Introduction

The word ‘Dinghy’ signifies a small boat mostly used in Eastern India. It has poetic prominence in various work of art and literature of Bengal. So Dinghy here has a metaphoric connotation when used as our brand name

Vision

Our aim is to create sustainable fashion while uplifting traditional skills to contemporary design needs. Our work is inspired by objects of daily usage - colour, texture or patterns that one can relate to and find a special place in the heart. Jamdani, is a Persian word by origin, translates to "floral vase" and our work also embraces traditional floral and foliage motifs. But we found little being done to expand it into our modern style of living. So, using our traditional skills and ideas, to translate the ages-old art form into modern and relatable geometric and abstract designs. At Dinghy, 'minimalism' is a core inspiration, for which we always try to avoid complex designs and patterns. Dinghy, the brand, is all about of producing exceptional art with Indian fabric; sarees and stoles of beautiful designs glorifying the legacy of Bengal. Our team of craftsmen and artisans are experts of the art form and masters at Jamdani weaving. Here at Dinghy, we put in special attention to the designs of products embracing authenticity while also keeping the contemporary taste in mind. Dinghy is always looking to revamp and reinvent the tradition and also produce classic hand woven fabrics suited for the current era. Every product in our collection is a symbol of hard work and dedication of our team of talented artisans. We wish to raise the bar higher with our product range while guaranteeing – quality, comfort and contemporary aesthetics.

BACK STORY

While working in Mumbai on their individual careers, both brothers decided to move back home to Kolkata. They had one common goal in mind. It was 2017 and the brothers visited numerous craft clusters in Bengal; interacted and interviewed skilled weavers tp gain a better understanding of the handloom industry. MSME and private bodies have put in a lot of effort to minimize the influence of Mahajans (middlemen) but a uber-competitive market and lack of money often derailed their efforts. The 'middleman-trap' is one of the prime reasons why Bengal's handloom and weaving industry always face an existential threat. Hence, the brothers decided to work directly with the weavers and artisans, the people who deserve the actual credit and bridge the gap between the creators and the customers.

MAINAK

Post completion of schooling, Mainak moved onto accomplish his dreams. He always wanted to study designing and understand every aspect of the textile industry. Looking to achieve his goals, Mainak pursued and completed his graduation in Textile Designing from NIFT Kolkata. From there he started working at Sabyasachi Couture in 2009. Here, Mainak worked as a Design Assistant for a year and before leaving to complete his Masters in Textile Designing from the prestigious NID, Ahmedabad. Over the years of gaining experience, Mainak worked closely with craftsmen and expert weavers from different parts to complete projects and internships. Upon completing his Masters, he joined an NGO to work closely at the grassroots level with the weavers. The NGO was dedicated to providing a stable livelihood through textile to craftsmen in remote areas. It is at this stage in his life, that Mainak found his true calling. He decided to start his own work collaborating with the skilled craftsmen to produce contemporary and authentic textile art. Slowly things fell into place. Mainak found himself as a designer of home furnishing fabrics at a renowned Export House based in Mumbai. After gaining the necessary experience, he decided to trust his abilities and embark on their maiden voyage "Dinghy" with Arka, his brother by his side.

ARKA

Akra had specialized in finance all through his academic career. But through his journey, he had a dream of making it on his own. A job at a large corporation and a big figure salary was never his goal. He also found no satisfaction in the concept of working for someone else; to him, it was just a job. Arka always had an urge to work for his own fortunes. From a young age, he wished to own a manufacturing unit. He thought a lot about what the product will be but never could settle on one. But never stopped to get the answer to his professional desires. After completing his Master's degree, Arka was working in Mumbai as a foreign exchange dealer in a well known brokering house. While working, he realized there is a huge market for handicraft products in India; products like excluisvely designed sarees, stoles and dupattas are always in demand. He also understood that there is a section of the population, especially women, who have an unabashed love for exclusivity when it comes to fashion. Arka did market research and found brands offering quality products but they also charged their customers unreasonably. This is where he got an idea. Now Arka wanted to start his brand of handwoven products of contemporary taste and create a collection for the core market. A range of appropriately priced products that are easy on the pocket and also ooze exclusivity. The words of the great Edwin Herbert Land inspired him always - "an essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail". Creativity, foresightedness, adaptation and a keen sense of contemporary taste are some of Arka's core characteristic. Even without a background or any experience in the field, he found his calling and moved on to accomplish his dreams. With his brother, Mainak, they stared their fashion label "Dinghy" and never looked back.