Catherine Allié is Founder of We are Kal, a slow textile label which produces hand-spun and hand-woven textiles made of silk and wool in India. She is a recipient of the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe, amongst many other social entrepreneurship accolades.
Each week, What Matters Most interviews a revolutionary leader from the business and activism world about what is most important to them in their life and work. We are deeply inspired by these people and we hope our readers will be too!
When were you happiest in your life?
It was in July 2014 when I sourced wool from the Kharnak nomads for the very first time. It was rather absurd – in the middle of nowhere with very minimal knowledge of the Ladakhi language, not knowing a bunch about wool selection myself, but buying 40 kilos of yak and sheep wool. It was a very happy moment because my wildest dreams came true. It is this perseverance that is so rewarding.
What's the one thing you wish you knew 20 years ago? If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
That would be to my 8-year old me. I would surely recommend practicing inner calmness and patience.
What matters the most to you in your work and why?
What matters most is our unique approach to making textiles. To discover the source of the raw material and from then on, develop hand-made textiles that are a tribute to their land, people and culture.
We are KAL is the slow textile label founded by Catherine Allié, which produces hand-spun and hand-woven textiles made of silk and wool. What characterizes their work is the deep involvement and transparency in every step of the value chain of the product. In this way KAL connects nomads, farmers, spinners and weavers in India with customers worldwide. The aesthetic is minimal and effortlessly elegant. Catherine Allié not only wants to be socially entrepreneurial in this way, but also to bring about ecological and cultural change: income for lost abilities, resource-friendly textile production and the revelation of unique art, culture and lifestyle. "Kal" means "tomorrow" as well as "yesterday" in Hindi and stands for the combination of tradition and modernity. Catherine Allié studied Business Administration and Fashion Design in Paris. In 2017, she made it on the Forbes list of 30 Under 30 Europe. Catherine commutes between India and Germany.
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