Young Designers 2011

Kapas Organic Cotton Project: From Soil to Self
Apparel Design and Merchandising | PGDPD
Sanjay Guria
Upasana Integral Design, Aurovile
Sustainable model
Fair trade
For my diploma project, I chose to work with Kapas, a sustainable business collaborative specifically striving to protect and promote the fragile cotton communities in Tamil Nadu.

I first had to understand the large picture, right from the grassroots’ level of crop-procuring to the final wearable product. For this, I sought help from senior experienced design-thinkers. I had to understand how the value-chain affects every segment of the artisan community, positively or negatively, depending on the individual decisions made at the micro-level. The project was targeted at women in the age group of 20-40 years.

Kapas Organic Cotton Project: From Soil to Self is the first apparel collection that was launched by Upasana. The collection comprises minimal textile and apparel series predominantly in 20’s count organic cotton, in natural Indigo dye, Kora (unbleached yarn) and a white colour palate. This collection, comprising six series of ensembles and a total of 30 designer garments, is the brand’s Classic line.

This experience helped me understand the major role played by the design process in sustaining a craft-based social project. It gave me the opportunity to personally interact with extremely talented and often unacknowledged artisans in India.
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