Hi, my name is Radhika. I was born and raised on a farm in rural Australia, and amongst other things, I’m proudly part Indian (my grandmother hailed from Prayag, India), and also part First Nations. I currently live in Southern California with my husband and six kids, and we own a plant-based restaurant.
I grew up wearing colorful Indian saris and skirts, but one day when I found out that silk production involved the killing of silkworms my world fell apart. Although I'd been plant-based my whole life, I had never realized that the silk clothing I grew up with had involved unnecessary suffering, and I couldn't be a part of that anymore.
I researched "cruelty-free" silk, but was sad to find out it wasn't what it purported to be, and so I tried to satisfy my inner fashionista with ready-to-wear clothing made from cotton, jute, and rayon etc.…..but none of it was up to snuff.
While growing up, my mum and sister had taught me to knit, sew, and dye fabrics, and so I began making my own clothes. I started with a traditional Indian, three-piece ensemble consisting of a: skirt (lehnga), blouse (choli), and scarf (dupatta, chunni).
But I was making things from scratch and so the sky was the limit, and the outfit became a fusion of my Indian and my Western ethnicity. I brought together traditional motifs with a more modern, fitted style. You see, I love the elegance of the ancient style but wanted to recreate it in a fashion-forward way that would be exciting to wear. And I wanted amazing outfits that were: comfortable, washable, and color-fastened (and most of what's out there isn't!).
I started by just making things for myself, but people ended up really liking my creations and asking me if they could buy them… and that's how I began.
My Current Work:
I've always been into conscious and sustainable living and try to honor that in whatever I do.
In India, we work closely with local artisans, support cottage industries, do everything by hand in small runs, and pay everyone sustainable wages far above the average.
I design a lot of our fabrics from scratch now too, and we only ever use natural fibers (no silk, though), so all our stuff is cruelty-free and sustainable!
Oh, and In case you were wondering, the word "Gopi" translates as "milkmaid" and refers to the iconic and archetypal feminine devotees of Krishna.