The Sari Wrap Skirt Life-Cycle

From the beginning of their very creation, our sari wrap skirts have always been crafted out of 100% upcycled materials. Each of our handmade skirts are created by our artisans - this provides not only sustainable jobs, but sustainable fashion for our planet. 

But what is the life cycle of a normal sari skirt? 

Our fabric is sourced in a few ways. The main way that we receive fabric is by our manufacturers going from door to door and offering kitchen utensils or appliances in exchange for unwanted saris. Saris are a South East Asian garment, made typically from silk, that are wrapped around a person's body. 

This is a picture of our founder and CEO, Nicole, along with some of our artisans. They are each wearing different colored saris in a brightly lit room.

 Some of our fabric is collected from factory run off that would otherwise go into our artisans' local landfills. Our focus on slow fashion ensures that we are saving as much fabric as possible and less fabric is being thrown away in our artisan's communities. 

3 men are working on distributing sari fabric. One man is kneeling on a large pile of fabric bales, passing down a bale of fabric to a man standing at the bottom of the pile. Another man is standing in the doorway, waiting to be handed a bale of sari material.

These fabrics are predominantly made out of 80% silk and 20% polyester, and since these are well-loved and reclaimed, the fabric may have small blemishes- don't we all! When you're purchasing one of our skirts, you are not buying something off the rack that has never been touched. With your purchase, you are giving someone a better quality of life, as well as receiving a stunning recycled skirt! 

Once the recycled fabric is gathered, it is sorted into 4 categories. After they are categorized, they are laundered and inspected once again. The clean saris are then given to our artisans, who use the fabric to create our wrap skirts, scarves, and yarn, depending on their category.

Every stitch of our skirts is carefully laid by our artisans, each using their skill and creativity to bring new life to the fabric that would have otherwise taken 40+ years to disintegrate in the landfill. 

The artisans pick layers of sari fabric and sew them together- the shorter layer becoming the 'outside' and the longer layer becoming the 'inside' of the skirt. This makes our skirts reversible - so you're getting 2 skirts in one! The artist chooses which colors and patterns go together, giving each skirt the artist's individual style and touch. 

Once the artisans sew the skirt panels together, they hem the edges. They then create the waistbands, which feature multiple ribbon-holes so that the skirts can be tied in multiple different ways! 

With the skirt finished, they are again washed and hung to dry. They are then inspected, tagged, folded, and packaged to be sent to us here in the USA. 

Since Nicole started DGY back in 2008, over 1,200,000 pounds of waste materials have been reclaimed from landfills. On an individual level, when an artisan creates a skirt, this artisan has now saved anywhere from .5 pounds to 1 pound (depending on the size and length of the skirt) of fabric from their local landfills. We have over 600 artisans currently working with us to create skirts and yarn.

So, let's roughly estimate that there are 300 artisans that only make skirts and each of these artisans sew two skirts a day. If an artisan works from Monday to Friday, creating 10 skirts, this artisans would have saved roughly 5-10 pounds of sari fabric. Now if each of those 300 skirt artisans create 2 skirts a day, 5 days a week, they will have saved 1,500-3,000 pounds of waste materials sewing skirts in one week alone! 

An Indian artisan seated at a sewing machine, working on a pile of torn sari fabric and smiling at the camera

We also pride ourselves in having inclusive sizing! The nature of our skirts make them adjustable as well, so anyone between sizes can find a comfortable, stress-free fit. 

A size chart of DGY's skirt sizes and lengths, being displayed by our gorgeous models. Our junior size (waist: 18"-24", ankle length: 32"-34", mini length: 19"-21"), our women's size (waist: 23"-40", ankle length: 32"-34", mini length: 19"-21"), our plus size (waist: 28"-46", ankle length: 32"-34", mini length: 19"-21"), and our goddess size (waist: 35"-60", ankle length: 40", mini length: 26").

Our Artisans & Their Skirts 

Your order not only sustains our planet, but helps sustain our artisans, their families, and their communities. By purchasing our wrap skirts, you're helping to sustain another human and their craftsmanship. Talk about being a global citizen!

