Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Hair and Makeup: Tonya Riner

Sisters Katie McClure and Erin Breen may have recently founded a chic clothing line on the other side of the globe, but they can trace its roots back to their grandmother in Texas. “Mammy made us smocked clothing, taught me to sew, and had a trunk full of fabrics I loved to sift through,” says McClure, who credits those early experiences to her eventual studies of textiles and apparel at the University of Texas. “She was also a masterful storyteller and listener,” adds Breen. “She encouraged us to slow down, pay attention, be in the moment, and listen to the stories of those around us.”

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When the sisters took a trip to India, that latter trait led them to realize the ancient crafts of textile weaving and block printing were fading away. The pair had long toyed with the idea of starting their own business and recognized that working with Indian artisans was their chance to do it. A year later Mirth caftans can be found at Anthropologie and other select boutiques across the country. The limited-run designs typically take around six days to make. That specialized and intricate work preserves a unique indigenous vocation, and it provides many rural residents with a living wage and safe working conditions. Mirth also donates part of its profits to the Naam Dev School in Bagru, which offers education to children regardless of caste.

It’s the Southern way to lend a hand to those in need, whether here at home or across the ocean. By cultivating a long-term solution that helps provide an secure income to those in need and spread cultural awareness and beauty, Mirth has gained its spot amongst Southerners doing great things. No doubt, the duo’s grandmother would be proud of the work they're doing right out of Houston, TX.

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