Joli was initially a collaborative effort of two close friends who were also designers – Jonas and Lili. It began from the apartment they shared in New Delhi. After drawing sketches and sourcing fabric for months, the duo decided to give up their full time jobs to set it up in 2010.
An urban line of unisex utilitarian accessories celebrated the soul of modern India. For over 3 yrs. their lines ranged from printed tote bags made of canvas, to weekend bags of fine leather, market bags of lungi fabrics, men’s shirts, colorful key rings, and more….all under the guiding ethos of their logo “Proudly made in India”.
In 2013, Jonas left to further his career while Lili took complete charge of Joli. (The name is a combination of both Jonas and Lili, which also means ‘pretty’ in french) Since then, the accessory label has seen a sea-change. With a changed identity into something feminine, the label now also focuses on incorporating Indian crafts and recyclable materials.
Find below excerpts of my email exchanges with Lili:
MD: Tell us about Joli’s recycled bags.
The Choti bags and clutches are made with braided recycle jersey fabrics waste, from Europe. While the Chindi clutches are made of woven recycle jersey fabrics waste from India.
All are one-off pieces.
To further Joli‘s vision, we connected with the people who have made our products, sharing their enthusiasm of “handcrafted” and “made in India”; while drawing attention to the country’s ingrained, age-old practice of recycling and up-cycling.
MD: How did you think of designing bags in India?
Lili: Joli started 6 years ago. Before that, I was designing bed-linen for the American and European markets in an export house for nearly 4 years.
I am actually more of a surface decorator than a fashion designer.
MD: What are your inspirations?
Lili: Indian pop culture! Am inspired by its colors and textures. Even the most banal local products, street markets in and around Delhi, and during my travels around the country, keep me motivated.
MD: What is your signature?
Lili: Hand-made, recycled materials, quality, one-off pieces and last but not the least, color (sticking to the label’s original playfulness and vibrancy).
MD: Why did you shift to India?
Lili: To satiate my hunger for textiles and handicrafts, but later it became a second home.
At this point Annie Leonard‘s (American proponent of sustainability and a critic of excessive consumerism) qoute “There is no such thing as ‘away’, when we throw anything away it must go somewhere” popped from the back of my recesses. This disturbing statement had me thinking overtime, until I chanced upon these recycled bags. Realized then, that we have the power to start a movement by wearing Chundi and Choti as the ‘IT’ bags, with a conscience.
View their journey and previous collections on