Making a difference while trying to make one’s own mark requires not only courage, but innovation as well. Rameshwari Kaul and Vinayak Sharma had both in leaps and bounds. When they experienced the sad state of the present clothing industry, they saw the need to make a change, and that is exactly what they did with Cotton Rack. It is a grounded, socially responsible, ethical lifestyle brand with simplicity at its core.
Weaving the Story
Having a designer’s mind from the onset, Rameshwari Kaul is a textile design graduate from NIIFT, Mohali and a postgraduate from NIFT, New Delhi. She has extensive experience working with craft clusters and handicrafts, and has worked with KVIC and Directorate of Handlooms in Jammu and Kashmir. She briefly worked with GAP and then moved onto work with FabIndia as well. Vinayak Sharma briefly studied textile design at NIIFT, Mohali before dropping out and moving to NIFT, New Delhi where he graduated in fashion and apparel designing. He has worked as menswear designer for ColorPlus, a premium menswear brand by Raymond.
One fine day in 2008, Rameshwari and Vinayak were both talking about world politics, society, and their contribution to it when they realised that in a world filled with clutter and chaos, they needed to bring positive change. “Actions speak louder than words”, and that is how Cotton Rack was born.
Constructing Cotton Rack
A vision doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes courage, determination, and hard work. Rameshwari and Vinayak wanted to build a lifestyle brand that was accessible, ethical, and eco-friendly. It needed to be successful as a business model, and stay relevant in the market, while staying true to their sustainable values. Finding the right fabric for Cotton Rack was a monumental task.
They experimented with many new-age novelty fabrics which were eco-friendly and had a lot of potential, but these fabrics really missed on the emotional quotient. They were looking for a fabric that was truly humane in nature, to change how one leaves their legacy in the textile market. Finally, they had the answer: handmade fabrics, their first love since learning about textiles. Khadi, a homespun, handwoven fabric that is so grounded and cardinal that it formed not only the foundation of modern fabrics, but has an entire nation’s struggle for independence woven into it.
Working as a team, Rameshwari Kaul handles Cotton Rack’s designing, production, and quality, while Vinayak works to make sure the brand remains visible, and reaches wider audiences using sales and marketing tools.
A brand that brings back the original glory that this homespun and handwoven fabric truly deserves by aspiring the young again. And all of this while bringing a change to lives of the maker, the wearer and the environment.
Woven to Inspire
Always working to be more sustainable, the idea of having the ability to change the lives of people, whether they are artisans or consumers, inspires Rameshwari and Vinayak. They always aim to add to the betterment of the environment and create change, regardless of how big that change is. Through Cotton Rack, they are able to do that in more than one way. As designers, they feel that it is their duty to cut the noise and create clutter-free designs that break away from the regular hum-drum. They built a brand that brings back the original glory that Khadi truly deserves, while bringing a change to lives of the maker, the wearer and the environment.
The handicrafts industry has been struggling to make the right mark on the society. Khadi’s perception over the last few decades has diluted under the stress of competing handloom and mechanised products as well as poor marketing strategies. Not many people are bothered about Khadi as a fabric, or as a product. Real Khadi is a high-end fabric which is made with love and labour, and it deserves to be made into a great quality product. Cotton Rack is actively working on making Khadi aspirational again by highlighting Khadi as a product, and sharing the story that is relatively unknown by the consumer.
The Fabric of the Future
Cotton Rack hopes to spread awareness, reach out to more consumers, and educate them about the benefits of Khadi and it’s functionality through their website. They want to explore and experiment to better the quality of the fabric in use, and create designs to better their product portfolio. Above all, they want to establish Cotton Rack internationally as a high-end lifestyle brand. Check out Cotton Rack on Facebook and Instagram to explore their journey with Khadi.