Inspired by Her Grief, Woman Turns Memories Into Quilts & Upcycles 1 Lakh Kg Clothes

Farah Ahmad started Sweet Root in 2013 and is helping thousands hold on to their loved ones’ memories by making quilts.

memory quilt

Image Credits: The Better India

Farah Ahmad started Sweet Root in 2013 and is helping thousands hold on to their loved ones’ memories by making quilts.

Image Credits: The Better India

Processing loss is a very personal affair. While some may choose to internalise the pain and deal with it, others write, talk and paint to express themselves.

Farah Ahmad, a Bengaluru resident, found a rather cathartic release in making a memory quilt with her mother’s clothes after losing her to COVID-19. After her mother passed, she found the strength to channelise that grief into something that today helps thousands cope with their loss. 

Farah, who describes herself as a serial entrepreneur, had launched her own company called Sweet Root in 2013. “Troubled by the number of clothes one often buys for newborns and then proceeds to discard them is what led me to make memory quilts. These are made recycling old clothes and becomes a keepsake for families,” she says.

This 39-year-old entrepreneur prides herself on trying to solve the issue of waste by converting old clothes into keepsakes. “After losing my mother, when I was cleaning out my cupboards and arranging the clothes I wondered what I could do with all her clothes. I did not have the heart to throw them away or even just give them away,” she says. She says that just holding the clothes close to her body gave her a sort of “unexplainable comfort and security”.

“I wasn’t ready to let go of my mother so soon. While at Sweet Root we were already making quilts from baby clothes, using the clothes of a deceased family member was a new concept for us. This was how the memory quilts were born,” she adds.

Even in Farah’s friend circle, many people lost loved ones to COVID-19 and expressed a desire to have the memory quilts made.

“Sharing the pain of losing someone close to you is never easy. All the more so when it is with a complete stranger. However, in my case, it has been such a therapeutic experience for me. I have come to meet so many people who have lost dear ones and listening to their stories has made me stronger,” she says.

For Farah who also lost her brother, she says that seeing her nephew use the memory quilt made with her brother’s clothes brings her comfort. “Without planning it I have forged a connection with so many of the clients who order memory quilts,” she says. The ability to hold on to memories is what makes the memory quilt so special, she adds.

Credits: The Better India

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