India!

MarketPlace Directors Pushpika Freitas and Lalita Monteiro got to India on March 8- an eventful day everywhere. The world was celebrating International Women’s Day and India was celebrating Holi, the spring festival. (We posted about Holi and its stunning colors recently!)


Pushpika and Lalita have been in town for this spring’s design workshop to complete the looks for the Fall 2012 line. This process was started by designer Adele Mattern and our directors come to India twice a year to work on the collections.

Let’s see what a typical day of their visit looks like:

8:30 am- Meeting with Abdul, who runs Nirmaan, one of the 6 collectives in Mumbai. Abdul is in charge of making the samples for the Fall collection. Pushpika and Lalita review the samples Abdul has made.


After two weeks the design workshop finally winds down and most of the samples are ready. In the last 6 months, MarketPlace has been developing its chindi (scrap fabric) line. Kirit Dave, a designer Pushpika has worked with for almost 25 years, has been developing samples with Adele.

11 am Lalita and Pushpika meet with Joseph from WARE (one of the collectives), Yogesh from MarketPlace, Hasina from Nirmaan, an artisan with a great sense of color. Everyone gives their input to decide which samples will go in for production.

1 pm Lalita and Pushpika head home for lunch in the heat after a bit of a struggle to find an auto rickshaw.

2 pm They return in the afternoon for a meeting to discuss quality control. MarketPlace has trained a group of artisans to do the final quality check- and the purpose of this meeting is to review the system and discuss ways to improve it.

6 pm- The day ends in India but Chicago is just waking up, so the emails start coming in. Pushpika and Lalita stay online till 11 pm dealing with emails and sorting out work in the USA.

One comment

  1. Thanks for this post…It’s such a wonderful thing to KNOW where our clothing is made, all the details involved in the process of design and construction, and to have a glimpse of the workshops and people involved. It gives special meaning when actually WEARING a garment, the connectedness one has to the artisan. Each time I look at or feel the stitching (especially the HAND stitching and embroidery) I feel as though I’m touching the fingertips of the woman who made the piece and actually KNOW her. Thank you MarketPlace for bringing us all together!

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