We’re happy to share the great news of the start of our Artist in Residence program as we begin our collaboration with Meena Gurung, the founder, and director of Bora Studio, a slow fashion and environmentally sustainable company based in Nepal. Meena studied fashion design in Dublin, Ireland, and returned back to Nepal immediately with a dream to start Bora studio. Despite many struggles and a lack of understanding within the Nepali market for a slow and sustainable fashion, she started Bora studio in 2017.
The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world in terms of global warming. For a fabric that is bought in the commercial market, it takes about 20-30 years and even 100 to decompose. Through her work, she hopes to inspire others to chip away at this problem and choose sustainable and organic fashion. Her work is as sustainable as it is beautiful and high-end.
Meena will be working to develop alternative livelihood streams in two regions of our BELT in Koshi Tappu and in TMJ. Whether it’s making dyes out of rhododendron leaves or weaving clutches out of water hyacinth, she’s excited to see what products can be developed. To start with, she will focus her time and energy on learning and understanding the traditional and indigenous ways of weaving, and in collaboration with the women artisans, she hopes to develop products.
We’ve had the joy of working with her for the past 2 years as she designed our pangolin bags, our safari garbs, t-shirts, and other products. So, we’re thrilled to have her work with us as we start to develop the product lines to help build the long-term financial sustainability into the Vertical Biodiversity Fund and our Learning Grounds partners.
Having struggled with patriarchy herself, she hopes that her work and her time will empower women to become stronger and more independent. She is as charming and funny as she is strong-headed about her mission to build women’s capacity and to build products that will help and heal the planet.
As an indigenous female youth from rural Nepal, we know that you’ll inspire other young women like yourself to follow in your footsteps. Thank you so much from our entire team and all of our partners for joining us and we look forward to our collaboration!
Photos: Bora Studio Nepal