NOST is an artisan-made loungewear brand which features hand block printed motifs inspired by architecture, using 100% gentle organic cotton & dyes. NOST partners with artisan families and sewing units with the aim of preserving their craft heritage, growing their community and providing fair and safe employment.
NOST works with maker-families based around Asia, in India and Indonesia to create their designs. The brand believes that by rethinking the ecosystem of fashion, from who they work with to how it’s made, they can change real lives and communities on the ground. They work with artisan families who practice generational heritage crafts, to preserve these crafts indigenous to Asia, and also NGO communities who help women re-skill and support livelihoods. NOST engages with Tamar Village, a Singapore-based charity, to sew their batik masks. Tamar Village trains and support women and families who have decided not to be involved in the trades of the red light district. NOST also employ women from Swahlee, an impact-driven studio workshop providing employment and holistic care to young women who face barriers to ethical, safe employment. They had sewn NOST’s Sapana dress collection. The brand’s team personally visits their workplaces to ensure they have a safe working environment, and that their processes are sustainable.
NOST loungewear is made using GOTS certified organic cotton by their makers in India. Organic cotton eschews the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides in its growing and uses 88% less water than conventional cotton. You can distinguish organic cotton by its distinct softness and breathability. The dyes are azo-free or natural plant-based. This makes them gentle on the planet and avoid polluting rivers within agrarian communities where the makers are based. In addition, NOST is producing their upcoming home goods line in Indonesia, with artisans who practise the heritage craft of loom weaving and batik printing. These artisanal crafts are sustainable by default. Especially since the artisans set up and operate their intricate looms without electricity. Their batik maker family filters and cleanses all used water before discharging it. They focus on creating timeless designs that customers can wear comfortably time and time again.
In an effort to reduce their plastic use, NOST packs their products in their signature rust-hued cotton drawstring pouch. This way, customers can reuse them in different ways such as toiletries bags or for storage.
NOST uses GOTS certified organic cotton and opts for azo-free or natural plant-based dyes for their prints. They try to reduce their plastic use wherever possible, such as through the use of their signature rust-hued reusable pouch as an alternative. They specifically look for makers that deal appropriately with effluent water discharge and have sustainable and ethical practices.
The founders are former architects, who were inspired to start NOST through their interactions with artisans across Asia. They had spent a lot of quality time with them over tea in their homes which doubles as their workplace, learning about their crafts. Many of these artisans inherited their craft from their fathers and grandfathers, passing down precious skills of loom weaving, block-printing and batik-printing over hundreds of years. So much of this beauty comes from within the heart of their homes. NOST exists to be a bridge between marginalised makers to markets. That’s why NOST’s tagline is, “handcrafted by artisans, from their homes to yours”. In short, supporting the livelihoods of our artisans who come from small family businesses is key for the brand. NOST also values the preservation of heritage crafts found in Asia. This is the reason why they choose to work with small-scale artisan family businesses, at risk of fading out. Additionally, NOST is in the process of introducing innovative fibres that are handwoven by their artisan families. This adds value to the heritage craft and bridges technology to tradition. Sustainability is definitely a fundamental tenet that serves as a base for how the brand thinks about producing their collections, whether it’s in the choice of fabric, dyes, people or processes.