Nayantara Banerjee
Nayantara Banerjee
Tailoring Socially Responsible Supply Chains

tailoring socially responsible supply chains

 

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the williamsburg seamster

bridal alterations and fit specialist

I tailor, alter, and create custom wedding dresses for brides, from my studio located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. I provide personalized and detailed attention to address each brides' unique needs, through private appointments, fit and styling advise and guidance, custom accessories, and expert sewing to achieve the perfect length, fit, and flow. I also work with bridal designers in product development as it relates to fabrication and fit. 

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skills and capacity building workshops

sewing INSTRUCTOR and labor rights ADVOCATE

I develop and implement curriculum for advancing the skills and capacity of garment workers and artisans, empowering them to reach personal and professional goals, while also equipping them with the knowledge required to demand fair treatment in and out of the workplace. 

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sustainable, small business consulting

 

consultant

With the skills, network, and knowledge I've acquired over a decade of operating and marketing my own small business, along with my undergraduate education in Fashion Design, and graduate studies in Labor Rights in the Garment Industry, I guide other small businesses in developing their brands, designs, and production practices in a sustainable manner. 


 
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nayantara banerjee

About ME

Hello! I'm Nayantara. I am the owner and head seamstress of The Williamsburg Seamster, a high-end alterations and custom sewing studio in Los Angeles specializing in custom bridal gowns and expert tailoring and alterations. I sew for a living, and aim to improve working conditions for others who also sew for a living. 

I recently studied in a graduate program at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where I researched social responsibility and human and labor rights in the global garment industry. I was also a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Business and Human Rights at NYU Stern School of Business, where I assisted with research and advocacy work in the garment sector in Bangladesh. 

I use my skills as a seamstress in combination with the tools I've collected during my studies to tailor capacity and skill building programs for garment workers, targeting specific workers' rights and worker engagement issues in local supply chains. 

When I'm not sewing or teaching, I like exploring my the beautiful vistas of my new home in Southern California, learning about art and design, and binging comedy shows on Netflix with my comedy-writer boyfriend.  


 

the williamsburg seamster

"Stitch by stitch and block by block"- The New York Times, February 2011

"The Fairy Godmother of Hipster Weddings"- Refinery29, February 2013

 

I started The Williamsburg Seamster as a traveling tailor service in early 2008, providing general sewing services to my neighbors in and around Williamsburg, Brooklyn. in 2013, I shifted my services specifically to bridal alterations and tailoring, as this is where my expertise shined and services were most in demand. In the fall of 2016, I relocated to Los Angeles, and now see brides for alterations and tailoring from my bright studio in downtown LA. 

 

Skills and capacity building for empowerment

garment workers center, los angeles, california, 2017-present

Garment Worker Center (GWC), a 501(c)-3 worker's rights organization, organizes low-wage garment workers in Los Angeles, fighting for social and economic justice. In addition to GWC's work in addressing wage theft, unhealthy working conditions, and abusive treatment of workers by employers, it provides skills training and personal development through a program called 'Creativos''. Through this program, facilitated by the center's outreach coordinator Annie Shaw, and informed by the skills garment workers themselves have expressed the desire to learn, I have created and led a series of classes focused on teaching sewing and pattern making skills alongside the center's education on worker's rights and health & safety in the workplace. This includes basic hand sewing skills and terminology; threading, control, and garment making on sewing machines; reading, interpreting, and drafting patterns from scratch and from an existing garment. I have been supported in this by former GWC intern Jamie Gonzalez, and together we work to create a safe, encouraging space for members and garment workers to feel inspired, competent, and empowered. 


AWAMAKI LAB, ollantaytambo, peru, 2011

Working closely with the former director of Awamaki Lab, Annie Millican, I created a curriculum for the non-profit's skill-building workshop (capacitaciones), teaching a determined group of local artisan women to comfortably use industrial sewing machines, understand and interpret sewing and pattern-making terms, and all the skills they would need to ultimately complete production of each upcoming seasons' designs.  I spent a total of 8 weeks living in the beautiful Sacred Valley of Peru, teaching 4 to 5 classes a week, and taking a few intensive Spanish language classes during the first month to aid in my teaching. Working with Awamaki Lab to encourage these women in the development of these skills for their own self-esteem and success in life irrevocably changed mine, and realizing the impact of compassionate and applied training on even an individual scale, I returned to New York energized to advance my own skills in order to better improve the working conditions of others. 

Photo from Awamaki Lab's Global Giving Campaign Updates

Photo from Awamaki Lab's Global Giving Campaign Updates


CONSULTing

I seek opportunities to share my expertise and knowledge of sustainable fashion, garment construction, and garment workers rights with organizations, small businesses, and brands interested in fostering a more balanced fashion ecosystem, locally and globally. I am also available for personal consultations and mentorship for seamstresses and other aspiring small business owners. 

Press and writing:

"The way to start a real fashion revolution: put Bangladesh’s invisible garment factories on a map."- Quartz , Jenni Avins, April 2015 

"How better data can make garment factories safer?"- The Daily Star, Sarah Labowitz and Nayantara Banerjee, October 2014

"The entrepreneurial spirt in Bangladesh."- NYU Center for Business and Human Rights, Commentary, Nayantara Banerjee, January 2015

 

Consulting services include:

Research : development, implementation, and reporting of studies and surveys

Pilot project management

Communications and marketing 

Product Development and Fit Expertise (Bridal and formal women's wear)

Sustainable sourcing and supply chain/upcycled supply chain networking

Small Business Development

 

 

Let's Connect

I'm available to chat, consult, and connect with other small businesses, sustainable fashion community members, garment workers rights advocates, and more. 

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