An interiors brand firmly rooted in Indian culture, Goodearth has created a signature luxurious aesthetic rich in historical and cultural references. The company is a shining example of how Indian heritage is being translated for a growing base of affluent customers on home soil as well as the international stage. Our content partner Stylus talks to founder Anita Lal to find out more.
A Singular Vision for the Brand
Founded in 1996, Goodearth opened its first store on Kemps Corner, an affluent shopping district in Mumbai. The shop offered a small collection of studio pottery, decorative accessories and fragrant candles. Sixteen years on, Goodearth has developed into a complete lifestyle brand, with numerous stores across India and franchises in Singapore.
“This natural evolution is a testimony of personal values resonating in the cultural collective,” explains founder Anita Lal. “Those values are the celebration of our heritage, nature, craft, refinement, daily luxuries, and a relaxed approach to life.”
Goodearth’s aesthetic is a mish-mash of texture, colour, pattern and materials. Offering everything from tableware, decorative accessories and fragrance, to furniture and lighting, skincare and apparel, Goodearth owes much of its success to Lal’s instinctive and uncompromising viewpoint. Her choices are confident and unconcerned with trend. She is selling her vision to a customer “who subscribes to our aesthetics and values. Goodearth has fans around the world, who love us for celebrating the culture, crafts and colours of India”.
Each year, the Goodearth design team creates a signatureDesign Collection inspired by stories of a particular Indian tradition or culture. Carefully curated, products are sourced both globally and locally, always with a focus on finding traditionally crafted goods reflecting Lal’s Indian perspective.
Past collections and avenues of exploration include Modern Mughal – Gardens of Paradise, Caravanserai – the Silk Route, and Vrindavan – the Sacred Forest.
Reviving Indian Heritage for a New Audience
Drawing from her own culture, Lal is reviving Indian heritage and tradition for a contemporary audience by looking inwards. “We are a large design team and all of us have been working in the crafts sector for many years,” she explains. “With every new Design Collection we study the crafts sector of that area and choose the relevant crafts. We have been working for many years with tribal metal craftsmen who make Kansa thalis and utensils for us. Each piece is hand made by them in their village.”
Tying in with the brand’s outlook on sustainability, tradition and ecology are core values. “Encouraging quality craftsmanship and the revival of lost Indian traditions that support the vitality of our environment and communities is what we strive for,” she says.
Sustainable materials and methods are just part of everyday life for the craftspeople Lal employs, engrained in the roots of their culture. “We work a lot in areas where craftsmen are using traditional methods with natural dyes. An example is a large collection of Indigo and Madder prints from Machlipatnam,” she says. “We are currently working in Bhuj with vegetable-dyed prints for an apparel collection, as well as our regular block printers in Jaipur and weavers in Benaras and Maheshwar and so on.”
Cultivating Indian Design
At the start of 2012, New Delhi hosted the first India Design Forum, both an industry showcase and a platform for discussion centring on the emerging role of design in India.Goodearth is keen to incubate talent drawn from the country’s growing design scene. “What a prolific and exciting time for Indian design – so much experimentation, hope and activity,” says Lal. “Goodearth today is enjoying cultivating young designers who share our vision. In particular, the apparel of Suket Dhir and Tilla
, the furniture of Mozez Singh
, the souvenirs of Design Temple
, and the pop poster art of Krsna Mehta
As part of the India Design Forum, Goodearth held an open studio, launching its new venture, interior design-service division, Charbagh. Tailoring her vision for customers’ homes, Lal says: “As with everything else, it was a natural extension of the brand to meet the needs and requests of our customers who are doing up their interiors.” Charbagh will offer a range of original designs in textiles and wallpapers, while bespoke designs can be created for larger projects.
So what’s next for the brand? September will see the launch of the new Design Collection inspired by the culture of Kashmir. As for brand expansion, Lal is keen to break into other markets. “International growth is inevitable,” she says. “So many of our fans come from the Middle East, Europe, North America and Australia. We regularly get franchise requests from each of these areas. We definitely plan to go to the UK, and talks are under way there.” Finding brands with an aligned vision is of course important to Lal. “It is just a matter of time before we finalise with the right partners who resonate with our vision and appreciate our commercial interests.”
This story was produced by Decorex Content Partner Stylus.com.
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