Although Pondicherry isn't the mall-going shopper's paradise, it's a great place for shopping enthusiasts who are into handicrafts, textiles, leather and pottery goods. The fact that this is an octroi-free destination with pretty low sales taxes does not hurt either.
Pondicherry has for long been involved with the production of household linen and garment textiles. There are also many stores that sell export surplus shirts, T-Shirts, and other clothes at amazingly low rates. The Anglo-French Textiles store, Fab India, Tirupur garments, and Titanic are some places you can start your shopping for these.
Excellent ceramic artists and artisans work in Pondicherry and Auroville. They keep a keen eye out for the right kind of clay and glazes and make the kilns appropriate to the local environment. Various studios have evolved distinctive styles, such as "Golden Bridge" and "Rhinestone Art".
Making leather the forgotten way, with exacting attention to detail, is what separates the Pondicherry brands from the rest. Carefully finished, innovative products with quality brass buckles and locks come for a steal. Hidesign, the world-famous leather brand, is headquartered at Pondicherry. Their main outlet is at the Casablanca shopping center. They also have a surplus store around the corner for shoppers who are on a budget.
Since 1959, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Handmade Paper factory has popularised the use of handmade paper. Its scope of textures and variety of colours have made it one of Pondicherry`s best-loved products in markets all over the world.