The brand got funded on the international platform – Kickstarter in less than 100 minutes by people all over the globe.
Vaarsa, an Indian origin footwear brand, went International, launching their 850+ years old handcrafted ‘Kolhapuris’ on the famous international-crowdfunding platform – Kickstarter and completed their funding goal in less than 100 minutes. Vaarsa campaign has been selected as “Projects We Love” by Kickstarter which is really honourable.
Vaarsa launched on 1st May, 2021, marking Maharashtra Day, is taking the heritage art form of Kolhapuri Chappal internationally. Kolhapuri Chappal is an Indian GI Tag (Geographical Identification) product from Kolhapur district of Maharashtra.
Vaarsa intends to save the dying art form of Kolhapuri chappals and are also committed to encourage the artisans making these handcrafted chappals by donating 50% of the profits that the brand will earn. Vaarsa not only wants to revive this dying art form, but also re-introduce these 8-centuries old, vintage chappals into the modern fashion world. Most Luxury Brands proudly say that they have a legacy of 50,100,150 or max 200 years and monetise it by selling the product at the high value in global fashion, hence the craft and artisans are flourishing till date. Vintage is recognized and is valued around the world. No matter how old the trend is, it always comes back in circles. In the case of Kolhapuri Chappal, it is the most Intricate Footwear Artform in the World which is 850+ years old original Indian design icon, was hiding in plain sight of the global luxury fashion market until now.
Kolhapuri chappals (sandals) are commonly referred to as Kolhapuris is an open-toed footwear. An authentic Kolhapuri Chappal is completely handmade, made from bag tanned leather which is 100% vegetable tanned using babul bark and myrobalan seeds which has a very high medicinal value in Indian Ayurveda and are has believed to be good for health. Original Kolhapuri chappals are never made in any factory but are made by families from the cobbler community in District of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.
Vaarsa have a Special Limited Edition of only 11 pairs of Kolhapuri chappals that are available for just $2000 as reward for backing Vaarsa on Kickstarter. Each pair comes with a certificate of ownership mentioning owners name and pair number. There is a high potential for this product to increase its value over time as these limited edition chappals have the signature of the artisans who are among the last generation of authentic Kolhapuri Chappal makers from Kolhapur, India. They also provide sustainable & eco-friendly packaging along with their footwear made solely by hand. They also offer Kolhapuri chappals as rewards on Kickstarter to its backers starting from USD $99.
VAARSA literally means ‘Legacy’ is a movement to Sustain Traditional Art & Craftsmanship. It is the brainchild of Sachin Shinde and Dileep More. Vaarsa makes authentic Kolhapuri Chappals and intend to keep the tradition alive by bridging the gap between Indian artisans and International customers.
Sachin Shinde and Dileep More belong to the cobbler community which was once upon a time treated as untouchables in India, in fact, even now in some parts of the country. They belong to the same artisan families of craftsmen from the GI (geographical indication) region of Kolhapur, India, the place which represents the age old handcrafted Kolhapuri Chappal. Since many centuries, their forefathers have passed on the legacy of making these handcrafted Kolhapuri Chappal from one generation to another. They always wanted to take their ancestral and historical art from of making Kolhapuri chappal on the highest global platform and make sure it gets the value it deserves as their legacy is of more than 850+ years, which is older than any fashion brand in the world. This is the main reason and idea that motivated Sachin and Dileep to start this project – “Vaarsa” which means legacy.
Vaarsa is a Vintage inspired Slow Fashion Brand that encourages slow fashion and eco-friendly products. Their vision is to represent and flourish this heritage art form of Kolhapuri Chappals as a global fashion icon and provide continues opportunities for artisans to have gainful livelihood. Vaarsa is all about Individuality, Creativity, Sustainability, Heritage, Art and Craft. The brand focuses on eliminating the lookalikes of Kolhapuris that are currently sold in India and in the International market. Most of the copycats are mechanized mass manufactured using degraded leather in factories. Some are now also available in cheap plastic imitations as well.
Vaarsa believes through Kickstarter project Kolhapuri chappal will reach global audience and get the right value it deserves. The backers by buying the product will do justice to the artisans and save the art form of making Kolhapuri chappal from getting extinct.
Vaarsa team consists of Sachin Shinde, Dileep More, Sana Rakhangi and Mohan Tiwari. Sachin is the Brand Director responsible for building Vaarsa as a brand and Dileep is responsible for the whole manufacturing and operations. Sana takes care of marketing and Global Distribution and Mohan is responsible for Business Development and Strategy.
Team Vaarsa said that they would be launching several new campaigns on Kickstarter round the year where they would be presenting their new designs and collections which would be theme based keeping the Kolhapuri chappal design base.
The Vaarsa Kickstarter campaign would be live till 31st of May 2021, till this date backers from around the world can buy the product directly from the campaign. It will be available to buy on their official website www.vaarsa.in after the Kickstarter Campaign.