Behind the Brand - Em & Shi

We caught up with Jaipur based slow fashion brand Em & Shi to learn more about the origins of the brand and their beautiful printed pieces.

How did Em&Shi come about?

It al began with the idea of combining indigenous techniques with modern prints and silhouettes that perfectly suit the lifestyle of the women we design for. To bring this vision to life, we created one of our initial prints, Sunflower, by adapting the design to align with the hand-blocking technique native to Jaipur, our city of origin. This unique approach became the foundation for our timeless oversized blazer, which continues to be cherished by our customers.
Where does the name come from?

The name Em&Shi is derived from the names of the sibling duo who founded the brand. 'Em' is a shortened version of Mansi, which itself means femininity, while 'Shi' is derived from Shivansh, a Hindu god associated with transformation. The name naturally aligned with the balance we sought to bring to our brand. It holds personal significance and embodies the ethos of our brand.
Can you tell us a bit about the production - who makes your pieces and where?

Our pieces are crafted in a SEDEX certified workshop located in the city of Jaipur. We are proud to collaborate with artisans from the state of Rajasthan, many of whom hail from nearby villages and have migrated to the city. The printing work is entrusted to the skilled members of the Chhipa community, for whom this art is not just a profession but also an integral part of their identity. The knowledge and expertise in this craft are passed down to them from childhood. It's truly heartwarming to witness families coming together to work on a print, creating a sense of unity and collaboration in the process.
Why is slow, sustainable fashion important to Em&Shi?

We see the commitment to sustainability as the only viable path forward. The textile industry, while being a major source of pollution, also generates significant employment. We firmly believe that humans, animals, and the environment are interconnected and coexist within the same ecosystem. It is not feasible to prioritize one over the others; instead, we aim to care for all three holistically. As a vegan and ethical brand, our goal is to prioritize the well-being of our people, animals, and surroundings to the best of our ability, embracing a sustainable approach.
Your prints are beautiful - what are these inspired by?

We find inspiration for our beautiful prints by combining moods and elements from nature, which forms the foundation of our storytelling process. Each print tells a unique story. For instance, our Healing Herbs print emerged during the pandemic, a time of isolation and home-centered activities like cooking. This inspired us to create a print centered around the themes of food and nourishment, like  incorporating motifs of chamomile and wispy mint leaves. We carefully selected colors inspired by the hues of food, resulting in a print that exudes comfort and a sense of uniformity. If you take some time with the silhouettes, you ll find that they transition from indoors to outdoors seamlessly, you could lounge in them all day and wear them out to a fancy brunch just as easily. 
Lastly, what are your hopes and dreams for Em & Shi for the future?

Our ultimate hope and dream for Em & Shi in the future is to witness slow fashion becoming the norm. While small batch production presents its own challenges, we have been fortunate to find a passionate community that shares our values. Both we and our community understand that slower logistics and longer turnaround times are part of the process compared to larger brands. Our aspiration is to create a shift where caring for everyone involved in the fashion industry becomes the norm, and where it is widely accepted that taking time to create something beautiful and sustainable is not only acceptable but encouraged.