ANCHAL /ON-CHAL/ NOUN
1. THE DECORATIVE EDGE OF A SARI USED TO PROVIDE COMFORT & PROTECTION TO LOVED ONES 2. SHELTER
With backgrounds in design, sisters Colleen and Maggie Clines lead the brand by placing design at the center of Anchal’s everyday practice. Colleen earned her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2010. During Colleen’s time in graduate school, she was inspired to start Anchal with three classmates after traveling to India and learning about the extreme oppression women faced as commercial sex workers and the economic opportunity presented by the region's rich textiles.
“We felt compelled to take the project beyond the classroom with the conviction that our design training in collaboration with local leadership could address seemingly intractable social and environmental systems. The women we met became our sisters, sisters we had to fight for.” - Colleen Clines, Co-Founder & CEO
Shortly following the class trip to India, the co-founders raised $400 by selling handmade notebooks and notecards. These humble beginnings facilitated the purchase of a sewing machine, sewing instruction, materials, and a stipend for the artisans. During 2010, Anchal officially received 501(c)3 non-profit status in the United States and expanded the project by partnering with a second NGO, Vatsalya, in Ajmer, India.
In 2012 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Kentucky, Maggie Clines joined her sister Colleen to co-lead Anchal as Creative Director. Together with our partners and artisans, Anchal creates innovative programs and eco-friendly textiles that facilitate impact.
The Clines sisters’ designs explore the synthesis of vernacular imagery, heritage artwork and a maker’s journey to empowerment. The contemporary geometric designs are defined by sophisticated patchwork and aggregated stitch patterns, revolutionizing traditional kantha quilting techniques.