“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you. But you decide what you are.”
— Gianni Versace
Today we are forgetting our own culture and giving importance towards stylish clothes in the name of “modern wear”. Indie Cotton Route, a fashion start-up has taken the challenge to popularize the Indian sustainable clothing not only in India but also all over the world. Indie cotton route uses fabrics with low carbon footprint but styles them into the most classy garments which talks volumes about the person adorning them. Their products are rich in traditional handwork of artisans like mystical kalamkari, block printing, silk patterns, ikkat work and punjabi phulkari.
This is the story of an Indian housewife & how she is establishing her startup in the textile sector. In the ocean of new boutiques and online apparel selling, how Shalini is trying to distinguish herself.
About the Company :
Indie Cotton Route aims to be a one-stop solution for Indian working women when it comes to the selection of customized outfits and light weighted fabrics with a good taste in fashion. They take Indian fabrics—ikkat, kota, chanderi, block-prints, khadi, dabu, silk, variety of cottons, kalamkari, mangalgiri and turn them into contemporary, classic, fusion, trendy, indo-western styles.
They are very conscious about the social impact of clothes manufactured. Whether it be using natural sustainable fabrics from indigenous craftsmen or dealing in fair practices of trade. They also conduct campaigns in offices to create awareness among people to do their bit for the environment .
Current Pain Points of Customers :
- Unavailability of reasonable priced sustainable Outfits : There is no e-commerce site which offers outfits designed customized for women which are made from sustainable fabrics as well. Getting a garment stitched from a tailor is a hassle, while wearing Designer labels daily is expensive.
- Poor Quality of Fabrics & Weak Stitches : Synthetic dyes used in clothes release toxins which cause numerous skin allergies and infections. In most ready-made outfits, stitches are very weak, often break after wearing 2-3 times.
- Heavy embroidery and weight of clothes : In metro lifestyle, women want good quality stylish festive wears with light weight fabrics. But still now in the rural areas women don’t get light weight clothes.
What they are Offering :
- Stylish, Sustainable and Economical clothes: They are offering custom corporate couture for women wherein the customers can get outfit designs customized as per their own body fit, without any guilt.
Our cuts are such that they can make any woman looks slim, irrespective of the body type. Whatever be the problem, the cut of our clothes, specially customized for you, to your measurement, will flatter you.” — Shalini Saluja, Founder of Indie Cotton Route
- Providing both casual as well as Festive wear: indie Cotton Route has started with casual wear in variety of pastel colors. Now, they are catering to needs of urban women in both casual and festive occasion. These festive wears made with light weight fabrics will make you gorgeous and at the same time keep you comfortable throughout the occasion.
- Partnership program for woman: They are under process to open offline boutiques at various locations. Special element about this is that these boutiques will be owned by housewives,who are looking for work from home options.
How the idea came into mind :
Shalini has been running boutique from her home since past 20 years. Her experience with ladies and their common issues in clothing, made her realize that all women face the same problem of right fit like her. Four years back in 2013, she decided to create a one-stop online destination for customized outfits with elegant designs and “Indie Cotton Route Design Studio” was born.
Struggles faced :
Being a mother and working professional is tough job to handle. When Shalini was pursuing her fashion designing course, she worked in first half of day and studied in second half. Since she had experience of running home based business, to convert it into full fledged clothing brand is a challenge. Learning business Jargons, handling finances, collaborating with different online portals and scaling business was a challenge in itself.
Presently she is part of six month accelerator batch of IIT Delhi-WEE(Women Entreprenuership and Empowerment) and also has joined e-residency program of European country, Estonia.
About Shalini :
Shalini Saluja is a woman entrepreneur from Delhi. She was a student of electronics engineering and communications technology. But her passion in fashion lead her to study Fashion Designing. She has extensive experience in working with different fabrics, design patterns and dealing with international clients. When she had to quit job to give time to her little daughter, she decided to open home-based boutique as side business.
As an Indian housewife, from homemaker and mother to leading a company seems like an impossible work. But she prove it wrong by her hard work.