Introducing you to CottonWorld – if you don’t already know about this brand. #MadeInIndia and NOT fast-fashion. You might know already that I support buying sustainable clothes that last, which means not purchasing from fast-fashion brands that employ sweat-shop labour and produce multiple collections each month with garments that barely last one wash cycle.
I also support buying local – buying Made In India when in India and Made In America when in America. ( I’m all cut up about American Apparel’s IP being sold off but I feel slightly better that the brand will live on as LA Apparel. Not many Made In America apparel brands left. I do sense a revival, which is great. India doesn’t have that problem except when it comes to casual wear. )
CottonWorld manufactures basic clothing that ranges from night wear ( their pyjamas and shorts are SO SOFT and comfortable ) to casual wear to formal wear. A linen skirt I purchased from their Phoenix Mills store in 2005 is still part of my wardrobe! Whenever I travel to Bombay, I pay a visit to the closest CottonWorld store and browse through everything.
In this feature, I’m focusing on my first ever semi-formal jacket purchase from this brand. I purchased t-shirts, a couple of shirts / tops and a knitted sleeveless overlay as well but more on those later.
In my shopping bag, the store manager also dropped in a paper pouch with three seeds, which he politely asked me to plant. I had one empty plant pot remaining at the apartment, so that was great. I planted all three seeds in the same pot because I wasn’t sure any of the seeds were actually going to sprout but CW recommends you plant each seed in a separate pot. I plan to migrate any extra sprouts to the soil downstairs. Not entirely sure what tree / plant will grow. All I know is it’s going to be GREEN.
Details of the garment. There are no pockets – just a piece of cloth stitched onto the top layer – it seems that the brand is cutting costs to keep up with the competition. I haven’t yet washed the jacket but I’m guessing it will loose shape if I’m not careful. I intend to machine-wash it but no spin cycles. Just wash cycle once and then take it out and rinse it under tap water to flush out the detergent and then hang on a hanger to dry. After which I will iron it when it’s damp so that I can maintain a stronger crease especially where the front collar folds are.
Their garment tags are printed on paper produced using poop. Paper by El Rhino, who are “dung paper makers”, using Rhino and Elephant dung. Cute.
Guilty of placing another order while writing this blog story! I wanted to confirm the URL to the brand’s website and saw they were having a clearance sale upto 60% off and found a nice v-neck nautical-striped t-shirt for Rs. 800.
They’re still mostly old-school basic in terms of the patterns they’re using and end up catering to a slightly older customer base. Think more men and women in their late 20s and early 30s and work upwards from there. Working professionals. But they are trying to include a slightly younger crowd as well – with their modals and overlays. Can’t imagine how they’re keeping up with the fast-fashion brands that have been flooding the Indian market with cheap, not-very long-lasting garments. Clubbing the CottonWorld brand in the same category is unfair but a large part of the younger crowd shops at malls and wants a wardrobe change every couple of months if not sooner.
More practical basics that last long and help create permutations and combinations in one’s wardrobe is still a very middle-class, practical approach to building a set of clothes one can rely on for years.
It does feel like CottonWorld’s quality isn’t the same as it used to be a decade ago but it is still better than all the other fast-fashion brands in the market. That CW manages to keep its prices competitive is quite surprising. Would be interesting to find out how they’re doing business-wise. They also need to up their game online and on social media – pretty much non-existent as of now. On the advertising front, they have a campaign featuring actor Kalki Koechlin called “Adopt-A-Tree” ( which is where the three plant seeds come in ). Photograph by Rid Burman below :
Happy to support another decent #MadeInIndia brand by shopping at their stores till then.
I’d recommend you definitely go to one of their stores once to figure out your fit – I usually wear a Medium size in most brands but at CW, I easily fit into a Small. So one trip’s worth it. Their stores aren’t everywhere in India but there is one in Gurgaon and one in Delhi ( according to one of our readers, the GK I CW store has shut and the Gurgaon Store is in the City Centre Mall ) – apart from the many in Bombay. If you’re in either of these cities, definitely check them out.
Knit shirt under the jacket is by Thai brand AIIZ and Jeans are by Indian brand Korra Jeans. Also wore same ensemble for the #MadeInIndia #FragranceOfTheMonth with Bombay Perfumery.