“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow,” said Indian novelist Anita Desai. Photography by Jenny Antill
It couldn’t be truer in the case of sisters Katie McClure and Erin Breen, who design a line of effortless caftans and dresses – MIRTH – inspired by discoveries from their travels (including, coincidentally, India).
Launched in 2016 after discovering heritage textiles over the course of several years, the sisters aimed to create comfortable pieces with a story, to be worn on the beach, to dinner and everywhere in between. The line is composed of soft textures and colors, and all are meant to be thrown on and worn wherever you are.
“We kept coming back to this idea that encompassed the things we loved – creativity, travel, unforced style and doing something that matters – and finally concluded we couldn’t rest until we at least tried it,” says McClure. With a modern take on traditional handloom weaving and abstract block printing, their mission is to help sustain and celebrate craft and provide opportunity and ethical employment to artisans in developing countries.
Several fabrics are handwoven by a women-run artisan cooperative in central India, which was formed to provide good livings to women and their families. Others are made in homes of artisans overseen by an organization that provides training and opportunity for weavers.
The block printing is done in Bagru, India, by a fourth-generation block printer. Each part of the process is done by hand by a member of the community, from carving intricate wooden blocks to mixing natural dyes and drying fabrics in the fields.
MIRTH is dedicated to social entreprenuerism. In addition to supporting artisan groups and training, the brand donates a portion of each sale to support the Naam Dev School in Bagru, which provides education in a healthy and positive environment to children of all castes.
Ease. Comfort. Throw one on and feel good, inside and out.