During the Selvedge Textile Tour to India, the group visited the innovative textile company BODHI. Set up in 1983 by designer Mala Pradeep Sinha, BODHI is now a small enterprise with a team of highly skilled printers and dyers and an extended group of women who embroider and applique from their homes.
The company is dedicated to sustainability. The team use solar energy to bake pigment printed fabrics and to heat water; they conserve water by using as little as possible and harvesting rainwater, which is stored for use through the year and used to recharge ground water. They also treat wastewater to make sure it is safe to return to the water table. They do this through flocculation (a treatment to separate physical debris from liquid), removal of sludge, bio-remediation by passing it through a microbe rich growing medium with Canna plantation and sand and pebble filtration All the wastewater treated is reused for washing and cleaning blocks, screen buckets and printing tables.
Mala’s impetus to start Bodhi was the lack of job opportunities for designers in India in the early eighties when design as a career was just being established. Most of the graduates from the first few batches from the National Institute of Design turned to entrepreneurship to make a living. Mala too started to hand screen print table mats and napkins on a small makeshift printing table.
In the initial years, the lack of resources, both money and facilities made Mala look for frugal solutions which have continued. Experimentation has been the key to frugality as well as in exploring the world of textile dye chemistry, from the simplest method of pigment printing to the complex and sometimes unpredictable world of discharge printing.
For more information and to contact BODHI, visit www.bodhi.in