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WHO WE ARE

WHO
WE ARE

We are a loungewear label that partners maker families & vulnerable communities to create beauty sustainably.

Fashion is the second most pollutive industry in the world. The people and processes involved in the making of clothing are often obscured and not celebrated. We believe that by rethinking the ecosystem of fashion, from who we work with to how it's made, we can change real lives and real communities on the ground.

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Who We Partner
How It's Made
parallax

We exist to
bridge marginalised
makers to markets.

From Their Homes, To Yours. When we first visited our traditional maker families in India, we were amazed at the intricate beauty and skill harnessed within the heart of their homes. Many of these makers inherited skills from their fathers and grandfathers, keeping heritage textiles alive since they were sought centuries ago.

From Their Homes, To Yours. When we first visited our traditional maker families in India, we were amazed at the intricate beauty and skill harnessed within the heart of their homes. Many of these makers inherited skills from their fathers and grandfathers, keeping heritage textiles alive since they were sought centuries ago.

They shared stories of youths from other maker families who had decided to abandon the craft, migrating to cities in search of adhoc jobs as hand-printed heritage textiles were no longer economically viable. Their livelihoods were at stake and handiwork demeaned by mass-produced imitations of heritage textile prints, made cheaply using pollutive synthetic fabrics and dyes. A global culture of fast, disposable fashion threatens centuries of incredible craftsmanship with extinction. 

"...we were amazed at the intricate beauty and skill harnessed within the heart of their homes." 

They shared stories of youths from other maker families who had decided to abandon the craft, migrating to cities in search of adhoc jobs as hand-printed heritage textiles were no longer economically viable. Their livelihoods were at stake and handiwork demeaned by mass-produced imitations of heritage textile prints, made cheaply using pollutive synthetic fabrics and dyes. A global culture of fast, disposable fashion threatens centuries of incredible craftsmanship with extinction. 

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Recognising how difficult it was for traditional craftsmen to compete, we realised that as designers, we have conscious choices to make. Who do we work with? How do we produce? What stories can be told of the making of our products? Every question answered differently leads to actual change on the ground in terms of people’s livelihoods and environmental impact.

"...we were amazed at the intricate beauty and skill harnessed within the heart of their homes." 

Product image

NOST comes from nostalgia, which at its root etymology means “a longing for home.”

Recognising how difficult it was for traditional craftsmen to compete, we realised that as designers, we have conscious choices to make. Who do we work with? How do we produce? What stories can be told of the making of our products? Every question answered differently leads to actual change on the ground in terms of people’s livelihoods and environmental impact.

"we were amazed at the intricate beauty and skill harnessed within the heart of their homes"

Product image

The homes in which we had these conversations, on floor mats belonging to these warm families who hosted us over tea, became the central motif of our brand.

Home represented to these makers the stability and warmth of family, and the space to continue dreaming. However we are aware that for many, home is not the safe haven it should be.

This is why we choose to work with vulnerable communities that tend to be overlooked. These communities face several threats to their well-being, including:
o Threats to livelihood
o Threats to craft & heritage
o Threats to safety


Learn More:
Who We Partner
How It's Made

Founders Felicia & Tessa with our Kalamkari makers, in their home.

NOST comes from nostalgia, which at its root etymology means “a longing for home.”

The homes in which we had these conversations, on floor mats belonging to these warm families who hosted us over tea, became the central motif of our brand.

Home represented to these makers the stability and warmth of family, and the space to continue dreaming. However we are aware that for many, home is not the safe haven it should be.

This is why we choose to work with vulnerable communities that tend to be overlooked. These communities face several threats to their well-being, including:
o Threats to livelihood
o Threats to craft & heritage
o Threats to safety

Learn More:
Who We Partner
How It's Made


Founders Felicia & Tessa with our Kalamkari makers, in their home.

Our Journey

NOST’s tagline is “from their homes, to yours”. When we first visited our traditional maker families in India, we were amazed at the intricate beauty and skill harnessed within the heart of their homes. Many of these makers inherited skills from their fathers and grandfathers, keeping heritage textiles alive since they were traded centuries ago along the silk road.

They shared stories of how youths from other maker families had decided to abandon the craft, migrating to cities in search of adhoc jobs as the traditional craft was no longer economically viable. Their livelihoods were threatened by commercial mass-production methods, where fabrics could be churned out much quicker per day. Unfortunately, some of these printers would often misrepresent their screen printed work as traditional block-printing, flooding the market with cheaper, synthetic alternatives. Synthetic dyes and fabrics cause water pollution in these agrarian societies, and take many more decades to biodegrade compared to natural fabrics like cotton.

About Us

Felicia Toh & Tessa Weiher are lifelong friends and architects who share a love for the imperfect beauty of handmade heritage textiles. They travelled to India in search of skilled craftsmanship and found much more - warm hospitality over steaming cups of chai, heartfelt stories of daily life for the makers and stunning rajasthani architecture.

Since then, the journey of uncovering heritage textiles has led them to the coastal town of Pekalongan in Indonesia. Greeted by honeyed wafts of melted wax, they saw firsthand the incredible artistry of batik printing. NOST is born from this journey of two architects dreaming and partnering with these amazing artisan families in Asia.

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