Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 5, Tuesday July 20, 2004







Shop Special

The good old Grameen

The name Grameen comes with a lot of outlets these days. They have all become quite popular names in the fashion world. Among them it is hard to find out the good old grameen, which started its journey in June 1994. It all started with an effort to promote the root level taatis of Bangladesh. Grameen Bank endeavoured to help them market their products. Since then they have close ties with the taati community of Norshindi, Shirajganj, Tangail and Comilla. After a few years there was a split among the employees, which is why we see so many grameen outlet these days. The effort that started in 1994 still exists as Grameen Uddyog and Grameen Shamogree.

"The general aspiration is to provide the middle class people with good quality outfits at reasonable price" tells us Debashish Chakma, designer of Grameen Uddyog. They have succeeded with this policy especially around Mirpur area, as the outlet there is a huge hit among the middle class.

Things to check out in all the Grameen outlets is fatua, priced between Tk170-230, grameen check shirts cost almost the same as fatuas, cotton panjabis cost between Tk250-500, taat saree cost around Tk350-550, weaving design taat cost Tk800-1400.

It is also a very good place for cheap bed covers. Single bed covers cost Tk.170-180 and double bed covers cost Tk550-600. Another attraction of the place is a mixed fabric called Jutton. It is a combination of cotton and jute. This fabric is a very good material for curtains.

The most popular item of grameen uddyog is its baby dresses. They also a have good collection of ornaments. Most important of all, one can purchase the famous grameen check here, which can be used to make almost anything with. Per yard of grameen check cost Tk55. Just recently, grameen uddyog has introduced their monsoon collection, so look out for that.

There are now five outlets in the city. They are situated at Ambala complex in Dhanmondi, in Hatirpool, Uttara Road No. 1/B, Sector 9. In Mirpur they have two sales centres. One is in Sony Cinema Hall building at Mirpur 1 and the other one is in their head office at the Grameen Bank building in Mirpur 2.

By Shahnaz Parveen

Shop talk

Costume Jewellery
Costume jewellery is certainly in vogue at the moment. With highly intricate and mind-blowing patterns carved on every ornament, each of these pieces upholds semi-precious stones and beads of diverse colours. Gausia is a heaven of Indian costume jewellery. However, prices will always vary by country of origin, subtlety of design and quality of the artificial gems used in these ornaments. With only Tk.200, you can purchase jewellery set comprising of a necklace and a pair of earrings from Gausia. Citi Gold bangles look just like real gold and you can buy a pair of these wrist adornments for as low as Tk.150 (sometimes even less) from this market. Remember that you can always push the price lower with your bargaining skills. You can also check out the stores at Metro Shopping Mall and Rifles Square for high quality stylish costume jewellery. At these shops, you can purchase a set of costume jewellery within Tk.1000 to Tk.5000. You can also check out Crystal Touch located at Mascot Plaza, Uttara, for eye-grabbing premium quality costume jewellery.

Cards from Blue Mountain Arts
Greeting cards have now become the most widespread way to convey those special feelings and wishes to our near and dear ones. Although Blue Mountain Arts is a renowned name in the USA and Canada, the cards from Blue Mountain are not widely available here. However, if you want to give a pleasant card from Blue Mountain collection to your loved ones, step inside Etcetera. This shop's card section usually upholds attractive cards from Blue Mountain, whose prices generally vary from Tk.66 to ATk.80.

Hair Clips
Have you ever come across hair clips decorated on top with jute fibre? If the answer is No, then you can check out Jatra for colourful hair clips that are made from jute; each piece is available for Tk.45. But for the regular hair clasps, pay a visit to Almas Super Shop or Priyo. In fact, Thai and Chinese hair clasps are available anywhere in Dhaka. Prices shall definitely differ from store to store. But within Tk.30, you can purchase a nice and handy hair clasp from most stores of Karnaphuli Garden City, Rapa Plaza, Rifles Square, Eastern Plaza or Metro Shopping Mall. Since the days are sticky and humid, a hair clip will prove especially helpful in keeping your hair in place and saving it from perspiration.

