The Shop Opens In Bandra

March 17, 2011 3:20 pm by

Last weekend, The Shop, Mumbai’s newest lifestyle store, opened its doors on Bandra’s Ambedkar Road. Housed in an old building, The Shop’s brick-brown façade and elegant window display suggest a quaint, charming little store, which is precisely what you get when you step inside. Owned and run by Delhi-based Kabir Singh and his family, The Shop is a six-room, 1,800 sq. ft. space selling clothes, bedding, (blankets, sheets, pillows), kitchen ware (tea pots, mugs, bowls, saucers, plates) as well as accessories such as handbags, printed stoles, and oddly enough, children’s books. The range of products at The Shop is eclectic but lovingly selected, and there’s a warmth in the bright, cozy rooms that will make you want to browse for just a couple of minutes longer than you’d expect to spend over, say, a teapot. The sections are smartly organised; clothing, bedding and furniture; kitchenware; and children’s furniture and toys, have two rooms each.

The Shop’s USP is its social and environmental angle: the furniture is made from recycled wood and their in-house lines are sourced from their own factory, which has a zero-tolerance policy for child labour. The factory, based in Delhi, sticks to an eco-friendly mantra, using energy-efficient light bulbs, natural fabrics, employing solar panels to heat water for dyeing products and conserving it through rainwater harvesting. The 40 per cent of stock that does not come from The Shop’s factory, is sourced from NGOs, such as Sukriti and Sai Prem, which look to employ the disenfranchised. Products from these lines include kites, stationary, and range from a key chain for Rs175 to an embroidered bed cover for Rs5,400.

The company, which was founded in Delhi in 1969 with a focus on hand-printed indigenous textiles, supplies clothing and home furnishings to retailers like Zara Home, Bergdorf Goodman, Williams Sonoma, Neiman Marcus and countless others. You’re likely find the lines at these big retailers under the names Pondicherri and Handprint, but they all come out of The Shop’s factory and the textiles bear similar colourful floral and paisley prints. This means you’ll be getting The Shop’s pieces without the big retailer mark-ups. You can find women’s clothing ranging from Rs350 to Rs50,000, furniture from Rs1,130 to Rs21,000, and bedding from Rs120 to Rs3,800.

While there’s a random and odd selection of knick-knacks to choose from (everything from earthware pottery to children’s mobiles), we recommend the extensive range of Kama products, which incidentally is also stocked at Good Earth. An Ayurveda skin care line from South India, Kama’s beautifully-packaged line of organic soaps, body washes and lip balms make for cute gifts. The store is still waiting on a lot of their stock to come in (wooden crockery, stationary, some clothing lines), which explains the slim selection on display. Even if you swear by Fab India and Good Earth, The Shop is worth a peek. For one, you buy something knowing that the proceeds are going towards a good cause, and two, you can rest smugly in the satisfaction of having bought a hand-printed duvet that’ll cost your friends in London and New York double if not more.