Our skirt artisans either sew skirts together at one of our co-ops, or they can sew skirts from their own home. We love being able to provide out artisans the option of working from home, as many of our artisans are women and need to stay home to take care of their children or their sick, elderly, or disabled family members. 

An artisan smiles in pride at her son, who is wearing a bright blue school uniform.

Many of our artisans experience systemic suppression from their government or society, due to their caste, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status. They are facing generational poverty, where education and outreach programs are purposely lacking in their communities due to their minority status. Your purchase and support helps our artisans around the world and provides them with safe, sustainable, and dignified employment. 

So you can look good, feel good about the planet, and feel good about your skirt sourcing! 

An artisan wearing a deep purple sari is standing in front of a close-line of finished skirts. She's smiling and holding a sign that says "I hand stitched your skirts:

How Do We Pick Your Skirt 

The next step of your skirt's life is when it arrives to our warehouse. Our skirt orders arrive in large bundles, which our warehouse team open and sort by color theme. This makes it easy for our warehouse team to pick skirts by color palate - jewel tones, spice tones, or neutral tones. This can sometimes get a little tricky if we can't see the inside of the skirt! 

After the skirts are sorted, our amazing warehouse team picks skirts for your order to the best of our ability (and your helpful order notes)! The most helpful notes are basic and straight forward- let us know what you'd love to have! If there are any colors or patterns you'd like to avoid, let us know about those too. Avoiding colors can sometimes get a little tricky if we can't see the inside of the skirt, but we would never purposely send a color you wouldn't love! 

Once your skirt is picked, our team packs your order with love! Your skirt is shipped out to you in one of our recyclable polymailers or cardboard boxes and arrives at your door. 

If you're not loving your skirt, don't worry! We can exchange your skirt (as long as it's not a final sale item) for one that you'll be sure to love! 

Check out our return/exchange FAQs here: https://www.darngoodyarn.com/pages/return-policy

Not a fan of mysteries? That's okay! We have live sales (these are like skirt auctions) and static sales (these are like picture auctions) where you can view skirts before you purchase! Take a look at our live sale calendar so you can join our live sale community! 

https://www.darngoodyarn.com/pages/live-and-static-sales 

How To Care For Your Sari Wrap Skirt 

Once your skirt arrives, you may have some questions about how to care for your skirt. Here's a few of the FAQ about caring for your new sustainable baby! 

How To Wash: 

Place your skirt in a mesh bag, wash on a cold gentle cycle with silk-friendly detergent, and dry on low to medium heat. To avoid wrinkles, promptly remove from the dyer and place on a hanger.

If your skirt has delicate additions (such as beading, embellishments, or jewels) you may want to hand wash your sari skirt to avoid loosing any of those little embellishments. After washing, hang the skirt to dry. 

If you want to iron your skirt, please be careful! If you want to de-wrinkle your skirt, we suggest using a de-wrinkling spray or using a steamer, which will be more delicate on your skirt!  If ironing is needed, you may iron your skirt on a cool setting. Pay close attention to the heat settings on your iron to avoid scorching the fabric. 

Repairing Your Skirt 

Since all of our skirts are made from recycled material, some small imperfections can occur. These small blemishes are normal with our skirts since they are not brand new articles of clothing. But don't worry- we have some helpful tips for you! 

How To Remove A Smell From My Skirt: 

Because our skirts are imported across continents, they often arrive with a slightly musty smell that can be easily eliminated. If you find that your skirt has an unpleasant smell you'd like to get rid of, soak your skirt in a mixture of Baking Soda and water at a 1:4 ratio. Soak for 4 hours to overnight.

Machine wash as directed in the last section.

If this method of soaking and washing does not completely remove the scent, repeat the Baking Soda soak and add 1/2 Cup of distilled white vinegar to your machine wash cycle.

I personally love lysol laundry sanitizer - it has NEVER failed me. 

How To Remove A Stain: 

If you find a stain on your skirt, treat it as soon as possible using a silk-friendly stain remover. If a typical household laundry stain remover doesn't work, try a combination of vinegar and baking soda, or even nail polish remover for tougher stains. Always follow a stain remover with a typical wash cycle.

