Mandala Apparels

Mandala Apparels (formerly CAOS) is an ethical enterprise based in Pondicherry, South India. They manufacture a wide range of woven and knitted clothing and accessories and are proud that 90% of their in-house production is in certified organic cotton. The company takes their ethical credentials very seriously and say that they “seek to preserve traditions, protect precious techniques and high quality skills while supporting communities as well as environmental causes.”


Safia Minney, Founder and CEO of People Tree, interviews Anjali Schiavina, Founder of Mandala, about her company.

Safia Minney: Why did you set up your company?

Anjali Schiavina: Mandala was established in 2002. I started it to empower the people and to find a business model that would create a harmony between being a sustainable business, and being a social business.

Safia: How many people work with you?

Anjali: At the moment we employ 195 workers. Out of these about 70% are female and 30% are male.

Safia: What sort of people do you employ?

Anjali: Our workers come from rural backgrounds and live in villages in a 12 kilometre radius of the company. We have a policy of employing a small percentage of women who are physically challenged. In addition lots of the women who work for us are single mothers.

Safia: Do you get involved with projects to help local people?

Anjali: Yes - we work with several different organisations on social projects. A particular event we were proud to get involved in was fundraising for the “Joy of Giving” festival. Every two years millions of Indians from all walks of life join in this national event by performing both small and large acts of kindness and we raised a lot of money for underprivileged people.We also work with four social organisations which help local people and improve the natural environment in which we live, including working with disabled children and improving the health and hygiene of local people in Pondicherry and across southern India.