Shriti Pratap: A brand that follows and supports ethical fashion

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Fashion is as intrinsic to humanity as food and real estate.

A growing cohort, mostly led by millennials, is firmly working towards educating the masses about where their clothing, food and real estate actually come from – from nature, courtesy mining, farming, manufacturing and transportation, the common link being the effects caused to the environment if the old ways of production are continued to be followed without giving a thought to, as to how the environment of the future would look like.

The story of textiles is as old as humanity itself. Just the thought of putting a piece of preferably soft material on one’s body is a trait exclusive to humanity, having been caused by the need to protect themselves against the perils of the environment, when humanity had been composed of nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers moving frequently on foot from one place to another in search of food, both quality and quantity-wise.

A part of the perils caused due to the negative environmental changes towards humanity have risen due to the need to cloth large swathes of humanity. The fact that the amount of clothes one individual person wears over the course of his or her life span has been probably increasing, is thanks in part to the rise of fast fashion and also by the visual revolution.

The prime challenge for a clothing brand to stand out in this era to inform their consumers thoroughly, correctly and pointedly, about the small but steady, continuing contribution they’re making towards helping nature, by empowering the clothing brand’s value-producing eco-system.

 

Give a brief info about your startup?
I started my line of clothing in 2008 after my design degrees and a brief stint of work experience. Its a sustainable brand that has organically grown over the years and there is a lot more yet to be done!

The brand follows and supports ethical fashion, conservation and other global fashion campaigns that believe in sustainability. I am still working on making the brand more viable each day with worthwhile products, projects and collaborations. And that is what makes my brand truly fashion forward !!

 

What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
I completed my design education in 2007 and I started my pret line clothing in 2008. I was aware of my strengths in detailing, designing and knew equally well where I lacked. My label was no surprise for anybody. I just grew up wanting to study and learn more about art and design. I found design in everything, mostly nature!!
Making a living out of something that I loved was “the only” choice I had, there was no alternative career plans I ever had! I just kept working on my craft. This also led me to so many other opportunities where I styled spaces, product for photography and fashion/ accessories/food styling, fashion content creation etc along with my clothing line. I have never been able to completely separate the two though.

Today striving for complete sustainable living is challenging but the need of the hour. The brands sensitivity towards environment and its perspective towards more consciously creating designs will certainly make a tiny difference. I am here to ensure I actively participate in creating awareness about it. I pick, produce and promote more sustainable alternatives and ways which will help us as a collective
in the long run. It’s time we looked beyond just turning our ventures into huge profitable business empires and introduce some moral policing at work for the sake of our planet and generations to come.

 

Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this start up?
I joined designer Pria Kataria Puri as an intern for 3 months in 2007 and continued to work with her for another year before starting up my own line of clothing.

 

Where is your start up based out of?
I work from home. And all my production work is done in Bandra.

 

Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Well it saves you the recurring costs like rent, maintenance of a shop/boutique etc. Currently I am only exhibiting at trade shows, pop up stores and exhibitions. Earlier I would sell from multi designer
stores like Fuel, Creo, FFolio,The Dressing Room,Fabula Rasa etc

As a start-up founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
The only thing that keeps me awake or alive is what’s next! I am not paranoid usually but just insanely obsessed with the details.

 

Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
There is great talent out there and the only way to work should be is to have blinders on and keep doing that excites you. Nobody’s personal expression of creativity can be the benchmark for mine.
My work is independent of what others do or don’t do. Art is such!

 

How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a start-up founder and how do you manage it?
Well it does get overwhelming sometimes and we all go through this on some level. While women may be great at multitasking, physically it not possible for her to be present at three different places at a given time. One needs a great structured support of family, friends or staffs to
get through such insane days.

Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise. No I haven’t raised funding. It all started with my parents supporting and investing into. It’s grown organically so far without having to raise funds.

 

What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
By large people have a certain perception of designers as somebody who has a glamorous job, makes easy money without having to do much work! Truth is there is no short cut to hard work. Even the most “glamorous” industry demands sleepless nights, continuous hard work, perseverance and big risks like most other jobs.

 

What gets you excited about this company?
I am extremely happy with the work that I am doing. Thoughtful creations that are not polluting the environment and creating designs that are completely sustainable is immensely fulfilling. It is extremely fascinating to learn about new sustainable textiles and
alternatives that are being developed by researchers around the world.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I start my day answering the doorbell. I get on with basics and some mundane chores which are all sorted by 12:30- 1 pm latest. And then I get to my work for which there is no definitive hours or timelines as such
When I have styling assignments and shoots lined up back to back, I eat, sleep and breathe work 24×7. No exaggeration. Otherwise, I am tied up coordinating with buyers/ suppliers/ masterji/ karigars etc through the day. A lot of times I am out and about in
markets sourcing things too.

Then I have the evenings or nights to myself, family and friends and I am quite a nocturnal creature.

 

Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
I am a one-woman army. When I have excessive work I hire an intern or assistant on a project basis. Other than that I have the most amazing trustworthy masterji/tailor/karigar who work with a great sense of responsibility and team spirit.

 

 

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