Sharkah Chakra – the story of Sara Simmonds’ own denim brand
The idea behind Sharkah Chakra began in 1996 when Sara was a buyer for Harvey Nichols and began wondering what ‘luxury’ really meant. She knew that the luxury fashion industry flourished on the 3 pillars of innovation, individuality and craftsmanship, yet as a buyer Sara, felt let down by the number of luxury brands failing to leverage their power to do things differently and innovate in the fashion industry.
So she decided to quit her job and found a brand for Fashion Mavericks – Sharkah Chakra.
With every part of the Sharkah Chakra brand Sara and her team questioned ‘How can we innovate?’ and ‘How can we do things differently and create something special and personal for the end consumer?’
The founding principle of Sharkah Chakra was to build a zero impact sustainable luxury fashion brand.
Sara didn’t believe it was the responsibility for consumers to look for brands to buy products that happened to be ok looking and sustainable. Instead, she believed it was up to brands, that have the power of creation and where to manufacture to WOW their customers with amazing collections that are produced in a humanitarian and sustainable way. Brands have the power to change lives.
The Sharkah Chakra concept: A Luxury brand created sustainably and individually hand crafted.
The Collection: Menswear and Womenswear premium denim Jeans
Zero Impact Manufacturing: Sharkah Chakra’s manufacturing processes had minimal environmental impact compared with the standard high impact environmental impact of making jeans. To zero the brand’s impact from flying our fabrics from India to Italy, all carbon emissions were offset.
Organic Fairtrade cotton: Sharkah Chakra was the first luxury fashion brand to achieve Fairtrade and organic accreditation
Natural Indigo Dyeing: Denim dyed by artisans using natural indigo 100% chemical free.
Hand Craftsmanship: Hand crafted denim hand woven by the world’s finest hand loom weavers Tamil Nadu India.
Personal: Each pair of jeans was signed by the artisan who hand crafted them. Jeans were sold with a postcard for the wearer to become a brand ambassador and send back their thoughts to the artisan, completing the circle and putting consumer in touch with the maker of their clothes.
Cut Laundered Made in Italy: Cut, stitched, fit, laundered and finished by the denim experts of Italy, CPA and Martelli Laundry.
British Design: Using a team of talented British designers, Sara and her team created jeans made with love, where the eye was in every detail, including 9 carat hand made gold rivets on every pair of jeans, environmentally gold plated buttons and Limited edition back pocket embroideries.
Sales strategy: Season 1 collection exclusively launched with Harvey Nichols through England, Dubai and Istanbul, and through an own brand ecommerce platform. Over the following seasons stockists included Browns, Liberty, Matchesfashion, Fred Segal Los Angeles, Isetan Japan.
– Grazia Magazine award for fashion innovation 2009
– Finalist in Walpole’s emerging brands of tomorrow competition 2009
– Media recognition in Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, Tatler, Dazed and Confused, Style Hunter.
– Celebrity fans including Claudia Schiffer.
Legacy: Sharkah Chakra was part of the first wave of a brands to showcase sustainability and luxury can be mutually inclusive. Today the Sara Simmonds Consultancy uses the wealth of experience and expertise in sustainability to advise global brands and fashion makers on how to create highly desirable high impact brand propositions.