20 Minutes with with
Etisha Pipada

Talking ancient weaving techniques, preserving Ottoman craftsmanship, and conscious luxury with Etisha Pipada.

While every fashion- and lifestyle brand is constantly vetted for its sustainable practice and ethical approach, goods that are essential are rarely conscience-checked. That's why most of us haven't heard of sustainable frames, planters or towels. We want to change that: Etisha Collective is the responsible luxury towel brand tracking each step of the supply chain with a new and transparent blockchain technology. The Berlin-based and India-rooted company only uses GOTS-certified cotton and organic materials for both, its packaging and its products. Besides providing premium bathing experiences, Etisha Collective's motto is to never hurt nature, which is why no harmful chemicals are used within the cultivation- and production-processes, and every product is made to last for eternity.

The high-quality of the Etisha Collective towels providing longevity, is ensured by its weaving technique: The brand bets on a fusion of modernity and history by relying on weaving heritage rooting back to the 17th century. The 400 year old technique is used by qualified Anatolian artisanal communities. Within the last twenty years, more than 80 percent of all hand-weaving craftsmen and -women as well as their extraordinary skills have been lost – skills that have been passed from generation to generation, starting in the Ottoman Empire. Etisha Collective closely works with the last remaining Anatolian artisans to preserve this traditional hand-weaving craftsmanship. Naturally, Etisha Collective guarantees fair payment and great living conditions of its workers. After all, a luxury bathing experience and the following relaxation can only exist with a clean conscience – cleaner than your bathtub!

We talked with Etisha Pipada, the founder of the brand, about preserving traditional craftsmanship, the right care for luxury fabrics, and visualizing every step of the supply chain.

Nele Tüch: You are working with the last-remaining artisan weavers in Anatolia preserving their craftsmanship. How does the result differ from machine-made products? 

Etisha Pipada: The weaver families we work with are the last of their generation, which means their skills and techniques are a result of decades of practice passed on from their ancestors. When working with hand-crafted products, there’s an element of human touch, each weft and knot is a product of love and dedication. Our weavers take roughly 30-40 hours to weave one piece. They may not be able to match up the volume of machine-made products, but the result is a rare piece of towel that is impossible to replicate. The hand-tied fringes, the complex weave structure, the uncut loops are unparalleled elements. We believe that true textile and luxury connoisseurs are able to spot this ingenuity with a touch. Besides this beautiful personal touch, there is also a technical component which is different from machine-made products. A woven item is very special within today's market, not just because of its beauty, but due to its endurance: Flat-woven towels outlast factory-made ones by almost three times and in the case of thicker, looped towels, they even last between five and six times longer. The combination of the highest quality of cotton with the utmost love and dedication from a generational artisan who breathes a little soul into each of his pieces, gives you a product whose strength, beauty and stability is a rarity in today’s world.


NT: Your products are high-quality and made with organic cotton – they are „made to last“. But consumers often forget their part of the deal, the care. How important is the right care of fabrics, whether it is luxury towels or fashion?

Etisha Pipada: We believe that everyday luxury should be easy to use. A major part of the experience is to ensure that it is hassle-free and, hence, our towels only require an eco-wash to ensure their longevity. When we say ‘made to last’, it begins with choosing the right materials. Be it luxury towels or fashion, the fabric should be constructed in a way that it's easy to take care of. Beyond the environmental benefits of using organic cotton - for the earth, the water table, and the people who pick the cotton - organically processed cotton is more absorbent, it releases moisture more effectively, and has its natural bacteria-fighting ability which has not been damaged by chemical processing and, therefore, will not smell musty, go hard over time, will be easier to clean and will have to be cleaned less often.


NT: What does luxury mean to you personally?

Etisha Pipada: For me, the beauty of being has always been in the little pleasures of life that go unnoticed but constitute significantly the feeling of satiation, the feeling of real luxury. From looking out the flower-drenched terrace of a Sicilian Masseria onto the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea to catching that one glimpse of the sinking sun on the Thar desert. Luxury to me isn’t something that’s Instagrammable, it’s almost intangible. It’s the feeling that owning a beautiful product comes with. Etisha Collective derives from my inspirations and aspirations. It is an extension and expression of everything I’ve experienced, liked, or believed in. It is about natural purity, exquisite craft, stirring designs, and the best quality pieces.


NT: People oftentimes do not understand that products made from fabrics should not be disposable. How can we make them see?

Etisha Pipada: Nature has provided us with limited resources, however increasing their life and the value they provide is in our hands. That is how one keeps this relationship evolving. For us, it doesn’t end at being organically, and ethically made, it also means communicating this information and leaving no gaps in the system. One way to make people see, would be to ‘literally’ make them see - to enable an authentic display of information. We are one of the first luxury brands and the world’s first towel label to use the blockchain technology to track our entire supply chain from farm to finished product. This information will be encrypted in a barcode placed on each of our pieces. Essentially what it means is that the end-user will be able to simply scan a barcode on their product and see the entire supply chain - from the farm where the cotton was picked for their towel all the way up to the city/store in which they bought the product. We are happy to see that other luxury players are also jumping onto this. The blockchain technology does not only allow the end-user to see the product journey, it also shows the effort that has gone into making that one towel for them, it generates value and thereby increases their love and care for it. When you can track every process, and every material that has gone in the make, it is much easier to dismantle and understand the components – thereby increasing efficiency in sorting/repurposing/recycling. Several components can be added to this: One way is to show the versatility of our products - from beach, bath and spa, the towels can extend as throws and summer blankets. Simplistic designs create room for versatility and gives the freedom to envision the product in different settings. It is the responsibility of the brand to infuse that versatility into its product. This way you don't only reduce your contribution to fabric waste, but you are closer to your customer for a longer period, it’s a win-win.

Click here for Etisha Collective's Instagram account.