How To Fix A Tear: 

If you end up with a tear in your skirt, we also have a few fixes! Bust out the sewing needle and (matching, if possible) thread and use some basic stitches (like the ladder and/or darning stitch) to patch up the hole. If you have a larger hole, you can use an iron-on or sew-on patch to fill in the space. Get creative with colorful patches, or keep it neutral with something more basic!

A neutral colored skirt has a small hole and the owner is repairing the hole. The damaged section is placed in an embroidery hoop. The skirt's hole is being sewn shut with multicolored thread in the shape of a leaf. The damaged skirt is now removed from the embriodery hoop. The crafter has embroidered the skirt with a large multicolored floral pattern. With the skirt repaired, the crafter is showing off her newly embroidered skirt!

One of our creative skirt members even adjusted her skirt with some beautiful embroidery!  

Natural Imperfections 

Due to the handmade nature of our product, the skirt you receive may have natural wear and tear. Or maybe your much-loved skirt just recently gained a little imperfection after being worn over and over again, but not to worry! Since we have a little bit of an obsession with these skirts, we've come up with a few tips and tricks for a few different types of imperfections. 

Here are a few examples of our most commonly seen imperfections. 

Stamps / Pen Marks: 

If your skirt was made using fabric run off, you might see a white textile stamp and if your skirt was a well-loved sari, you might see pen marks. Thankfully, these marks are easily removed using rubbing alcohol and a little bit of time. 

A trio of pictures showing a small pen stain on a neutral orange skirt. The stain is blotted with rubbing alcohol and the pen marks are easily wiped away.

Loose Threads: 

Since these skirts are individually hand-made and sewn, some loose threads can occur. Thankfully, these are only an aesthetic issue and there are no problems with just giving them a little trim. 

A trio of pictures showing a navy skirt. The skirt has some loose threads around the waistline. A pair of scissors is used to gently snip away at the loose threads.

Small Stains / Smudges: 

Very rarely will a stain on your sari skirt be unable to be removed. For this smudge that I found on the bottom of my skirt after a night out, I used a little bit of nail polish remover and it vanished in a few minutes! 

Two pictures showing a shiny white sari wrap skirt. The first pictures shows a small black smudge on the skirt. The second picture shows that the smudge has been easily removed by a little bit of nail polish remover.

All of these ideas are great fixes for the small imperfections on your sari skirt. These of course aren't the only fixes, but they are a collection of ones that we have tried ourselves on our personal skirts and have seen great results! 

Of course, if you receive a skirt from us and it is damaged beyond a small imperfection, please email us at info@darngoodyarn.com and let us know - we'd be happy to help you out.

If a skirt slips by our artisans check, and the mark is more than just a little imperfection, we will always replace it! 

Here's some examples of skirts that we WILL replace: 

A picture of a multicolored skirt with a 3 inch tear in the fabric.A picture of a green and pink skirt with a 5 inch tear in the fabric.

 And here's some examples of skirts that have normal imperfections that we will not replace: 

A gorgeous purple skirt with a small pin hole
A black and white skirt with a small pin hole.
A pink floral skirt with a stamp on the fabric. These stamps are common and can be easily removed with rubbing alcohol.

If you end up being able to fix your imperfect skirt with one of these easy tricks then we would love to offer you 1,000 Karma Points, which can be used towards future purchases. 💜 Just email us and let us know! We'd also love to help you exchange your skirt if you're not happy with the imperfection! 

How To Wear Your Skirt 

Due to the way our skirts are created, there is more than one way to wear your skirt. We have a ton of tutorial videos on how to wear your skirt- including ways to wear it as a top, a shawl, and a dress! 

Thank you so much for your support, it really does mean the world to us and to our artisans! Because of you - not only are we able to keep working on our global mission, but hundreds of artisans around the world now have dignified, safe, and sustainable work that helps them thrive in a world that often forgets them! 

If you have any other questions or concerns about your skirts, please get in touch with us at info@darngoodyarn.com 

XOXO 
-Kate
Get empowered, be sustainable, and support all of the global artisans with us!