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Home > Sunday Mid Day News > Where style meets sustainability

Where style meets sustainability

Updated on: 07 November,2021 07:44 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Anju Maskeri | anju.maskeri@mid-day.com

Two jewellery startups are putting the spotlight on edgy, ethnic accessories crafted by local artisans

Where style meets sustainability

Gold nazar jhumkas

While watching Bollywood songs on YouTube at his Singapore home, it dawned on Steven Jhangiani that maang tikkas are rarely seen outside of weddings, films and traditional events. Jhangiani, who is the co-founder of contemporary Indian menswear label, KURTEES,  started thinking about what a maang tikka would look like with a “skull dangling from it”. A few months later, when he was in Mumbai, he bounced the idea off Hansika Jethnani, COO and co-founder at KURTEES.


Maang tikka by Funky Maharani
Maang tikka by Funky Maharani


“Having a collection of maang tikkas that could be worn with both Indian and Western wear, or to a rave, was an idea that resonated with her.” Soon after, they launched their first collection of maang tikkas, jhumkas and payals under the label Funky Maharani. The intent, says Jethnani, is to offer customers quality pieces at affordable prices, and importantly, to provide them with pieces that can be worn daily.


Cane baskets by Runway Nagaland
Cane baskets by Runway Nagaland

The jewellery is designed to be fun, edgy with eye-catching motifs such as butterflies, peacock feathers and roses, bringing alive a contemporary version of South Asian culture. All the pieces are handcrafted by indigenous artisans from 80 per cent recycled brass, and the packaging is entirely recyclable. The prices start from Rs 1,000 onward.
funkymaharani.com/

For Nengneithem Hengna, tribal Naga jewellery is as much about identity and heritage as about style. “In fact, every single piece of jewellery from the tribes—Nagaland has 16—has its own story since our traditional ornaments have been passed down generations,” she says. Her venture Runway Nagaland is an extension of this thought.

A chunky bead necklace
A chunky bead necklace

The platform aims to empower artisans and preserve the state’s indigenous art, and offers a dazzling variety of Naga jewellery made of natural fibre. Along with contemporary pieces, it also offers decor items such as baskets, mats, planters, handloom cushion covers and table runners made on loinloom.  

Hansika JethnanI, Steven Jhangiani and Nengneithem Hengna
Hansika JethnanI, Steven Jhangiani and Nengneithem Hengna

According to Hengna, what sets the jewellery apart is the material it is crafted from. “We use a variety of beads, feathers, brass, bronze, shells, claws, wood, boar tusks and claws. The colourful and intricately designed costumes and beads are symbolic of our land’s ancient heritage.” Their earrings start from R800, chokers and necklaces from R1,050 and go up to R50,000 depending on the  design and materials used.  
www.runwayindia.in

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