Life & Style

Handmade in Tiruppur, these dolls are about brown representation

Handmade friends for life

Handmade friends for life | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Anya, Zaza, Luna and Maya are BFFs. For them, each day is a celebration of friendship and doing what they love. Anya loves reading and writing, and harbours dreams of becoming an author. Zaza enjoys public speaking and is determined to become an influencer. Maya loves cooking and wants to grow up to be a chef. Luna loves to draw and aspires to be an artist.

The four young girls are actually dolls, created by Sunaina Somu Divakar, who started Wild Little Society in December 2021. The brand, says Sunaina, understands that brown representation in toys matter. Her dolls are brown in colour, sustainable, and fashioned out of organic linen cotton, coconut shell buttons, wool, and stuffed with recycled polyester fibres sourced from single use plastic bottles. “After so many prototypes, I finally got the dolls I wanted. They are handmade in Tiruppur at a four-member all woman unit,” says Chennai-based Sunaina who does all the ideating and designing.

Sunaina with her dolls

Sunaina with her dolls | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

When her son was born two years back and Sunaina was looking for toys she noticed that toy shops have white dolls with blonde or black hair. “There is hardly any representation of brown dolls,” she rues. She recalls how when her grandmother, a dark-skinned woman got married to her grandfather, a fair-skinned man who had come to India from Malawi, Africa, to find a bride, it did not sit well with many. Despite there being a global discussion about skin tone bias, the problem, Sunaina believes, still exists.

| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“If things need to change, it will probably be with our children. They can bring about a change,” she says adding why it is important to embrace what one has because everyone is beautiful. She wants her child and all the other children to grow up in a world free of prejudice.

Plans are afoot to add boy dolls to this party of four. Sunaina plans to introduce a brother and sister duo with interests in swimming, surfing etc. But she is clear that she does not want to overpopulate the brand with too many dolls. She recently added beds with with night gowns, sleeping masks, soft toys. So children who have bought my dolls can have an extension of play. Next up, a cluster of clothes for the dolls, ranging from trendy jumpsuits and shorts to traditional pavadais. This way children can spend more time playing with the same doll. 

The dolls measure around 13 inches. Each box comes with a backpack for the doll, passport, affirmations that read: ‘You are beautiful, I Love You, ‘I am Blessed’. The vibrant brown dolls have been shipped across India ( Dunzo’d too in a few cases) and to different parts of the world such as Zanzibar, Qatar, Dubai, New Zealand, Australia, and the US.

Priced at 2,999, the dolls are available on wildlittlesociety.com


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 2:27:41 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/handmade-in-tiruppur-this-chennai-based-brand-of-dolls-that-is-about-brown-representation-is-being-shipped-across-the-country-and-globally/article65362721.ece