Traditional glass bead embroidery on finest high quality materials: The Berlin label Manakaa Project is a must remember! 

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Manakaa is Hindi and means glass bead. Stefanie and Valerie could not have chosen a more appropriate name for their label. The two founders of Manakaa Project, got in touch with the art of Indian beadwork through a social project.

The Founders of Manakaa Project

The founder duo: Stefanie and Valerie

Back in Berlin in 2018 the idea was born to transform this traditional embroidery method into modern, coded patterns and they founded Manakaa Project. The label combines the old Indian craftsmanship with coded bead patterns and precise, minimalist cuts. The result is a collection of unique pieces - silk blouses, silk scarves, cashmere sweaters, sweatshirts, trousers and jackets with elaborate graphic bead embroidery.

The focus is on Japanese Miyuki glass beads. It has been produced in Hiroshima since the 1930s and is considered to be very high-class due to its superior quality, brilliance and uniform shape. The detailed embroideries are applied bead by bead with simple embroidery frames according to the traditional method. This process is very complex and can only be done by experienced embroiderers.

The fabrics used by Manakaa Project are also carefully selected and of high quality. Most of them are sustainable. Currently about 85% of all garment components are GOTS certified and meet the highest Ökotext standard. The remaining 15% are produced in small, often family-run factories.

"We are constantly looking for new organic alternatives and regenerated fibres to achieve the maximum standard of sustainability for our collection," says the label.

Process of Production in the workshops in India.

Among other things, Ahimsa silk is used. Unlike traditional methods, it is produced without killing the silkworms, as is normally the case. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term for the principle of non-violence, which reflects the peaceful attitude of mankind towards animals and nature in many Eastern religions. The label uses cashmere from the Mongolian brand Bodio's. It was founded by a Mongolian nomad from the Gobi Desert. After two decades as a cashmere trader, he founded his own knitwear company. By paying above the market price Ulziibodijav wants to set new standards for responsible business practices in Mongolia. And he succeeds, with his fair premium cashmere, which is celebrated by experts worldwide.

This is where Ahimsa Silk comes from

By the way: part of the sales revenues will be donated to charity. "We give a share of the profits to our embroiderers in India," say the founders. And so the circle closes where it all began.