Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt recently launched her start-up kidswear brand called Ed-a-mamma. This brand is offering a range of naturally sourced and sustainable apparels for children in the age group of 2-14 years. Currently retailing on online portals and its own website, the brand registers itself as one of the prominent launches in the pandemic year. Much like Ed-a-mamma, many brands actually originated during the lockdown phase only. We bet it was not easy! Here’s what they told us.
“Originating and setting up a brand in the COVID-19 phase was quite challenging initially, keeping all the factors in mind specially the spending capacity of people during these crises and stocking of raw material with good profit margins. Also, finding skilled labour was entirely a task as all were in their respective villages during the lockdown. Most importantly looking at the situation, we were not sure if the idea is feasible or it would be beneficial about 3 months ago but now if we see, it is settling and balancing well. We have sold almost 800 garments during this short span. The market response to Anutama has, however, been extremely positive as we have kept our prices nominal that is quite affordable for all our product range which lies between Rs. 200 and Rs. 650. This is also one of the things we wanted to do that is to provide trending clothes at pocket-friendly prices which can be consumed by all the people of India. It has been 3 months already; so far it is going great. People are loving it, and we are so happy with the response. We have got great response from South India, as our go-to fabric is cotton. The most satisfying thing is to see people doubting you at first and then coming back and placing more orders for their family and friends. Also, reviewing us and sharing their beautiful pictures without even asking is amazing. COVID-19 definitely has been beneficial for Anutama in all the ways possible,” Anutama, Owner, Anutama tells us while narrating her journey about her label.
Right on style
Sana Sayyed of Dora echoes Anutama’s hardships and says, “It wasn’t easy to imagine a phase that we all would be facing this year, but with time we got used to the fact of how it’s going to be for a while now, with all the unemployment going around and everybody locked in their homes. That’s when I decided to get my brand ‘DORA’ to life, yes it sounds crazy, but that equally gave hope for a new beginning. The journey to get Dora started was a long struggle for me and for the people working with me; there were a lot of delays, a lot of miscommunication and a lot of rectification. At the start, it looked difficult to work on something that needs your physical presence, but with time we created a good bond of understanding the nature of work we carry. So patience is what I mastered in my journey.”
DORA is a clothing brand that only works with eco-friendly/natural dyes. Introducing that to a market that overtly depends on fast fashion, Sana knew would be challenging, but that’s only because the awareness of slow fashion isn’t enough. Once the consumers are aware of the value slow fashion carries, Sana is positive that a bright future awaits Dora, as well as for other businesses with the same sustainable motto.
“The satisfying part in this journey is the brand Dora itself, the motto behind it. I started with an intention to do my bit to treat our environment right, and through this I met a lot of people from all the verticals of business like merchandisers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs. COVID made all of us meet at the same platform. During COVID everything went digital, so the exposure to the brand online speeded up; that gave us attention not only in India but internationally as well,” Sana sums up.
As an eco-friendly brand, Sana is now looking to spread a lot of knowledge about why in every way we need to shift our focus to slow fashion and why we need to adhere to it.
Breaking the trend
“It’s been a little more difficult than what it could’ve been otherwise because there’s travel and interaction restrictions. At the same time we benefited from the slow pace, and felt like we got more time to work on our designs and output so overall the journey has been exciting. The market response has been surprisingly good considering the COVID situation. It definitely takes some time to build consumer trust but we are working hard on that. I wouldn’t say COVID was beneficial to our launch. We would’ve preferred launching in a physical space in an atmosphere where customers can have a one-on-one experience with the garments. The most satisfying part is receiving orders, and appreciation from people who stumble upon our brands, aka complete strangers. We are very excited to see how we shape Polite Society with time. We want to make it more inclusive, kind of like a community for everyone who relate with our identity,” Surmai Jain, Founder, Polite Society mentions.
The brand focuses on non-conformist power dressing and keeping up to global standards; it presents a very bold yet functional outlook in the collection that it brings to the front. It is all about bringing a new flavour to the customer’s shopping cart and KIIKII, a contemporary women’s beauty and clothing marketplace has fought against the tide to launch its brand during the pandemic. The 4 co-founders of the brand – Nayanika Kapoor Mehra, Sushant Jain, Armaan Mehra and Raghav Daga – mention how luckily with the exit of Shein, they were able to fit into the right spot for stylish on-budget apparel and beauty products and at the same time build up a trend. But with a long list of inventories to account for, the challenges were galore and the exceptional customer response they have been getting makes it all worthwhile.