Interview with textile director and technologist Sangeetha Velkrishna
India holds a special place in our heart. It’s an integral part of the Tielle story and home to some of the most sustainable textile manufacturers in the world. Textile technologist and director Sangeetha Velkrishna tells us more about some of the Tielle’s impeccably-crafted textiles she makes at her socially responsible, female-focused firm.
Did you always want to lead a textiles business?
Yes, I was always fascinated by my father’s love and passion for textiles. Our dinner talks were often around textiles which made me fall in love with it even more.
Tell us about your mantra: Responsibility first.
I believe in leaving the planet we borrow from future generations in better shape. That means taking responsibility for our actions towards people and planet. Accepting responsibility and owning up to what I do are fundamental to being a good entrepreneur. It also ensures I fulfil the promises I make to my stakeholders – employees, vendors and customers.
Are conscious consumers driving this change?
Yes, sustainability and climate change are driving consumer behaviour. Customers are making more conscious decisions about what they choose and use. We source all our raw materials responsibly and only use manufacturing processes that promote fair practice.
Why is being female-focused so important?
Though gender equality is a popular topic for discussion in the boardroom, we feel that it should start at the grassroots. Empowerment only comes when women are able to earn a living, and only when a woman is empowered will she be able to lead a dignified life. A woman’s livelihood supports the uplift of her family and society. By creating accessible opportunities for women in tier-II & III cities and rural areas – 65% of our workforce are female - we open the door for them to be financially independent and make their own decisions.
What impact is this having on communities?
We employ girls from tribal villages in the northernmost parts of India, where sanitation and clean drinking water still pose a challenge. When these girls are trained and employed in our factories, they are able to improve living standards for their family and community. The ability and opportunity to earn has made our female workforce strong, independent and socially aware. This has helped a number of women get out of abusive marriages, support their children's education, or help their family financially.
How are you staying innovative and what trends are emerging in textiles?
We’re committed to innovating for a better future and staying informed on sustainability, recycled textiles and circular fashion. We also closely work with our customers to understand the needs and trends shaping their business, which also helps us drive innovation.
What can Tielle buyers expect from your linen?
Impeccable quality linen crafted with love and pride by happy women folk from India. Using the finest British Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton, we make our linens without any exploitation or harmful substances. Tielle buyers can be assured of a serene and calm sleep.