About Us

Hi there! Thank you for popping in to our page…Or ‘hosgeldiniz’ in Turkish…

Let me first introduce myself. I am Ilgen. Probably the first person you will encounter with in any interaction with Cotton & Olive. I was born and bred in Turkey and unexpectedly moved to UK with the family in 2005 and even more unexpectedly stayed here for good. The reason for this move was my husband’s job assignment with BP, UK. He is my business partner, strategic planner, quality controller, consultant and beyond! He is the unseen but ever-present face of Cotton and Olive.

My  journey with the Turkish peshtemal towels started in the summer of 2006. I was always fond of these  handy traditional towels as a consumer  in the first place . When I first started to give them a try as a mock-business in UK, it was more like a hobby to me rather than a business. In a few years time, it turned out to be a serious business with great potential for growth but never losing its fun spirit, in the least. I am the greatest fan of these Hammam/Peshtemal towels.

The peshtemal towels have evolved from the traditional Turkish Hammam aka Bath tradition. They have always been used  since the Ottoman times and now still pretty much in use as a cover garment to wrap around the nude body while bathing with the others in a public Turkish Bath. These towels have, of course, improved drastically in quality and has gained a more  fashionable aspect over the time without losing its lovable authenticity. With the recent demand for these peshtemal towels from all across the world, they have moved beyond the boundaries of Hammam and have become very trendy, multifunctional, urban yet very ethnic towels with the naive undertones of the Ottoman-Turkish cultural traits. And I am particularly very proud of being part of the transformation of these gorgeously authentic towels from their locality at the South-West of Turkey to the world-league.

These fantastically purposeful towels are perfect for everyday life-style along with the demands and pressures of active living with their compactness, high absorbency, lightweight and quick dry features while being extremely charming with their lovely colour schemes, softness and original tassels. They are  functional towels based on simplicity to cope with any life style, in any setting, for any age group. They can be utilized as a sofa throw, a fancy table cloth or a curtain,a sarong for a casual lounging, a sand-free beach/picnic blanket, a spa wrap or simply as a compact towel for your gym bag. Just let your imagination take you over…

Having raised the family and test-drived my venture with the peshtemals for a couple of years, I decided to share the benefits of these inspiring towels with others and do my part to make them known beyond their home full on. In October 2012, we have officially launched our webpage selling these Turkish towels in UK with our carefully sourced towel collection. Honestly, it never feels like selling but rather sharing my passion for them with others to cope better with the busy, upbeat life style of our modern times while embracing a cultural heritage which I am very much fond of.

So here we are, proudly presenting our beautiful peshtemal towels and robes, naturally complemented by the hand-crafted, olive oil soaps  from Antakya, my home town, down in the Southern Turkey right on the Syrian border. This antique city  has a very long history of traditional soap-making for centuries. The soaps may not look visually attractive, I admit, but they are beautiful in essence with all natural cleansing ingredients, particularly beneficial for skin..

Utility Chic with tons of Fabulous Fun & Functionality is our mantra.

Thank you for reading,sharing, spreading our passion..

Ilgen Paydas

Marketing Manager