Founded in the memory of the late Indian artist Kunda Kirloskar, Kundakala is both mission and a message.
Our mission is to enable women to become more social, confident and financially independent. We do this via two of our main programmes. Our basic six- month Make and Mend programme, that provides tailoring skills and enterprise support to participants; and our Upcycle projects programme providing supported employment for graduates of our Make and Mends.
In this world of fast fashion, our women are encouraged to upcycle clothes and fabric to make new interesting products. Kundakala reminds us once again that along with warmth and wisdoms, our homes also contain wellsprings of opportunity and enterprise.
Kundakala is run by one of Kunda’s daughters with the help and support of her family, friends, Kunda’s admirers, and volunteers. All income generated goes back into the organisation.
We currently run our Make and Mend programmes in the boroughs of Hackney and Lambeth, in London.
In Hackney, we are at Pembury Centre twice a week for different cohorts. All participants are taught the use of the sewing machines and make products such as tote bags, makeup cases, and pillow cases. During the length of the course, they also get employability coaching and work experience. We will soon be commencing a programme in Waterloo.
Our 2022 Make and Mend graduates have been enrolled into our upcycle programme where we are currently making products from Sarees that have been donated to us. We have so far made kimono sets, cushion covers, tote bags and small purses.
The story behind Kundakala – a daughter honouring her mother’s vision of empowering women – has touched a similar chord amongst other people. We have had donations by the bagfuls of sarees that belonged to mothers all over the UK. We are very touched by this faith in us.