Unlocking business opportunities: 5 cotton-based business ideas on World Cotton Day

India is the second-largest producer of cotton in the world. On World Cotton Day, let's look at the top five business ideas that you can do with cotton.

Unlocking business opportunities: 5 cotton-based business ideas on World Cotton Day

Saturday October 07, 2023,

4 min Read

Cotton is everywhere, from clothes to household items, and with an evergreen demand, a business related to cotton will fetch good profits too.

India is the second-largest producer of cotton after China. According to the latest Ministry of Textiles report, cotton accounts for 60% of the raw material consumption in India's textile industry. Additionally, the textile and domestic apparel sector account for 2% of India's GDP.

On World Cotton Day, let's look at the top five cotton-based business ideas you can start this year!

Top cotton-based business ideas

Eco-friendly bags and accessories

With rising concerns related to fast fashion, you can start a sustainable business that sells cotton bags or accessories. For this, you need to find a good raw material source of cotton fabric and unique design styles. You can manufacture anything from cotton totes to shopping bags.

Printed handkerchiefs, purses, or other accessories are also a good option. However, you need to create designs that suit your customers and market them accordingly as the demand for eco-friendly products rises.

For example, EcoRight is a Ahmedabad-headquartered startup that sells sustainable fashion and lifestyle products such as cotton and tote bags, eco-friendly pouches, etc.

Cotton handicrafts

According to a report by the IMARC Group, the market size of handicrafts reached $3.968 billion in India in 2022. Whether it is printed textiles or embroidery goods, selling unique handicrafts is a great idea. So, if you like to sew or knit, you can make it into a small business.

You can use cotton as a primary material for building hand-made products such as hats, toys, crotchet goods, home decor items, etc. for instance, FabIndia, a popular garment chain, sells clothes, furnishings, home decor, and fabrics hand-made by artists from rural India.

Since this business can be run from home, you can start with a low investment.


Cotton apparels

The lightweight and soft fabric cotton is used for everyday wear. You can start your own fashion range of t-shirts, skirts, dresses, etc. To make your businesses sustainable, opt for organic cotton products that will make your startup stand out from the crowd.

Also, your business can create clothing lines that appeal to a large market, catering to all age groups. To become successful, you have to source high-quality materials, make trendy designs, and promote them on social media platforms.

For example, Impresa, founded by Anjali Chandran in 2012, manufactures ethnic wear for men, women, and children. It has worked with more than 300 artisans from India and sold more than 50,000 online orders.

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Textile production

Besides clothes, cotton is also used to make bed linens, cushions, upholstery, etc. Starting a textile production business can be profitable as these are in-demand household products.

The process involves sourcing raw cotton and processing it into a yarn. Later, it is blended, carded, and woven into sheets used for cushions or bed linens. After that, they are cleaned and dyed into the desired prints and cut into various required shapes.

With a clear target audience and aesthetic designs, your cotton textile business can take off with consistent sales and demand, such as Bombay Dyeing, established by Nowrosjee Wadia, which manufactures high-quality cotton-based beddings.

Cleaning products

Surgical cotton or absorbent cotton is a commonly used item from hospitals to households. Besides this, cotton is used for various cleaning purposes such as swabs, buds, or cloths.

Making simple cleaning household items like cotton cloths or earbuds requires certain machinery like automatic cotton bud-making equipment, moulding machine, etc.

To manufacture surgical or cotton for medical applications, you need to source top-notch quality cotton that is cleansed and sterilised. Also, you have to obtain a license to make sterile cotton and to use certain raw materials such as isopropyl alcohol.

Madhya Pradesh-based startup Jajoo Surgicals Pvt. Ltd. produces a variety of surgical, medical, and hygiene products made from cotton.

Edited by Suman Singh