Ethicus offers saris made of 100 per cent organic cotton with the farmer and weaver being a good part of the benefit loop

If you’re crazy about your cottons and conscious about your carbon footprint, head to the exhibition of Ethicus, a Pollachi-based handloom brand that bales out 100 per cent organic cotton products.

The brand Ethicus is a name coined out of words — ‘ethics’ and ‘us’. The cotton used for the clothing they make is grown without the use of any chemical fertilizers, and the cotton is not from genetically-modified plants.

Ethicus founders Mani Chinnaswamy and Vijayalakshmi Nachiar will be in Bangalore on February 1 and 2 with their latest collection of saris — Isfahan designed by Amishi Vadgama.

Ode to Iran

“The collection is named after the most beautiful city in Iran — Isfahan — it’s full of gardens… we were invited to present a paper on our work at a conference there. We fell in love with it. It’s not on everyone’s list of travel, but it’s such a beautiful country and we share so much in common. The inspiration for the collection is drawn by the tile work of the mosques, the geometry of the jaalis, forts, and floral motifs of carpets,” explains Vijayalakshmi over telephone. The saris in this collection are priced Rs. 3,700 up to Rs. 9,000.

Also on display and sale will be stoles, scarves and clothing for women. The short tops, tunics, and kurtas with small detailing in stitching are part of a collection called The Dotted Trail designed by Divya Bhatt Mishra, an NID alumni. The price range of this collection is Rs. 2,800 to Rs. 6,500. Their in-house collection of stoles and scarves are priced between Rs. 900 to Rs. 3,500.

Ethicus products are hand-crafted by rural artisans using centuries old weaving techniques on jacquard handlooms. The couple inherited a three-generation-old traditional cotton business called Appachi Cotton. They then struck upon the idea of ‘inclusive and sustainable growth’, wherein they adopted an integrated contract farming model for cotton which helped ensure income for thousands of small marginal farmers in the cotton production supply chain. “We adhere to the strictest fair trade practices and ensure that cotton farmers and weavers reap the benefits of these practices,” says the company’s release. In recognition of this, it was recently awarded the Future Shaper award by Textile Exchange in October 2012 in Hongkong.

Most of the organic cotton is cultivated by small and marginal farmers in the Kabini region, part of the Nilgiri Biosphere, in Karnataka. The target area covers 400 acres and as many as 165 cotton growers are currently involved in this socio-ecological endeavour.

The exhibition will be on February 1 and 2, at the Raintree, 4, Sankey Road, opposite Hotel Windsor Sheraton, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.