Transcend's founder, Nazia is standing in front of the historic Jama Masjid in old Delhi, India. She is wearing a red linen kurta and white pants

A Dream Trip to India (February 2023)!

As many of you know, Transcend was born during the pandemic. Our supply chain was setup 100% virtually via countless phone and video calls. Our first collection launched in 2021 and since then we have launched two additional collections, been featured in multiple publications, showcased our latest collection during New York Fashion Week and entered a wholesale partnership with Seattle based Armoire. With your love and support, Transcend has experienced the kind of steady growth that a small business can only hope for. After two years of running this business virtually, it made sense to finally make a trip to India to meet our wonderful suppliers and artisans who have brought my designs to life. 
Over the last 3 weeks, I traveled to various parts of the country and met with multiple artisan communities. What was the experience like, you ask? LET ME TELL YOU… Meeting the humans behind Transcend and learning about their wins and struggles was a profound experience. I saw first hand the kind of impact even a small brand like Transcend can make by choosing ethical business practices.


Visiting the Mijwan Welfare Society in Uttar Pradesh, India

The picture above was taken earlier this month during my visit to one of Transcend's partners, Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS). I am sitting here with the MWS all-female artisan team that hand-embroidered our signature Sahar dress. These women make living wages and in many cases are the bread-winners for their families. Not only did they receive 75% of what Transcend paid for the project (only 25% is kept for MWS administrative expenses), but also recevied 2% of Transcend's total revenues from the sale of the Sahar dresses. The artisans are also proud mothers of many of the students sitting in the back of the room who have access to education through MWS' girls education initiatives.

One of the highlights of my trip was the opportunity to see several heritage textile crafts firsthand, including block printing, handloom weaving, and flower dyeing. I also loved visiting a regenerative manufacturing operation in South India that takes its own farmed cotton all the way to garment production. I was amazed at the skill and precision that goes into each piece, and it was clear that the artisans truly take pride in their work.

A female artisan at the Saheli Women along with a volunteer


The art of block printing uses hand-carved wooden blocks to create precise prints on fabric. Less use of machines in the process means low carbon emissions and less mass production, which is a sustainability win!


A female artisan making hand-loom fabric


Ever wondered what "handloom" really means? This wooden structure is one version of how fabric has been created for centuries before the invention of industrial factory machines that led to mass production and tremendous amounts of carbon emissions.

While I was completely taken aback by the beauty of the indigenous crafts and the skill of the local artisans, it was also disheartening to hear over and over again that this may be the last generation of artisans producing their craft. With the rise of fast fashion and mass production, many of these traditional crafts are at risk of becoming obsolete. This makes it all the more important for Transcend to continue supporting the artisans and preserving their craft.

Overall, my trip to India was an eye-opening experience that gave me a deeper appreciation for the people and processes behind our designs. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with our partners and to gain a better understanding of the complexities of the supply chain. I am excited to bring back what I have learned and to continue building Transcend with our artisan partners to create beautiful, high-quality products that reflect our shared values.

Thank you for your continued support of Transcend.

Nazia visiting the Saheli Women in Rajasthan, India

Visiting the artisans of Saheli Women in Rajasthan, India where female artisans bring their children, share cups of chai, and chit-chat all while learning new skills and making living wages . ​In a country with a history of deeply rooted caste system, this organization offers women a platform for fair and at-will employment opportunities. 
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