Paisley, stripes, palm trees, fine cotton catching the breeze and sun-kissed shades of marigold, saffron, indigo, persimmon, rose, ink … the cloth, the colours, the clothes of warm days and sultry nights and a summer that never ends.
Read & Bell creates small trans-seasonal capsule collections focussing on handmade, fair trade and slow fashion. Designed in Sydney and made in Jaipur our hand block printed garments use a palette shaped by the Australian landscape and the bazaars of Rajasthan. With a playful nod to the romance of holidays and travel, we blend versatile silhouettes, natural fibres and prints inspired by French Provencal and Indian Mughal motifs. Our ethically made pieces are created to embrace and enhance the freedom of endless lazy summer days, every day, all year round.
Tory Read and Anne Bell are two Sydney-based women with a love of Rajasthani wanderings, beach holidays and the Australian bush.
We acknowledge that we live and work on the lands of the Wangal people. We acknowledge the ancestors and elders who have walked, defended and left strong cultural wisdom on Wangal country.
Anne & Tory in 2018 at Hawa Mahal, Jaipur. Photographer, Tikam Chand
We produce pieces that are effortless, functional and beautiful. Our thoughtfully considered designs, inspired by the variable and unique nature of the hand made, fuse the muted colours of the Australian landscape with the vibrancy of a Pink City spice market and bring life to natural fibres through the traditional Indian process of hand-block printing.
Our intention is to create pieces of integrity that can be worn for a very long time, season after season, year after year. This is reflected in our choice of fabrics, production processes and packaging. All our orders are shipped in compostable post bags.
We have been working with the same SEDEX-approved family-run block-printing organisation for the last decade. Two times award winner from the UNESCO World Crafts Council, the family are highly respected in their field and work tirelessly towards improving conditions and protecting this artisan skill by running various educational and vocational training centres in Jaipur.
We only print on organic cotton, which is breathable and comfortable to wear whilst also naturally sourced. All of our cotton is GOTS certified, meaning that our farmers work to the highest ethical and environmental standards, with no use of pesticides or any other harmful chemicals. This keeps the farmer, the local community and the environment safe.
Our scarves of cotton, silk or linen made in West Bengal are hand-loomed by women only and take up to 2 days to complete. The company, just one of four endorsed by the Indian government’s Ministry of Textiles as an India Handloom Brand, adheres to social and environmental compliance as well as to the use of Indian raw materials. A hand-loomed scarf is completely made on a handloom and uses no electricity and has no carbon footprint. The yarns are natural and the dyes are environmentally friendly, Azo free, PCP free and bleach free.
Because we sell direct to the consumer our end price does not include any third party retailer, wholesaler or any other middle person. Each piece is of excellent quality and unique design at an accessible price.
Read & Bell support Room to Read, India. “World change starts with educated children.” Being on the ground in India and working with family run organisations over the last decade, we have seen the huge impact education has on children, especially girls. Room to Read India feels like the perfect fit as a charity for us to support. Learn more at www.roomtoread.org
Some love from our customers
“Hello, I gasped when I saw your email, your new range really makes my heart skip a beat, I love your colour choices. Two more Prairie Dresses? Now that’s not playing fair. Because I now know that having four of them is not enough. The navy is screaming my name as is the chestnut, just quietly….I love wearing my Read & Bell and shopping with you both. My Read & Bell clothes never fade and last year after year.”
- Emily (customer since 2014) - March 2020
“I received my beautiful package this morning as I was running out on a grey and wet day. Grabbed the scarf and put it on straight away and the others are a neat pile of sunshine and colour as a reminder that summer is on its way. Always a pleasure shopping with you girls.”
- Arabella (customer since 2013) - May 2020