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Urban Medley - handmade scarves & kimonos

Gepubliceerd op 13 januari 2023 om 10:21

Meet Urban Medley! Based in The Netherlands and fair made in India, Urban Medley is a beautiful sustainable brand that deserves its own blog on our website. Urban Medley is committed to keep traditional crafts alive. An ethical collection in modern design, vibrant colours and natural materials help the artisanal heritage stay relevant. Handmade all-season scarves, kimonos, and wraps made with respect for people and planet. Exclusive accessories crafted by artisans, few pieces at a time. The designs and colours are truely unique and beautiful. 


Urban Medley makes ethical products with artisan craftsmanship. When you own a piece from Urban Medley you can wear it with pride as it represents much more than just what you see, it reflects a collective of individuals (artisans, designers, and dreamers) who came  together to craft your item. The name of the brand ‘Urban Medley’ reflects the medley or collection of heritage, art and fine craftsmanship which is beautiful, exclusive and adds a little more colour and fun to life. Handmade with love.

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Unique handmade scarves and kimonos

Urban Medley is different than others in this trade and they stand apart. The designers work with groups and communities thus helping them to be independent and proudly continue their traditions. Our designers help the artisans to balance tradition with contemporary. The artisans earn a respectable living using their age- old methods and production processes. Urban Medley is not about mass productions and machine-made perfection, so there is room for tiny imperfections and minor blemishes which then translates to the uniqueness of the final product and therefore no two will be an exact copy.


It’s colourful, boundless, energetic and involves a lot of experimentation. Each piece in the slow collection is handmade thus making it truly exclusive. Not bound by age, gender, race, colour or even size, Urban Medley chooses sustainable, handmade ethically produced accessories, as their focus point. 

Ethical production in India

The collections are created by designers and artisans from India who are working relentlessly to revive traditional art forms and make fashion maximum possible sustainable. As a transparent business Urban Medley helps communities to develop and reduce the footprints we leave behind for a healthier Planet Earth. They partner with artisan communities and designers who fully share our values and are committed to fair wages for all, no child labour, respect for women, and equal economic and social opportunities for all.

Pankaj is a dyer at Neesha’s workshop, here drying out some cotton fabric after printing.

Printed scarves hang to dry.

Eco-friendly and animal-friendly materials

Committed to being mindful to planet and people the accessories are always made with materials which are least harmful to our environment, and leave behind a minimum footprints.  It is not just exclusivity of products but also the right choice of materials. All the products are made of sustainable and organic material like peace silk, organic cotton and vegan leather. The production of the material is cruelty free, uses minimum water and no pesticides. Dyes are natural and eco friendly. Pollution is kept to minimum and most are minimal to zero pollution production, There is almost no polluting of local waterbodies or adding of toxicity to soil. All used materials are organic and sustainable.

Peace Silk, the cruelty free alternative to conventional silk

Silk was once only the fabric of royalty and aristocrats introduced to the western world via the famous silk route. It reflected style, elegance and exquisite taste and sophistication. The cruelty that was involved in the making of this rich fabric was conveniently overlooked. Unknown to many was the process of making the silk yarns. In the conventional production of silk, the cocoons are boiled in hot water before the silkworm can hatch into a moth. This is necessary in order to maintain the length, strength and sheen of the silk fibres which was extremely important for haute couture.

According to PETA, 3,000 silkworms are killed to produce half a kilo of silk. The boiling water loosens the sericin (glue which binds the filaments together) and fine silk filaments are extracted off the cocoon. The filaments are twisted to produce yarn which then is woven into rich silk fabric. Though silk is sustainable since it requires very little water, biodegrades faster than many other fibres there is no ignoring the cruelty aspect of its production process.

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In 1990 Kusuma Rajaiah, a sericulturist from Andhra Pradesh, India found a way to create silk yarns without in any way harming the silkworms- Peace Silk was made and slowly commercialized around the globe.


Organic Peace silk is produced from the discarded cocoon from which the silk moth is naturally released. This exposure to nature results in its truly multi-tonal look, which cannot be duplicated by machine made fabric. The piercing of the cocoon by the worm as it mesomorphs into a moth, results in many pieces of yarn (instead of one continuous thread) which then must be spun together to make a single thread. This process is way more time consuming. It also makes the silk more expensive as the yield of silk filaments are about six times less once the cocoon is pierced and the manufacturing process is way longer. However, as a process it is more ethical, cruelty free and sustainable. It retains the purest qualities of silk. It’s cool in summer and warm in winter making it usable all year round.

Organic silk culture is a forest-based industry, and the yarn is produced in a completely untouched natural environment as the silkworms are reared outdoors on trees of Aasan, and they do not feed on plucked leaves.

These natural silks are made by a collaborative venture of tribal silkworm rearers. The rural women spin the yarn, and handloom weavers in the hinterlands of India weave the fabric. It provides employment to the disadvantaged groups living in remote areas and enables self-dependence and better living standards to these underprivileged communities and it enables them to live and earn a living in their natural habitats.

However, till date many conscious consumers and advocates of sustainable fashion are completely unaware of this cruelty free process of making luxurious silk. Urban Medley will change that. Urban Medley is working with artisans and designers to promote peace silk accessories. The scarves and kimonos are made of peace silk and designed with hand block printing, one item at a time. They do not mass produce making each item truly exclusive.

So is peace silk the alternative to conventional silk- it is, however, it is not a cheaper option. This labour-intensive product though expensive can also be used for years and with little care passed on from one generation to the next. It is a true classic made with much love.

