Meet the Collective: Sabitha, merchandise and production planner

Meet the Collective: Sabitha, merchandise and production planner

Sabitha , 23, joined Ōshadi straight from her fashion and technology course at Coimbatore College of Technology. She began as a trainee but after a year is heading up the merchandise and production planning, ensuring everything runs smoothly at the Ōshadi atelier.

What does your job entail?

I control and plan the production, like the dates and things. I get the order and I plan when to start the production when to complete it. I give the completion date for the buyers. I get a garment order, I start the sample and we get the production order, after we get approval of the sample. So I'll start choosing the fabrics. Sometimes you need to go for printing or block prints.

  • Tamsin: What training did you have
  • Sabitha: I started directly from college. MSC Fashion Design and Merchandising. It was a five year course at The Coimbatore College of Technology.
  • Tamsin: So why did you decide to do that?
  • Sabitha: My sister did fashion design and fashion technology. A lot of members in my family are in the garment industry, my cousin is a merchandiser in Bangladesh. 
  • Tamsin: How did you get the job at Oshadi?
  • Sabitha: Through college. Oshadi were in contact with someone in college, and I interviewed here. I've completed my first year here.
  • Tamsin: So you came in as a trainee?
  • Sabitha: Yeah. I worked for six months as a trainee. I came in as a production assistant. And now I'm planning the production and merchandising.
  • Tamsin: Do you think you'd be at this level if you were working at another brand?
  • Sabitha: No, no. Never. It would take minimum two to three years to get up to management level


  • Tamsin: Is it harder as a woman to get into management positions?
  • Sabitha: No I don't think so.
  • Tamsin: Although pay isn't equal. Often women are paid less.
  • Sabitha: Learning is much more important than pay. I can gain more in-depth knowledge about fabrics. In college we learnt about structure, fabric structures and things, but I don't know how it works in the real world. So, after coming here, I know about fabrics, dyeing process, printing process... I want to say, at Oshadi, I get the chance to know everything from yarn to garment. If I had gone somewhere else, I will be able to manage only the production. Here, I'm learning about textile, printing, dyeing... everything, prints, sourcing, pattern making.
  • Tamsin: So you're obviously incredibly good at your job. You have so many different things to think about. It's like juggling all these different elements. Do you feel like it's satisfying?
  • Sabitha: At the beginning I had my college work alongside my job, it was a struggle but I enjoy it now. It is so satisfying like yeah, I don't believe if I would have gone to any other business I would have known about production, I would have not known about fabrics or anything else.
  • Tamsin: Is the ethical production side of Oshadi important to you?
  • Sabitha: Yeah. We are doing everything organic and cotton based and we are not using anything that is harmful to us and also to the environment. So even for coming to the interview, I saw the profile of Oshadi on Instagram and the website so I thought it was important from the start.
Acimin nis magnien dipitiumque eatemperem
  • Tamsin: Do you get taught at college about the impacts of the industry on the environment and sustainability? Does it worry you?
  • Sabitha: Yeah, we learned about sustainable things, how we can make the impact from being a designer, doing upcycling, things like that. But implementing it needs in-depth knowledge that we have to focus more on.
  • Tamsin: Do you live at home?
  • Sabitha: Yeah. Yeah, I'm not from here, I just came for work here. I lived seven hours away. I brought my mum and dad here, for my job.
  • Sabitha: I have one brother who got married, he's living nearby. 40 minutes travel. He's a civil engineer in the construction business.
  • Tamsin: What do you do in your free time? Do you have any free time?
  • Sabitha: I am starting to read books now. Before I used to do that when I was in my school, but after college, I didn't have time. I like to read biographies and I'm now following Sadhguru. Have you heard of Sadhguru?
  • Tamsin: No. Should I?
  • Sabitha: Yeah. Laughs.
  • Tamsin: What was in your lunchbox today?
  • Sabitha: I went home, I didn't bring a lunch box. Today, an omelette and sambal rice.
Acimin nis magnien dipitiumque eatemperem
  • Tamsin: Do you worry about the pollution in the air and the water, particularly around Erode?
  • Sabitha: Yes,, the people here like to go to a river for bathing. They used to wash their clothes and bathe, and would bring their children. But if the water gets polluted, then how can we let them play in the water? It's not good for them. So people started to get baths in their house. And they don't go out and, for me, I want to refresh in a pond or river. But nowadays you can't do that. Because of pollution.
  • Tamsin: Can you see the pollution?
  • Sabitha: I can see waste and things like cloth, bags, plastic bags, things in the water. And in Tamil Nadu, you have a ritual like some pujas and you have to go in the sea or river, if you go nearby to a river you can see a lot of cloth. Because of industries like dyeing and all that. There's a lot of chemicals.
  • Tamsin: There's so much nature around here.
  • Sabitha: But we can’t enjoy the nature because of the pollution.



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