Inyathelo in the Headlines

Fresh ideas from old saris - POST 30 Nov 2011

FRESH ideas are always welcome, but when it's an adaptation of something our grannies did out of necessity it can be an award winner. That was what Kanchana Moodliar found out when she was recently presented with the 2011 Inyathelo Award for Youth in Philanthropy at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. Back in the days when our forefathers faced economic hardships, to keep warm during winter they sewed saris and other pieces of material together to make a warm blanket they called a "goodhree".

Fancy duvets are now the order of the day in most households, but the 32-year-old Westville entrepreneur's project to reuse old saris was judged to be a winner in the fifth edition of the awards established by the South African Institute for Advancement. The intention of the institute is to acknowledge, celebrate and profile those who have committed their personal resources towards social development in South Africa. Moodliar started the Saris For Good Karma Project in Chatsworth in June 2010.

"The aim of the project is to teach women how to sew pillow cases, table clothes and other designer items from donated saris. "Each lady receives a free fashion designer pack which includes everything from cotton to sewing machines. "To assist the women young designers are called to help train the women in sewing, beading t and business skills," said Moodliar, who is also the Managing Director of Fashion Channel, a corporate apparel and accessories company. She added that majority of the women who graduated now ran their own businesses while others had been inspired to impart the knowledge they learned to members of their communities.

The project was extended to help people living in Phoenix with a launch held at the Phoenix Youth Centre in Featherstone Place on Monday. Women who are interested in joining the programme can contact Sumaiya Wilson at 031 303 5668 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. A delighted Kanchana isAcondliar with her award.