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Saris to Suits organizes a “Fashion Show for a Purpose”

November 2023
Saris to Suits organizes a “Fashion Show for a Purpose”

Imagine a time-honored sari repurposed into a ruffled, beaded necklace pendant. Or restyling the five meters of sari fabric into a jacket handcrafted by trained artisans living in an impoverished part of India. These are just some of the beautiful pieces featured at Saris to Suits Second Annual Fashion and Trunk Show hosted at Sankrati’s Grand Ballroom in Johns Creek. The nonprofit, started in 2012 by Patti Tripathi, aims to create change through women’s empowerment, gender equity and planet sustainability.

[Left] Saris to Suit team along with models for the fashion show.

AT_13_23_11.jpgIt was a packed house abuzz with energy and excitement. People mingled and shopped at the enticing trunk show. Tables were laden with merchandise including note cards, purses, jewelry—all handmade from upcycled saris that help underprivileged women living in Mumbai’s slums. As the lights began to dim, the music’s thump began to pulsate, and the guests arranged themselves as the show began.

[Right] Patti Tripathi, founder of Saris to Suits, speaks about her initiative.


To kick off the evening, Kruti Dance Academy performers, some of whom featured on America’s Got Talent, staged an energetic Bharatanatyam set to upbeat Bollywood tunes. The event emcee, Patti Tripathi, emphasized why removing barriers to women while practicing global sustainability is dually important. “It’s being innovative through redefining couture to give back to our planet. It gives underprivileged women opportunities—artisans were trained by Gucci Equilibrium to revamp preowned saris into sustainable fashion.”​



Saris to Suits fashion show showcased clothes made from pre-loved fabrics.

And the fashion show hit its mark! The talented models appeared from the back and crisscrossed their way onto the catwalk. The women featured on the catwalk were entrepreneurs, activists, humanitarians, professionals, and leaders; and each strode purposefully, striking a graceful pose. The socially-conscious flowy kaftans, sparkly tops, tailored skirts, and silver-glitter boots,– all were artfully designed and showcased. The local area models delivered the choreography without missing one techno beat and displayed high-fashion recycled with a purpose.to an audience of more than 200.

AT_14_23_11.jpg“Saris are not a piece of clothing, they are an emotion,” Sumana Goswami, event choreographer, said. “We want to address underlying issues through couture. A discarded sari can take multi-generations to disintegrate, our goal is to empower women with training so they can reconstruct it into modern wear.”

Guests cheered and whistled as models commanded the catwalk. A live auction of a tote bag filled with some of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” generated an enthusiastic bevy of bids. Funds raised during the event went towards Saris to Suits Purple Lotus Legal Defense Fund which helps survivors of labor trafficking and sex trafficking.

Lakshmi Mandavilli, an entrepreneur who modeled during this year’s event, spoke on stage about the importance of supporting the cause. “This is a showcase of love and to save Mother Earth. It’s a way for women to break the poverty patterns to have a better life. The artisans are trained [through a collaboration with Mumbai-based I was a Sari organization] and we have grown tremendously from starting with 300 artisans to currently 700.”

—Neha Negandhi

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Submitting your report for consideration in Around Town

Please send post event reports for consideration in the Around Town section to AroundTown@khabar.com. Publication of reports is based on several criteria including the volume of reports submitted for a given issue. Guidelines for the reports are on our website at http://www.khabar.com/magazine/around-town/guidelines_for_submitting_reports_to_around_town. Deadline: 15th of each month—for consideration in the following month. However, chances of inclusion are better if reports are received well in advance of the deadline – where possible, e.g. within 3-7 days of the event.


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