Young Entrepreneur Sisters Promote Authentic Mauritian Culture with Their Innovative and Sustainable Fashion Brand Kotpiale
What do you get when you combine a love for fashion and design with an idea to promote your local culture? Kotpiale, a trendy fashion company, founded in 2015 by the sisters Karuna and Melissa Veerapen, where the Mauritian spirit is at heart of all their designs.
With products from Kotpiale the tourist and the local finds a piece of the island that is current, cool and fun. What does “Bwar Lagoul mean? What is the name of the vegetable dangling on that earring? The visitors come home with a unique story to tell, that connects to the authentic and real culture on the island. Mauritians living abroad love the brand because it reminds them of their home – there is no better way to prove that Kotpiale creates an emotional connection, and a unique reminder of a unique place.
The entrepreneur sisters who come from different professional backgrounds had one common goal – to promote the different cultures, languages, rhythms and tastes of Mauritius through their designs. Kotpiale’s catalogue features a range of cool T-shirts, vests, hoodies, fridge magnets, table coasters, aprons and accessories, which are inspired from what goes around in Mauritius; the Mauritian Creole dialect, the local food, local objects like the bus or fruit pickle wagon, childhood games and more. Their products are locally-made and reflect the things people actually see and hear – true reflections of the island’s culture.
The sisters shared, ‘’We believe in local talent and know-how. Mauritians have the required knowledge and skills to produce clothing and other accessories for big international brands. Since we have been observing a lack of Mauritian DNA in Mauritian brand we seized the opportunity to produce locally.’’
The brand features a new collection of apparel every six months and does not produce in bulk for the sake of maintaining exclusivity and quality of their products. The brand has been able to create awareness on the Mauritian expertise to their audience who are a mix of locals and tourists in Mauritius.
In the future, the sisters hope for the local design industry to become more sustainable for the tourists and locals alike, which would also be beneficial for the betterment of the Mauritian economy.
Want to know more about Kotpiale products and story, click here.
You can visit them at: 9, Virgil Naz Street, Rose Hill, Mauritius
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Improving Sustainaible Tourism In Mauritius through Greening the Value Chain of Tour Operators (SUS-ISLAND) is a Switch Africa grand project funded by the European Commission and led by Mauritius Tourism Authority. Its objective is to promote sustainaible tourism in Mauritius by demonstration and scaling up a self-sustaining mechanism for improving sustainaibility impacts along the value chain improving awareness and market of sustainaible tourism products.