Khara Kapas- A love affair with Organic Cottonshayonti
I am not a fashionista nor someone obsessed with dressing up makeup or wardrobe upgrades. However, two things were very important for me as far as dressing is concerned. My clothes needed to be comfortable no matter what activity I was involved in and appropriate for the occasion.
Oh! and one other thing it needed to stand out in a subtle way. Not loud or elaborate but stand out for it’s simplicity and be calmly elegant.
Much before I knew anything about sustainability or ethical fashion I realized I was drawn towards bio cotton– There was something about the fabric, it was simple smart and crisp (recall our starched ironed school uniforms) and always managed to stand out. I always had the feel cotton was so full of character and attitude, it had this inherent quality of being different. The colours looked brighter and it was so very comfortable. The fact that it didn’t hug the body, given I had no figure to boast of was an added attraction.
There are so many varieties in cotton that there was always something no matter what the occasion. Did you know there are over 100 varieties of cotton?
Born in India and having lived there till my late teens, cotton was always there to keep the sweltering heat at bay. Cotton dresses, sarees, scarves, trousers- name it. Never a fan of synthetics, most unconsciously, it seems now I was supporting a sustainable lifestyle. My love for the fabric bio cotton continued even when I shifted base to cooler countries. Layering with cotton helped keep warm even when I had to face the brunt of Russian winters! We do not always understand how well cotton can keep us snug during the frosty days.
The brand Khara Kapas
Given my love for the fabric it was no coincidence that I reached out to Khara Kapas when we launched Urban Medley.
‘Khara Kapas’ meaning ‘pure cotton’ in Hindi or bio cotton as we refer to it today, started with a belief that well-designed clothes made from pure fabrics can bring happiness into people’s everyday life. Khara Kapas designs products that are handcrafted and made from pure, homegrown Indian fabrics. It is home to an incredible ensemble of cotton variants and Indian handlooms, often experimenting with mulmul, chanderi, linen and the 100% organic cotton variant – kala cotton. The founder Shilpa Yadav, swears by using cotton and just that to make beautiful apparel and cotton accessories.
Playing with an array of prints, colour patterns and designs, they are in it to achieve simplicity through handpicked fabrics, well-thought designs and ethical business practices.
Kala Organic Cotton
Kala cotton or organic cotton is indigenous to Kutch and completely organic. The farmers do not use any pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. As a purely rain-fed crop it has a high tolerance for both disease and pests. This variety of cotton cultivation requires minimal investment. The crop is resilient and resurgent in the face of difficult land conditions.
In the early market systems of Kutch, farmers and weavers worked together to create rich, organic woven textiles from local, old world’s cotton. This resulted in making it a part of vibrant national legacy of creating cloth from the first to last step on Indian soil.
Khara Kapas works closely with artisans and weavers from across the country to serve the penchant of cotton lovers. These weavers facilitate celebration of Indian culture, tradition and the rich heritage.
It’s raw and rustic charm shines through minimalistic timeless pieces, in earthy colours of vegetable dyes, ornamenting the collection’s purity. The fabric and dye combination is skin-friendly, easy to care, and perfect for all climates.
In the words of Shilpi, the founder of Khara Kapas, – I had no target or plan for Khara Kapas. What I did possess was a passion for creating and designing. Stayed true to my heart and my natural design instinct. I began by designing for my personal wardrobe and recycled the pieces I made to create distinct looks. Cotton has always been a staple with me for its endurance and breathability. It was this confidence and passion that led me to take my art beyond my wardrobe and start a clothing label that was an extension of the style of my person.
Urban Medley truly relates to the philosophy of celebrating every moment and keeping it all very simple and elegant.
Author: Shayonti Chatterji