I first met Swetcha during our 2nd review of the SBI Youth for India Fellowship. She had a small workshop of dying clothes and I have always wanted to do it and was super stoked. Her talk on ethical wear and ethical dying was something that stuck with me and the designs from dying were brilliant. A metaphorical way for me to understand life and it’s up us to dye it the way we want. Swetchas work through Tinted Hand Collective is evident and I am honored to dedicate ‘A Spirit Within’ to her.
From Swetcha Herself,
I am Swetcha Poladi, the founder of Tinted Hands Collective and I have been a Youth For India fellow between 2015-16. I worked on traditional knowledge and biodiversity conservation in Jawhar, Maharshtra as a part of my fellowship and it had eventually led me to natural dyeing, an ancient textile art that creates least negative impact on the environment in comparison to the synthetic wet processes. After the fellowship i moved to Tamil Nadu to learn natural dyeing and document dye yielding plants. I have also trained a group of rural women in natural dyeing during this period. Later in 2018, I returned to Hyderabad to start Tinted Hands Collective with a aspiration to create people and planet friendly textile crafts and have conducted a few workshops to reach out to more people. Tinted Hands Collective operates through social media apps and primarily supports natural dyeing, handloom weaving and upcyling. Tinted also actively supports other initiatives, artists and entrepreneurs that share similar values by promoting them.
When i started Tinted Hands Collective, I had never thought about the impact that it would have on me as a person. It did not struck me until i was forced to endure several moments of uncertainty during the process of running this enterprise. My imagination about my self began to change everytime i found myself struggling to hold up during difficult times. I began to grow a bit more closer to me and understood how connected i was to this inititave. Tinted began to reflect my state of mind, my individuality and was also reacting to the events taking place in my life. It was by no means functioning like a regular business and it worried me immensely. My greatest fear was that it would become less about the cause and more about me. But I learned that it was bound to be this way, especially when one attempts to create an entity that is embodiment of an individual’s perception of what ought to be.