While the art of Pashmina is intrinsically regal, unfortunately, the nimble hands of those who create these masterpieces have been shivering in fear. Year after year, hundreds of thousands of artisans have been losing their livelihoods. If there’s someone who has supported these ‘craft magicians’ and given them a voice for years now - it is Varun Kumar, the founder of Pashmina.com.
Referred to as the “soft gold of Asia”, Pashmina is all about handcrafting luxurious pieces of art from the finest Cashmere. Once adorned by the European nobility, it is today a fashionable accessory that adds grace and elegance to the wearer.
WHAT SETS PASHMINA.COM APART
● Certified authenticity
Every piece is individually certified from CDI by the Ministry of Textiles, to ensure quality and authenticity
● Personalised to taste
- Monograms, initials, logos are hand-embroidered with the choicest colors, in the selected font or design
● Sustainable at its core
- ‘Less is more’ for Pashmina.com; the craftmanship in making each piece by artisans with years of experience passed on from there forefathers. ● Fair trade practices
: 100% upfront money paid to artisans with profits to ensure a sustainable future for them. Part of profits are also reinvested towards upliftment of women and children.
The illustrious journey of Pashmina.com
A former International Business and Marketing professional, Varun has been working tirelessly for the last few years to revive the lost glory of Pashmina, and take this royal art to the world.
The fashion world is inundated with ‘fast fashion’ brands that focus on variety, and often leave quality on the backburner. Unfortunately, this is a trend being followed by some of the biggest names in the world. In the name of “affordable products”, the market is flooded with machine-made and blended varieties that take away from the royalty and finesse of Pashmina. This is exactly what Varun wanted to change with Pashmina.com.
“Since Pashmina is regal and a symbol of opulence, consumers (because of the lack of awareness) go in for such tall claims and later pay a heavy price for their choices. This royal art has its roots in the picturesque valleys of Kashmir and for me, maintaining its pristine beauty is paramount,” says Varun.
Giving voice to the artisans
At Pashmina.com, there is nothing more sacrosanct than the philosophy ‘less is more’ and ‘authenticity’. Each of the products are painstakingly hand-crafted and hand-embroidered by the gifted artisans of the land of Kashmir. Each piece is unique; it is not just a product - it is truly a labour of love.
“I have always felt strongly for the art of Pashmina and dreamt of taking it to the world, but I also feel deeply moved by the condition of the skilled artisans in Kashmir. Through his brand, I have always wished to empower them and bring them on the world map for their art of craftsmanship, and I am glad this is a reality today.
Our brand believes in rewarding these craftsmen for their exquisite work by empowering them and helping them in their growth. We work on a fair trade basis with our artisans, paying them 100% upfront money with profit to ensure they have a sustainable future. Besides, part of our profits are invested towards upliftment of women and children,” says Varun, who’s Pashmina.com supports more than 100+ artisan clusters today. Focus on the highest level of quality
For a timeless piece that is a pure reflection of rich legacy, quality assurance is of utmost priority to the brand. Each of their pieces – pashmina shawls, hijabs, stoles & scarves, wraps – go through stringent testing by the Crafts Development Institute, which is under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
The artisans’ craftsmanship reflects in their bouquet of offerings, right from the shawls to the stoles and scarves as well as the hijabs. To cater to varied tastes of our consumers, there are also hand-crafted pure cashmere throws and blankets, which are hand-woven on wooden looms. One can opt for the solid pashmina’s, the funky ombres; the beautiful Swarovski & Chantilly laces or the classic hand embroidered jamawar and the most exquisite kani shawls.
Luxurious gifts like no other
These products serve as the perfect gifts for all occasions, be it weddings, anniversaries, birthdays or just as a symbol of affection. Pashmina.com offers a large palette of colors, so whatever be the mood, there’s a bunch of vivid shades to choose from. The product is then luxuriously presented in a personalized box, which is not less than a collector’s item.
What’s more, the brand also offers luxurious personalised products like no other. “One can get traditional monograms with personalised details or even names hand-embroidered on these products to express your affection for a loved one. These monograms are made by our craftsmen, who make sure these are as exquisite as the shawl or stole itself,” says Varun.
Today, Pashmina.com delivers to 200 countries, and has a happy and fulfilled client base.
In a world populated with fake and machine-made Pashmina blends, it is difficult to trust sellers, especially in the online sphere. At Pashmina.com, “REAL” is all that we Sell & bringing back this luxurious art while uplifting the livelihood of artisans is our soul endeavor!
To find out more, visit www.pashmina.com or follow us at our Instagram account @pashminaofficial
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.