Design | Chamars of Dharavi

Part of the dalit communities of India, Chamars are known to have adopted the profession of leather makers. This long tradition was disrupted by the latest beef ban, making it difficult for Chamars to obtain and use the leather material they are so connected to and from which their livelihood depends.Reutilizing the skills and the experience these craftsmen gained during their life, the CHAMAR brand employs leather workers from the chamar community to produce handmade bags and other accessories in different materials, from cotton to latex and more.The circulation of these products among different kinds of people brings with it a statement about the untouchable condition in India, supporting economically this community on one side and giving them visibility on the other. A first step to open a conversation about a too often silenced situation in India and abroad.

Chamar
‘Chamar has also been used as a word for anyone whom the describer considers to be of low standing.  As a public protest I want to express that anger through this
— Sudheer
Chamar

Product are made from natural rubber that is made with recycled tyres. Our simple design make them unique and the bags come with no branding. Also there are no adjustments (buckle and hole to adjust size of the strap)and they are waterproof. These are completely hand made by untouchable hands.The product is made in slums of Dharavi, Kandivali, Santacruz, where the artisans live and work as cobblers.I believe in working with the local community, sustainability through recycling and upcycling, preserving artisan skills and creating utilitarian minimalist fashion.50% for the profit goes to the artisan who makes 2 bags a day.  We have 3 artisans for now but in the future we wish to train more people.'Chamar has also been used as a word for anyone whom the describer considers to be of low standing.  As a public protest I want to express that anger through this' - says Founder, Sudheer who grew up in the slums of Kandivali and studied drawing and painting.

Photos: Debdeep roy

chamar