My name is Daiva. I love travelling - experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and learning new things about myself and the world. I love simple, beautiful designs and I am a huge advocate of quality over quantity. I want to bring the joy of handmade clothing made from the highest quality natural fibres to the world and that was the very beginning of what became Kalilo.
Why did I start Kalilo?
Clothing brands have today become things, mere business transactions; you cannot humanly connect to them. There is no story behind these brands – layers of void and conceived to churn out fashion fast and in volume. How can your t-shirt cost more than your coffee?
This is the biggest reason why I started Kalilo – a clothing brand with a soul and a story. I want people to know that there is a person behind Kalilo. Businesses used to be about people and relationships, but no more. I created Kalilo to be different. I want you to be connected to Kalilo, whenever you engage with us; I want you to know that you are engaging with someone and not something.
Why did I choose Nepal?
I chose Nepal not because of my personal connection and its natural beauty – although they did play some part, but mainly because of other compelling reasons.
In its heyday, Nepalese handmade cashmere apparels were known in the market for their finesse and quality. Rise of fast fashion, sociopolitical situation, dwindling cottage industries, lack of artisans - all this and more are killing small industries that produce handmade apparels using traditional craftsmanship. With Kalilo I want to help revive this industry and preserve traditional craftsmanship.
The ever bulging trade deficit of Nepal is sinking the country deeper and deeper. I do not believe in hand-outs, but tangible actions. Kalilo contributes to the local economy by choosing to work with small businesses. Keeping them alive means artisans can keep their jobs and as we grow together more jobs are created, artisans thrive and even more is injected into the local economy.
Why are Kalilo’s products more expensive than mass produced ones?
Handmade products are unique, produced in small batches, time consuming which makes them more expensive than mass produced counterparts.
We ensure that artisans get fair wages, are provided with good working conditions, get paid overtime and receive fringe benefits.
We use high quality natural fibres from our products to our packaging as much as possible. All our apparels are treated with AZO free non-toxic dyes – safe for the environment and us.
We have a very small and curated set of items which we would like to grow organically over the years - no collections or seasons, just add items time to time. Being a new brand and working with small businesses in Nepal means our order volumes are small and we keep a really small inventory.
Kalilo is a platform I use to make everyone aware that there is more to a product than the monetary cost - what about the human/environment cost? Let us be conscious about what we consume and It is about time we start asking questions - Who made my clothes? Where? How? - the real cost of it!
P.S. Always love what you wear and wear what you love guilt-free. In the spirit of celebrating handmade products, I share this video which captures a small part of what it takes to weave a handmade scarf.