Scarves made of Organic Kala Cotton

Kala cotton is indigenous to Kutch a district in Western India. Its organic, as the farmers do not use any pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. It is a purely rain-fed and a carbon neutral crop that has a high tolerance for disease, pests, and the harshest of weather conditions. It is resilient and resurgent in the face of difficult land conditions. This variety of cotton is organic, energy efficient, uses minimal water. Kala cotton helps provide livelihoods to farmers as due to its resilient nature the cultivation requires minimum investments. It is an all season fabric, soft in feel and extremely durable


The collection of organic cotton scarfs is designed by and made in collaboration with Karghewale in small batches. Karghewale is an incubator and consultancy service provider for artisan-promoted micro-enterprises. It seeks to enable aspiring young artisan-entrepreneurs to participate and engage with markets directly.  Karghewale presently works with 150 weaver entrepreneurs across 13 different states of India. They work closely with artisans and weavers from across the country to serve the penchant of cotton lovers. With the help of these weavers, we celebrate Indian culture, tradition and our rich heritage. Kala Cotton is raw and rustic, minimalistic and timeless pieces, in earthy colours of vegetable dyes. The fabric and dye combination is skin-friendly, easy to care. Our organic cotton scarf is perfect for all seasons.

Eco friendly and animal friendly fabrics

Block printing

The prints on the scarfs and kimonos are created by means of block printing. Block printing is the process of printing patterns by means of engraved wooden blocks. It is the earliest, simplest and slowest of all methods of textile printing. Block printing by hand is a slow process. It is, however, capable of yielding highly artistic results, some of which are unobtainable by any other method. Handmade with love, and a lot of patience. 

Block printing is the process of printing patterns by means of engraved wooden blocks

Different blocks for block printing

Harm free dyes

The paint used for coloring the colorful scarves and kimonos is Azo free. Azo free dyes do not contain nitrogen-based compounds. These dyes are eco-friendly and eliminate the use of toxic compounds. Azo-free dyes are low impact dyes also known as fibre reactive dyes. Azo-free refers to any dyes that do not contain the main known carcinogenic compounds that have been regulated by the EU. They are better for the environment than the usual conventional dyes that are available easily. European Commission has adopted a proposal to restrict the use of azo dyes, a group of 43 chemicals that can cause cancer, and are dangerous to human genes or reproduction. Azo dyes are cheaper and hence commonly used in textile industry.


Urban Medley is a brand that stands for ethical and harm free products. Therefore it is understandable that they only use Azo free or natural dyes. It's safe for your skin and better for your healt. The dyes used for Urban Medley are natural and eco friendly

Eco friendly dyes

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Reforestation- Plant a tree

Even though we stand committed to sell products friendly to our planet Earth we know we can’t be 100% sustainable. As an online business we are shipping goods constantly an action which is not the friendliest to nature. To offset these and other similar activities we plant a tree for every order placed. We are working with Tree Nation, slowly and steadily building our own forest for the tribal in India. So when you shop at Urban Medley you know that you have made a positive impact. A tree is planted! Tree Nation made it even possible to compensate 100% the website’s CO2 emissions. So as you browse the Urban Medley website a tree is planted to offset the CO2 emissions.


Tree planting allows us to restore and preserve the biodiversity and help avoid mass extinction of both humans and all other forms of terrestrial lives from their natural habitat. Remember every positive step counts no matter how small a step you take!


Visit the Tree nation forest here

Eco friendly packaging

The dust bags for your scarves and capes are made by Noyyal Go Green, a NGO working with women from villages of Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India. The bags are made of organic cotton with buttons made from discarded coconut shells. The shipping boxes and wrapping papers are of recycled material. Urban Medley minimizes use of plastic as much as possible.

Shayonti, the founder of Urban Medley.


Shayonti: "Though not a fashionista, nor a designer, I dared to dream of building a lifestyle brand which allows one to amplify one’s personal style- Something individualistic and timeless, opposed to time bound and trendy. After a corporate career spanning over 22 years, most of which I worked to make a comfortable living, but not always the heart was in it I decided to follow my dream alone. I connected with my roots back in India and to promote the rich artisanal heritage which had held me spellbound as far as I can recall. What always amazed me, was how our artisans using their traditional techniques effortlessly reflect contemporary fashion and colours. I realized it was this ability to adapt with times that enabled the many artisanal crafts from India to stay relevant over centuries making them unique and exclusive.


My brand would like to bring you style, with master craftsmen and brilliant designers. Each of our product bears the hallmark of the maker making it truly exclusive. My ideal world is where we make a choice simply because its right, where empathy is always in style, and each of us in spite of our differences in race, sex, color, religion, feel safe and comfortable.


So if you ask me, what is Urban Medley, I would say, an one of a kind lifestyle brand, which helps unfold the story behind the craft, salutes the makers, enables you to celebrate your style  being mindful to the planet."

Shayonti – “Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.” —Iris Apfel

The futur

If we ask what the main objectives for the next 5 years are, Shayonti says: "Increase the brand awareness amongst conscious consumers. Introduce our clientele to a wider collection of sustainable products made of hemp, bamboo and pinatex. Create exclusive range of products which truly stand out and are representative of traditional forms of art, weaving and printing. We also need to be financially viable as a brand or else we cannot continue to support our artisans. Have a stronger voice within the sustainable ecosystem. Be a source of credible information for the consumers and help make them change their lifestyles and consumption pattern for a better greener world."

You can follow Urban Medley on Instagram and Facebook. Give them a follow and like!


And I saved the best for last: you will get a 15% discount on your order with code:  ING15  This unique discount code is only available for you, as a reader of my blog (it even has my name in it ;)) Buy smart and enjoy your Urban Medley item!


Lots of love,


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