The making of MORALFIBRE has two aspects to it.
To develop environmentally friendly fabrics and clothing based on hand spun,
hand woven and other low carbon consuming fabric making techniques and to make
the processes socio-economically sustainable.
MORALFIBRE is set up to 'promote and sell' the MORALFIBRE label of fabrics,
furnishings and clothing, locally and globally in home and health markets. It
uses natural materials like cotton, silk and wool, to the highest
specifications and quality.
We use 'Ambar charkha' method of hand spinning. Each spinning machine is
operated by hand, like a hand sewing machine. Each machine can spin eight to
twelve threads at a time which increases the production and earning capacity as
opposed to the traditional method of spinning one thread at a time. The
spinning is done by semi skilled and unskilled women. The weaving is mostly
done by paddle looms by trained women and men.
We work with natural fibres and natural dyes which protect the workers and the
end users from developing allergies or illnesses and reduce water and air
pollution. The fact that the fibres do not go under machines for its spinning
and weaving we can do without many chemical processes harmful to health. We do
not use petroleum scours, silicon wax, Fermaldehyde, anti-wrinkle agents and
Chlorine based bleaches. Instead we use natural oils, and starch from boiled
rice. When we use natural dyes, it is not required to bleach the fabric before
dying. Most of the time the original sheen and softness of fibres are
There are several things we need to do to create a truly environmentally
friendly fabric. We believe in a 'Cradle to Cradle' approach of living. Ideally
all processes, products and by-products at all stages of production of fabric
and clothing should nourish and enhance the environment rather than damage it.
There is a need to explore several aspects of the existing 'Khadi 'industry.
We need to take this manufacturing process to the next level and re-invent the
fabric to suit the needs of today's consumers.
We are developing all processes of cloth making, dyeing and processing, free of
chemicals that are harmful to the environment. We are working with some of the
well established organisations who have incorporated 'lab testing' into their
production cycle. We hope to set up an R & D centre to improve and develop
the existing hand-spinning and weaving tools & techniques and its testing
methods to create various, superior quality standardised grades of fabrics. In
due course we wish to set up a design studio in order to develop different
weaves and create different types of fabrics and clothing.
We have developed our fabric range by using human energy instead of
electricity. Our production is inherently people intensive. We work with small
organisations based in remote villages and those that have a transparent wage
paying methods. Many of them are co-operatives. Apart from fair wages we make
sure that the workers have a share in the profit. They also have a good system
of provident fund schemes (pension / saving fund schemes).
Most of our work force is women. The working environment is clean and airy. We
make sure that good safety and health standards are maintained all the time.
The working hours are reasonable with breaks in between. To
produce clothing in a socio-economically sustainable way, we have adopted a
multiple channel approach. Due to the fast moving economy, changing industry
models, computerisation and climate change, a significant part of the community
suffer from economic instability. With each change, thousands of people living
on the borderline fall into debt and in the poverty trap. The government
initiatives do not go far enough. Today, there are insufficient opportunities
to help and support them and to get them back to living with dignity.
Initially we work locally, in Gujarat. We are working with some of the very few
well-run 'Khadi' - hand spun, hand woven fabrics- producing
organisations, at the same time applying several development models. We also
wish to assist workers in improving their basic needs like clean water,
shelter, sanitation, health and education. We hope to develop a prototype model
for this manufacturing industry which can be replicated elsewhere. Our measure
of success will be in supporting more and more people within this industry.
Environmentally sustainable business practices
Office Location: Our main office is located in a farm house,
at the CEO's residence, near the city. It is designed by an architect
specializing in using alternative energy resources and natural forces. The
building is naturally cooled by effective use of natural wind flow and
micronisers. Solar energy is used in water heating and all garden and external
lighting. Every effort is made in reducing electrical consumption. Rain water
harvesting plant provides drinking water. Vegetables and fruits are grown
organically on the land. We have composting pits and our waste is segregated
and sold for its second life cycle.
Work locally / Transport: Our staff is recruited from the
nearby villages. Many of our consultants and manufacturers either work from
home or live very near their work. We mostly use the internet and phones for
Many workers and artisans working in the co-operatives we work with, live near
their work units. Some of the organizations run a bus service for the staff
living away from work. Almost all our production is done within 300 km. radius.
It helps to develop local communities and it reduces carbon footprints. We try
and use least polluting transport lines for each order.
Packaging: All our products are packed in cloth bags that can
be re-used. We recycle boxes.
Selling: We operate in the wholesale market at present. We sell
most of our range on the web through our website. We believe it is a default
mode of selling in continuity with the concept of environmental sustainability
at its heart.