Bathroom Sets
Bathrooms have now become chambers to cherish, embellish and take extra care of. To beautify your bathroom, bathroom sets made from ceramic, plastic and even iron are available in the local stores of Dhaka. At Etcetera, you will come across beautiful plastic bathroom sets containing toothbrush, liquid soap and bar soap holders; each of these collections will cost you over Tk.600. At the same time, elegant toothbrush, soap and liquid soap holders made from iron are available at Etcetera. However, each of these bathroom adornments are quite expensive and you might have to count some Tk.650 and above for each piece. You can also get hold of cute Thai and Chinese ceramic bathroom sets from New Market within Tk.250 to Tk.350.

Snacks boxes and water flasks
Want to choose a high quality, durable snack box or water flask for your child? Pay a visit to the Dubai market at New Market for these boxes and flasks. Price of a snack box will be between Tk.50 to Tk.150, whereas you can buy a water flask within Tk.150 to Tk.250 from Dubai Market. But always remember that in New Market, if you know how to bargain then you can always get away with a really cheap deal. At the same time, prices will vary by country of origin. The locally manufactured flasks and snack boxes will cost lower than the Indian, Thai or the Chinese ones.

Savoury Chocolates
If you have never tried out the chocolates from Guylian, then it's time you experience its yummy savour. Guylian is a brand from Belgium and to purchase chocolate collection of Guylian, check out Etcetera. Etcetera has a wide collection of Guylian chocolate boxes of different sizes and prices. The smaller boxes will cost you around Tk.420 while the larger ones will exceed Tk.700.

Trendy Glass Bangles
Glass bangles are rarely seen today. To buy trendy, thick, hand-painted glass bangles, you can stop by Jatra. At Jatra, lovely glass bangles, painted by skilled designers are available to grace your wrists. Their collection is limited, and each bangle is priced at Tk.75.

By Wara Karim





Essentials Special

Cheap shopping
Today, we focus on places where you can do some cheap shopping and save some bucks. In Dhaka, there are now several shopping malls and super stores catering to a large segment of people. You can shop till you drop in those places but the experience will not always be friendly to the wallet. The following places beats all the shopping malls if you wish to get some cheap titbits.

New Market
This place offers almost everything that a household might need. Visit the Burmese market for cheap shoes. This place is adjacent to the extension of New Market (Singapore/Dubai market). The prices start from Tk70 and shall not be more than Tk120. On the footbridge you will see a huge collection of rejected crockeries. Just take a little time to look for the faults. Hawkers' sitting in and around the market offers various items that will come in handy every now and then. They sell combs, kitchen accessories, undergarments, towels, pens, notebooks, ornaments, show-pieces and many more. None of these items will cost more than Tk50.

Geneva camp
This place is situated in the Mohammadpur area. Kebab potti, known to many is offering delicious kebabs of various kinds. During the evening this place bustles with people. Just beside the kebab shops there is a tin shed market where you can get taat saris at a real low-priced deal.

Nilkhet Bakushah market is a favourite place of the DU students. Books, magazines of every subject both local and foreign, used and new ones are sold at almost half the original price. Just opposite to the Bakushah market there is row of bedding stores. This place offers pillows, mattresses, bed and pillow covers, and quilts.

Badruddoza Market
For jeans, t-shirts, and sweaters Bangabazar is a common name to all. Another place where you can get all these items in a real deal is Badruddoza Market situated opposite the Dhaka College.

Mirpur 11
In Mirpur 11, adjacent to Benaroshi polli and Bihari Potti there is a little market where you can get hand embroidered yokes costing around Tk175. Fabrics used by all the popular fashion houses are available here. These fabrics cost around Tk40 per yard.

Tough bargain
One thing you must know if you want to shop in these places, is the art of haggling. Salespersons in these places know all the traits of getting money out of the customer's pockets. Always start with less than half the price you are asked for and don't forget to fill up your shopping bags!

By Shahnaz Parveen




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