Some of you might not know that all of our clothing is made in India, some of you may ask, why India? Well, it’s simple really…
Before we visited India, me and Chris had quit our jobs and had been travelling the world for a few years, making tobacco pouches from old clothes and selling them to travellers, before going on to have that dungaree eureka moment!
With a vision in our heads of what we wanted to create, we headed to India for the first time in February 2017, and although this was part of our journey we knew that we were searching for someone who could help us bring our ideas to life.
We had spent a lot time in China and Thailand, which are both great countries, but we just didn’t find the right people and nothing inspired us to create. We then went to India almost a year later. At this point we just had an idea of the perfect dungarees.
We were blown away by the country straight away! The culture is so different to ours and it’s definitely something that takes some getting used to, but after a short time we were in love! Our colour inspiration comes from the women of India wearing their beautiful Saris. They bring the country to life.
Eventually we headed to Pushkar, a town in India’s largest state of Rajasthan which is renowned for its abundance of tailors. In Pushkar, we met with eight different tailors, but none of them felt right, we were at a loss!
We then met this amazing guy called Muneer, who took us on an venture out of the main tourist area of Pushkar and visit a small village on the outskirts. Here, Muneer introduced us to his brother, this was when we met Ismail…
We hit it off immediately! We couldn’t believe how many views and values we shared with him, he was working with just two tailors, DP and Raju, his two best pals. We all got to work and created 30 sample pairs of dungarees… The first ever Lucy & Yaks! We popped them on Depop, they sold out immediately, and well, you know the rest.
Since then, we’ve been to visit Ismail so many times and have helped him to grow his team in India. It’s been a crazy journey! Ismail’s team have been working so hard and all around the village as there wasn’t enough room in his small factory for them all to work together. Some of you will know it was a team full of men in the beginning. We have spent many mornings and evenings with Ismail and his family, over cups of chai talking about why women in the workplace would make a huge difference.
Everyone in the village has mucked in to help us, with people storing our dungarees in their homes to help us cope with the demand - everyone’s like family out there, we can’t thank them enough! And Ismail calls everyone his aunt or uncle.
But now, the team have moved into a brand new factory, all under one roof, on land owned by Ismail’s family, meaning the whole team can work closely together and in a much better environment. This was also something we were waiting for, with the new factory built we can now start to train and employ women from the village. We haven’t been out to India since June, so you wouldn’t believe our excitement when we got some photos from Ismail last week, of our very first women tailors; Anita and Goody. He also has 3 female checkers now too, working in the factory. We cant wait to go out there and meet them!
The new factory will eventually have it’s very own tea room! Like us lot over in England, our team in India love a tea break, but over there they drink Indian Chai, it tastes fab with all its spices. They always make sure they’ve got time to squeeze in a chai break in the mornings and afternoons! We don’t blame them, everyone loves a good brew…
Me and Chris were there in June helping with the final touches and making sure they got Air-conditioning installed. We will soon be heading over there to help them with installing solar panels to power everything too. We want to spend more and more time over in India to make sure the whole process is improved and that everyone has what they need.
Without our fantastic team over in India, Lucy & Yak wouldn’t be where it is today, and we’re proud to tell people that their dungarees are made in such an outstanding and fascinating country. Since we first visited India and met Ismail it’s been an absolute whirlwind, we can’t wait to see what happens next.
We will be sure to keep you guys updated…..
Lucy & Chris x
Photo credits: Julie Garran check out her instagram to see more beautiful photos of India.