A trip to Exeter isn’t complete without soaking up the history of the city’s Cathedral and its surrounding businesses. Whilst exploring this special part of the city don’t forget to visit Chandni Chowk in Cathedral Close’s The Medieval Hall. This fair-trade independent business specialises in textiles designed in Devon and handmade in India by wonderfully skilled crafts people. Step inside their Exeter shop to find a beautiful selection of women’s and men’s fashion, alongside interior items including throws, rugs, curtains and bedding.
For this week’s #FinditinExeter we chatted with Rosalind, one half of the Chandni Chowk founding team, to discover all there is to know about this South-West based textiles brand.
Propelled by a desire to create textiles that were environmental, ethical and fair trade, Chandni Chowk was established in 1978. These principles are still the backbone of the company today. However, their simple stand at Barnstaple Pannier Market has now grown to five bricks and mortar branches as well as an established wholesale business.
Chandni Chowk creates two main fashion collections a year, along with several smaller collections dotted throughout the seasons. They also have a constantly evolving interiors collection, alongside a range of accessories and jewellery.
The company’s aim is simple, to try and minimise their impact on the environment. They only use natural fibres and dyes and are working hard to develop their organic cotton collections – hoping one day for their entire product range to be certified organic. You can also shop at Chandni Chowk guilt free in the knowledge that their entire supply chain is fair-trade.
Chandni Chowk’s historical Exeter shop is filled with gorgeous items that are both designed by its Devon team and an additional collection called Accacia which is designed collaboratively with a team in India. A variety of crafts have created these pieces in India, including hand-block printing, khari printing, hand weaving, crewel work, natural dying and hand embroidery.
So, whether you fancy a hand-block printed throw for your home or a naturally dyed cotton dress for every day, and strive to be transparent, ethical and fair trade with your shopping, head to Chandni Chowk in Exeter. Whilst filling your world with beautiful handmade textiles, you will also get the chance to see their 15th century Angel Roof!