I am always on the look-out for smaller independent brands that offer something different and unique. So, when I heard that a friend of a friend started a fair-trade fashion and accessories brand that uses my favorite Ikat fabrics, I had to check it out!
If you read one of my older blog posts on Ikat, you would know that I love this traditional Central Asian pattern weaving that produces beautiful and vibrant fabrics. These were typically used to making traditional clothing in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. But with western designers discovering Ikat and incorporating into their runway collections (just think Oscar de la Renta, Gucci and my beloved Tory Burch), this Central Asian print became more recognized and main streamed.
So, today I want to introduce Salomat Ikat, a UK-based brand that sources handmade clothes, jewelry and home accessories from Tajikistan. Tahmina, the owner of Salomat Ikat and native of Tajikistan, shares:
“I grew up in Tajikistan where we used to wear Ikat all the time, I like the modern twist to it which local designers give. One of the main principles I have that all products I introduce into the UK, Europe and North America are fair-trade and ethically made”.
But in addition to the high ethical standards, Salomat Ikat has another mission – to help women back in Tajikistan by giving them income, tools and confidence to become economically independent and fulfill their true potential. While I rummage through the vast collection of handmade products, I can’t help but notice Tahmina’s passion behind the brand.
“I want to help women artisans because, unfortunately, women in my country face various types and cycles of violence, domestic violence is quite prevalent. Women with whom I work are mostly from rural areas. By supporting them, we give them hope and encourage them to be more confident in what they are doing, while percentage of our profits go to a charity of parents with children living with the Down Syndrome in Tajikistan”, she tells me.
Salomat Ikat offers such a wide range of products, from clothing and fashion accessories (scarves and jewelry) to handbags and cushion cases, that I couldn’t resist getting a few. For a busy girl like me, these Ikat silk clutches are perfect as they can easily transition from a cosmetic case to an evening bag.
And some are big enough even for an iPad mini. I already know I will be taking this clutch on my travels this year.
But if you want a specific cover for an iPad, Salomat Ikat makes them too! They are well padded to protect your valuable tablet from bumps and scratches.
Another accessory I picked was this handmade beaded necklace. Even though it’s traditional and ethnic, it’s very contemporary and I could easily pair it up with a designer sweatshirt and boyfriend jeans. How cool is this?!
And for home, I got few things (cushion cases and a table runner) to give my living room a bit more color and make it cozier.
But there is much more you can find on Salomat Ikat’s website. So check it out if you liked this post. Not only these items make great one-of-a-kind gifts (hint…hint…Valentine’s Day is coming up!), but you will be contributing to a great cause and changing someone’s life on the other side of a planet.