Next Thursday, Ivy-Style: The Podcast with Prasan Shah of The Original Madras Trading Company

In the meantime, type “Prasan” into our search bar and do homework.

We are adding live reads and a segment where we field questions from the readers. You can list a question in the comments below, I will credit you with it.

10 Comments on "Next Thursday, Ivy-Style: The Podcast with Prasan Shah of The Original Madras Trading Company"

  1. Hardbopper | July 10, 2023 at 12:46 pm |

    The madras shirt on the mannequin in the previous post is beautiful. Btw, having been sunburned too many times, I finally came to prefer mostly long sleeves. I figure I can roll ‘em up should I choose.

  2. Price seems very high for something that’s not made in the U.S.A. and instead made in the developing world. I would perhaps feel more comfortable supporting this is it was clear that there was extra effort made to ensure a living wage but there doesn’t seem to be anything on their website about this. A bit concerning to me as someone who usually tries to support domestic production, which many of the Ivy Style partners seem to do thankfully.

    • John Burton | July 11, 2023 at 8:25 am |

      Hi Chris, a few notes. First, I am not sure you could even make these in the United States. Each piece is handwoven by an artisan, these are families with a generational commitment to this art form. I have spoken with Prasan about the devotion that his family has to their artisans, and I assure you, it is deep and supportive. That said, I will make sure to elaborate on that on the show. Second, if you are buying madras from any company that the site is affiliated with, 99.999% of that is made by The Original Madras Company anyway. Finally, through collaborations with companies like J. Press and St Johns Bay Rum, TOMTC is supporting domestic and international business. Thanks for the thought and I will credit you with it on the show!

      • Thanks for the reply and the interest. To clarify, I am definitely not opposed to supporting companies such as this that manufacture overseas, especially when they are the original “source” of the product. But when you pay $180 for a shirt (like with Mercer), it’s because you are supporting American wages which are undoubtedly much higher than those in India. I don’t necessarily expect to see an exact breakdown of where the money goes but it is substantially higher than what you’d normally expect to pay for goods produced in the developing world. Nothing wrong with charging that much money provided it’s justified but I find the lack of information about wages (in particular, living wages) to be concerning. $180 is a LOT of money for something that’s produced in a region where people very often survive on the same amount of money for the entire month.

  3. Seems questions/comments are being screened now? I hope I haven’t broken any rules!

    • John Burton | July 11, 2023 at 8:27 am |

      Hi Chris – you didn’t do anything wrong at all! To insure civility and dignity I have placed a rather strict filtering system on the comments, and sometimes things get caught in the net. Thanks for your patience.

  4. Charlottesville | July 11, 2023 at 10:37 am |

    I imagine that the cloth in my J. Press madras shirts may well be from the company, and they are great. Perfect cool, breathable fabric for hot days. Not sure about the madras sport coat that I bought at Press in the early 2000s, but it is also delightfully light and breezy for summer.

  5. Question for Mr. Shah:

    Sir, in all of the films that I’ve seen set in India, you almost never see an Indian wearing Madras, always an American.

    Forgive my ignorance, but since Madras is such an inexpensive, ecologically-friendly fabric with a rich cultural heritage, why do the Indian people appear to avoid wearing Madras cloth?

  6. I think that it’s perfectly appriopriate to purchase an indigenous item from it’s place of origin. Otherwise, there is something false about it. Think of Shetland sweaters, Irish linen, Harris Tweed, Madras, etc. etc.

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