Designer Jyoti Reddy reflects on her journey and her tryst with Eri Silk.
The second day of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 was dedicated to Sustainable Fashion and out of the talented bunch of designers, Jyoti Reddy’s collection Bhoomi Bhoomi stood out with her Eri Silk collection.
The 59-year-old Hyderabad-based designer entered the world of designing by accident and today, it is home for the designer, producer and marketer of Ereena brand. Offering fabrics and accessories made from the rare ‘Eri’ silk, her brand specialises in providing environmental-friendly and isothermal products that keep one cool in summers and warm in winters. The brand also practices a peaceful process where they use only open-ended pierced cocoons without harming the worm inside.
Talking about her experience at Lakme Fashion Week, Jyoti says, “It was my first time at the Lakme Fashion Week and it felt quite amazing. I think it’s a very good platform to let people know what we do and the exposure that we’ll get from this show, I am hoping, will take the brand to a different level.”
Even though Jyoti is new to the fashion industry, she has been working around textiles for the past two decades. “I started a shoe shop. From there, I graduated into fabrics and garments and then over the years, I learnt by sitting with people who work with textiles. And, I’m still learning,” recalls Jyoti who also possess a business degree from the US.
A self-made designer who learnt on the job, Jyoti credits the weavers and traders for her knowledge. “When I would meet the weavers, I would ask them a lot of questions, that’s how I learnt more about the fabrics,” she says
Her label Ereena exclusively works with Eri Silk, a fabric she discovered by accident.
“While working with people in the industry, I went for several exhibitions abroad and in one such exhibition, a textile agent told me that I need to find an intelligent fabric. It left me wondering how can a fabric be intelligent,” she says and adds, “That was the beginning of my search to find an intelligent fabric. I decided to do something locally with silk and it is in this connection that I met a textile technologist from Asaam who introduced me to ‘Eri’. This was like two decades ago and I didn’t need to look anywhere else ever since.”
Jyoti was drawn to the sustainability of the fabric and was inspired by her grandson to create this collection. “My whole collection Bhoomi Bhoomi actually was inspired by my grandson. For them, we need a culture where we don’t damage the system anymore. The whole point of my collection came from there - people need to be conscious of our environment and make choices that do no harm to the already fragile ecosystem. It is for the future generation,” she adds.
While others in the industry have experience of running their brands for decades, Jyoti’s label is only five years old and she is 59 but none of the numbers restrict her from chasing her dream.
“I don't feel old, I think the fashion guides me and I’m not afraid of age. I’m happy to do what I am doing and hopefully, I will do more. I have learnt over the years and it’s not like I'm doing everything suddenly. I’m very confident about the brand and my capabilities,” says Jyoti who once had to take a backseat in her career to take care of the family.
“I think age should never matter to women. They always have so many responsibilities. For instance, I was educated and had a business degree when I was 24 but I had to focus on my children, ageing in-laws, my parents who were sick and the entire family. But, I still kept my interest alive. I kept a foot in the door. Whenever life brought challenges, I focused on that aspect for that time but never shut the door for my work and then, when I had time, I focused more on my work. I think there is never really a right time, we have to balance family and work,” she concludes.