Catching Clouds

A community-based project turns the humble cloud into a trendy fashion accessory

Published: 15th May 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2015 05:59 AM   |  A+A-


Of what importance could a plump, fluffy cloud be to you, except to be admired, floating on a day that spells clear skies? But to a cotton farmer, a cloud matters a lot as his harvest is dependent on these masses.

Catching1.jpgBringing together clouds with cotton farmers and farming is Once upon a Doug, a not-for-profit initiative. The name Doug, which is derived from Dhug, Marathi for cloud, is also the monicker of a symbolic cloud fashioned out of scrap material by women of the cotton farming communities o f Maharashtra. Once Upon a Doug is an initiative by No Nasties, a Mumbai-based T-shirt company that uses 100 per cent organic fair trade cotton along with NGO Chetna Vikas that works towards the empowerment of women in the

Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, Pearson College London students and Pave Internships, which offers internships to students from around the globe, in India.

Every Doug is made of colourful scrap fabric and recycled T-shirts and comes with little stitches that form a silver lining, literally. A thread attached at the back transforms this little symbol into a multitasking accessory. Use it to tie your hair, wear it as a brooch, bracelet, or pin it to your backpack.

“Carrying around or wearing the cloud might be a small gesture but it can reach out to a large number of people. We’ve had people tagging us on Instagram where the Doug has been tied to a camel’s neck in Rajasthan or attached to a cycle in Paris,” Kothari tells us. A video is also being shot with the women Doug makers, to create a DIY starter kit. “I wanted to create a symbol that would address the issues of the cotton farmers of India,” explains founder, Apurva Kothari.

A cloud would be a perfect symbol, realised Kothari, four years ago. According to him, it also represents the agrarian crisis facing the community (the alarmingly high rates of farmer suicides in the cotton belts), and acts as a symbol of hope and freedom.

Kothari’s wife Shweta came up with the cloud design, Chetna Vikas helped to train women to make these keep sakes and students and interns of the Pearson college and Paves Internships helped in branding and marketing. Kothari assures us that there is complete transparency in terms of funds as well.

“At present, the women are paid Rs 20 per cloud and make about 100 to 200 monthly. All profits will go back into the community,” he says. Rather than individual purchases, Once Upon a Doug is looking at larger numbers of support and sale because each Doug is priced at only Rs 100. A minimum number of 50 can be ordered online.


Stay up to date on all the latest Hyderabad news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp