The handful of brands which offer certified organic cotton clothing for kids often charge a huge premium, which has resulted in the perception of organic clothing being very niche and for the elite only.
“We endeavour to change this perception because in reality, organic cotton clothing can be very affordable and accessible to the masses. We are a new brand, just over a year old and we wanted to start off with clean and sustainable practices right from the word ‘go’. We believe that it’s important to have good processes in place right from the beginning because damage caused by a brand over a significant period of time can’t be changed overnight. To ensure that our supply chain was tuned for reducing the carbon emissions in the first place, we chose to work with a sustainable fibre like organic cotton. Our production is carried out locally within India and we offer good quality garments which are long lasting. By having a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified supply chain and 100 per cent plastic free packaging, we attempt to work with a cleaner and greener approach to production and servicing customers. It was only natural for us to adopt their carbon offsetting tool because while we have consciously built our supply chain to reduce carbon emissions wherever we can, the unavoidable emissions need to be addressed by way of offsets,” Meghna Kishore, Co-Founder, Greendigo mentions.
Overcoming the challenges
Barkha Bhatnagar Das, Co-Founder, Greendigo states, “The first and the biggest challenge that we encountered was to set up a clean, sustainable, tight loop and reliable supply chain. Manufacturers often do not entertain start-ups since they fail to meet the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity). Also, given that organic clothing for kids is still a relatively nascent category in India, there are only a handful of manufacturers whose supply chain is end-to-end compliant with the GOTS. Our first big setback actually was encountering a manufacturer who believed in greenwashing and tried coaxing us to follow suit. Since his ideology was not in line with our belief of building an authentic, sustainable and organic brand, we took a business call to delay our go to market date rather than do what was not in line with our ethics and principles.”
She then adds, “When we started out with Greendigo Organic Clothing, our understanding was that there is a dearth of good quality, comfortable and sustainable clothing for children. As we progressed, we learnt that the majority of organic brands are misleading consumers by indulging in greenwashing, thereby paying lip service to their standards on product quality and sustainability. This turned out to be a big challenge for us. We had to quickly pivot and focus on educating the audience on what organic clothing truly means and how Greendigo is different from the rest.”
Devoid of artificial fertilisers, synthetic pesticides and toxic colours, Greendigo’s garments are soft, pure, comfortable and gentle on delicate skin of children while being environment-friendly.
The most recent collection of the brand ‘Life Under Sea’ is inspired by the magical world of marine creatures. Greendigo is also committed to UN SDGs and this collection is specially inspired by their alignment to SDG 14 (life under water). With this collection, the brand eliminated the use of all plastics from its packaging.
“Each of our pieces aims to inspire your little ones to have compassion and appreciate the magical creatures that exist in our waters. Another capsule collection which we launched for newborn babies is called ‘Jungle Love’. These sets are great for gifting and also make very well thought of receiving sets for newborn babies to be carried by expectant moms to hospitals. Since it is our mission to make organic the new normal, all our products are priced between Rs. 300 and Rs. 1800. We walk the talk when we say organic is not just for the privileged few,” Meghna emphasises.
Greendigo is a carbon-neutral brand right from seed to shelf and its customers can experience Greendigo’s carbon-neutral journey across their entire shopping experience on its website. It aims to be the one-stop shop for families for all sustainable and ethical products that can be made using organic cotton.
Barkha further mentions, “Our entire supply chain, from farms to factories, and from fabrics to dyes and colours is 100 per cent certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This affirms the organic status of raw materials and also guarantees that the manufacturing processes are environmentally and socially responsible. The cotton farmers get a fair price for their produce which helps them break away from a vicious cycle of debt, the factories are free of child labour and offer fair and safe working conditions to all workers. Furthermore, since our processes eliminate the use of artificial fertilisers, chemical pesticides and toxic dyes and colours, the health of farmers, factory workers and consumers is safeguarded. This also prevents harmful chemicals from making their way up our food chains and contaminate water bodies. To test the genuineness of authentic organic garments, such as Greendigo’s, customers can check for the certification from GOTS which comes attached with every garment either on the label or its tag. Furthermore, all our garments come in reusable and recyclable packaging as we have eliminated use of plastic from all our packaging.”
Inspiring and getting inspired
Greendigo draws a lot of insights from parents of newborns with the intention of addressing their pain points with their innovative designs. “For instance, our new swaddle bag which solves for babies kicking off their blanket and the parents worrying about babies being left cold. Babies can be securely zipped in our swaddle bag and sleep soundly through the night. The ‘woke’ parents of today are getting increasingly aware of the ill-effects that garments laden with harmful chemicals can have on the health of their children. They are also interested in the environmental and social impact of the product that they are consuming. Consumers understand the perils of genetic modification of crops and use of toxic chemicals. In light of this gradually changing mindset, we feel that ‘organic’ will become the new normal eventually,” Meghna adds.
Greendigo currently retails through its direct-to-consumer ecommerce channel and ships worldwide. With certifications and ethical manufacturing practices in place, the brand aims to attract buyers from world over who believe in responsible production, in line with their vision of making organic the new normal. Private labelling for bulk buyers is catching momentum for the brand now. In its endeavour to make organic the new normal for as wide an audience as possible, the brand promises to expand its product line to make it more inclusive over the next one year.