The makers market event in Chennai aka Madras, Madurai & Coimbatore. Dedicated to handmade & design by independent talent, artisanal & homegrown labels.
Today on the blog, we feature Shashank, Founder of Murtle, a sustainable footwear brand based in Hyderabad.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Shashank, founder of Murtle Modular Fashion. I am a Mechanical Engineer by education and Innovator by passion. I always wanted to do something at the intersection of design and engineering and hence the founding of Murtle. Murtle is a Modular Fashion outfit whose present set of products is in footwear. Its innovative mechanism lets you change the look and feel of the footwear in under a minute. The patent pending mechanism is one of the most reliable ever in footwear segment to achieve changeability.
Why did you become a maker and why is making important to me?
A little back story, My friends from college and I started off with printing quirky designs on t-shirts as a side income soon after college, this business later went on to officially merchandise for Baahubali and other Tollywood movies. The success of t-shirt business convinced me to innovate further in fashion industry. While printing t-shirts what I realized is that, we are forcing customers to consume more and more hence contributing to landfills. I started to think on the lines of addressing the consumption needs sustain-ably.
How did you begin Murtle?
The shift from t-shirts to footwear was natural but the approach changed completely. We wanted to now build a product with certain IP around it and as well address the pressing wants of the user. After 2.5 years of R&D we stabilized the changeable mechanism in Murtle and it was time to innovate on materials and designs. The focus mainly is to bring materials which were not used earlier on footwear due to the fear of durability. With Murtle, due to its Modular nature, fabrics could easily be introduced and hence making it more sustainable.
What is the story behind your brand name?
Murtle Stands for Modular Turtle, Turtle to signify longevity of the products we build. If you closely look at the logo, the shadow takes form of feet and the ‘turtle’ shell has different colors signifying possibilities.
What is currently on your work table?
Another market we wanted to address sustainably is the wedding footwear. They are worn just for the occasion and then it ends up rotting in the shoe rack till one builds up the courage to dispose it off. Did you know that footwear is the biggest contributor to landfills among all the fashion accessories? We are innovating on that front. It is under wraps as of now but you can get a sneak peek from the image below. We will try and get this out in future editions of By Hand From the Heart.
What is your personal favorite pick from your brand now? And why?
The idea of having wood on footwear enthused me always; I tried to get in touch with various artisans to pull it off for us but failed several times. Finally we found an artisan from Ettikopaka ( a rural place which is famous for making wooden toys) through a mutual connect. He agreed to experiment with us and make it happen. You can now see the output in “Orange Bliss Strap” and “Cutie Birds”. You can check them out in person at the event.
What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart Makers Market.
We plan to bring a varied range of straps from Fabrics to hand painted leathers to hand carved wood- all to go on a single pair of footwear. Murtle Mid sole is made in cork, which is not just naturally renewable but also pain relieving, shock absorbing and at the same time arch supporting. We are displaying the Ikat collection of straps for Eazys and around 8 designs of hand painted padukoids for Murtles. These are intricately painted designs and are sure to blow your minds.
Meet the Maker @
27th edition: By Hand From The Heart Makers Market
2 – 3 – August 2019 , Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.