Blue, the colour of social justice and self-determination movement was founded by Dr BR Ambedkar, whose crusade for Dalit liberation against the oppressive caste system defines India today. Blue is the world over derived from the pigment indigo, a colour and produce immediately associated with India and the exploitation of labour during colonial times. Manual labour synonymous with the term blue collar work is in a precarious state in an era of hyper-consumerism and human exploitation. Design often aids in the inequality of labour and Chamar Studio is rectifying this reality through a workable utopia.
‘Blue Collar’, a project by Chamar Studio interviews cobblers who form part of a union of workers and sit on various stations of Bombay’s public suburban railway system polishing and repairing footwear. The documentaries are accompanied by a special of Chamar Studio bags in the shade blue which were launched on the May 1st celebrated world over as International Workers’ Day.
The label is bringing together hands that democratise design, typography and high fashion in the form recycle rubber bags crafted by hereditary artisans who work in leather across India and are called ‘Chamars’. Scroll for a glimpse into this initiative.