The Co Company supports rural communities through fashion
Unlike the country’s numerous couturiers and textile experts, entrepreneur Tejashree Bhatt’s venture Co Company doesn’t aim to revive India’s dying handloom industry. What they seek to do is provide steady income and a better life to artisans in rural areas. That their efforts are indirectly helping revive the art of weaving is an added bonus. “Living in Mumbai, I see a lot of homeless people, some without food and water and earning barely enough to get by. I was moved to do something about it. On interacting with one of them, I learned about migration and that most of them have given up on traditional crafts to be able to earn more money from other jobs. This is when I got the idea for Co Company,” says Tejashree, a former IT professional.
The e-store stocks a highly curated selection of saris, kurtas, tops, trousers, stoles and fabrics that are sourced from weavers in Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal. Tejashree prefers to stick to cotton and linen garments and handpicks products that celebrate minimalism — an extension of her own tastes and preferences. “For us, simplicity is key. I don’t like too many things happening on one garment. Also, everything we sell is sourced directly from the weaver. We do not tell them how to design their products, but trust their process,” explains Tejashree.
Crisp kalamkari, jamdani linen, Kuppadam, Kanchi cotton, and Tangail saris are a few of the craft traditions that are represented on the site. There is also a strong presence of garments bearing handblock prints. What is interesting is that each product is given a personal touch with a note describing the story of the weaver or artist behind each article. Apart from garments, you can also choose from jute bags, jewellery made with palm leaves and soaps and body oils sourced from an NGO working with locals from the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. A small section is also dedicated to an artist from Shantiniketan, West Bengal, who makes stunning home decor accents out of discarded material.
Rs. 80 upwards. Details: thecocompany.in