Towel Talk with Pamuk & Co.

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Jasmine Porter; Entrepreneur, Pamuk & Co. and Social Enterprise Mentor, Toronto

We all know that feeling of luxury when we see it or feel it, and often that feeling comes from an indulgent spa break or fabulous holiday. Pamuk & Co. founder Jasmine Porter has taken those two very special luxury experiences and created the perfect accessory to accompany it, in both look and feel. Her eco-chic range of towels and linens turn your home bathroom into a spa like oasis, and make your beach ensembles and holiday photos look like a magazine spread. Created on antique hand looms in Turkey, and made of organic cotton, these luxury artisanal linens are of extraordinary quality and beautiful aesthetic. Not only are her honest textiles or ‘Pamuks’ as they are called, socially responsible; they are soft to the touch, highly absorbent, light weight and very packable! Winning notable fans like actresses Meghan Markle and Debra Messing, and author Lindsay Jill Roth, plus can be found decorating many gorgeous Instagram feeds as they travel around the world.

Here we do a bit of “Towel Talk” with Jasmine to hear more about these linens that are filled with luxury, integrity, and versatility.

What was it like initially embarking on product development? After a lot of traveling and research and fact finding with my Turkish cousins throughout the country, we focused on locating the disappearing artisans that were committed to ancient methods of hand looming and developing trust and a principled working relationship.

Did it take long to perfect the final product? Tell us about the journey. Our process is collaborative. We look for inspiration in the worlds of fashion, architecture and design and collaborate with our local artisans to fabricate control samples of our ideas. If we feel that the materials meet the spirit of the inspiration then we commission production.

“The production of hand made goods represent the enduring and elemental connection of man to the earth. The Pammukale region of Turkey is globally acknowledged as the gold standard of cotton and have produced hand weaved and loomed textiles for millennia.”—Jasmine

What was your previous experience? My background is in the design and construction of global luxury retail brand environments and the restoration of heritage landmark buildings.

Why do you think it is important to shop small or supporting artisans? The production of hand made goods represent the enduring and elemental connection of man to the earth.  The Pammukale region of Turkey is globally acknowledged as the gold standard of cotton and have produced hand weaved and loomed textiles for millennia.  It is important to me to honour that tradition because authentic artisanal small batch textile production in Turkey has been replaced by mass produced commodities from east Asia.

Do you have plans to expand into other linens? We are always looking for interesting authentic luxury textiles that meet our standards for integrity in craft.

Are there any future plans you can share with us? We would like to continue to develop relationships and to collaborate with makers that are committed to producing intelligent crafts with integrity.

“Practical, beautiful, but most of all versatile, the fashionable Pamuk towel goes easily from beach towel to bath towel, throw blanket to shawl, baby wrap to yoga mat” — Jasmine

Your other work takes you into social enterprise, tell us about that? I train/mentor people facing boundaries to employment at HWTC (Hospitality Workers Training Centre) which is a not for profit organization and is sector based specifically for the hospitality industry and their sister organization Hawthorne Food and Drink which is a social enterprise and full training restaurant.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given? My cousin from Istanbul gave me a beautiful hand made table runner from my Grandma Emma who was a woman entrepreneur in a very patriarchal society in Turkey in the 1920s and 30s. The gift was significant because my grandmother is the inspiration for the courage to begin my journey with Pamuk & Co.

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