Certified Ahimsa leather can be a debatable topic in India, since our religious sentiments do not allow slaughtering of animals. And serendipitously I drew a brand which is vocal about it – Grain with its collection of unisex functional handbags.

So connected with Avinash Bhalerao, its Mumbai-based designer and illustrator, to whet my curiosity about his venture.

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MD: What is your creative background?

AB: Art school being L.S. Raheja School of Art in Mumbai, is where my introduction to design happened. Also, I understood the very purpose of design when applied to a product or in life in general; it meant simplifying things at every level.

After that I have joined a design agency, Ka Advertsing. The design studio was definitely the best thing that happened to me. It prepared me for my new venture, since I was the Art Director there. Everyday, after work at the studio, I celebrated my love for good design. And that’s what led us (the team) to Grain. Here good design meets contemporary ideas. You will see this in every Grain of our product.

MD: Why did you choose to make bags? 

AB: I have always loved bags. As and when my taste in bags developed, I did not like most of the bags my generation used, in India. They would be shouting out for attention through its style and crassness. Plus they had no preferences in bags brands or styles. People just used what they viewed on the store windows. Often I asked my friends travelling to either Europe or America to get me bags.

Abroad, the whole approach of making bags is completely different. It is like crafting a piece of art. And when a designer or a craftsman puts his heart and soul into a product, the overall value of the product increases tenfold, not just in numbers but also aesthetically.

MD: Very true! So what IS Grain’s USP?

AB: Ahimsa Leather (leather made of animal hide after its natural death), naturally grained and vegetable tanned cow and buffalo hides. These are crafted with artisanal skills to create supple beautiful handbags.

Each Grain product is a masterpiece, which due to passion and durability will be able to withstand the sands of time. With every pair of shoes one buys, you sentence an animal. But we respect anything living and wouldn’t dream of hurting one in this lifetime.

MD: So it seems like conscientious decision…yet why use leather then?

AB: I wanted to make something that lasts long and ages well. Leather has that unique quality. Grain bags do not have an inner lining. Its raw insides gives a natural and luxurious finish.

MD: Lastly, what is your next step forward with this enterprise?

AB: We are working on our website to make Grain available worldwide, at the earliest.

       Call for its catalog just as I did by writing into

info@grainindia.com

           Before that view its facebook page to know better

http://www.facebook.com/grainindia2014