If you attended school in India, you’re familiar with khadi: this eco-friendly, handspun and handwoven fabric is inseparably tied to our freedom movement. It conjures images of Mahatma Gandhi and his spinning wheel, and the chakra at the centre of our flag. Khadi signifies sustainability and economic self-liberation – #MakeInIndia before #MakeInIndia was cool. There’s a certain magic to the material, too: it’s said to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And it always, always feels good on your skin.
Khadi is durable, so you don’t need to treat it with kid gloves. However, for delicate and embroidered weaves, or silk blends, it’s preferable to have it dry-cleaned. If not, old-school hand-washing is the way to go: use a mild (and preferably natural) soap. It gets softer with every wash. Air-dry it in the shade to maintain the dye, and starch afterwards, so that the fabric remains firm. Khadi isn’t a throwaway fabric; if you care for it well it’ll last you a long time – and in wearing it, you’ll have contributed to a sustainable, conscious production process.