Shruti Rawal is the founder of Ewoke – A design label for sustainable fashion. She is an alumnus of National Institute of fashion technology. She started Ewoke with a vision to empower women with clothes they wear while making a positive impact on society and about the environment. Shruti shares her journey with womenpreneursofIndia.com
I am Shruti Rawal, founder of Ewoke, a conscious fashion brand. I am a 2018 graduate from NIFT. Soon after my graduation, I started to work with designer Gaurav Gupta for a holistic fashion industry experience. I won the best design award for an upcycled collection, this was my first try with sustainable fashion.
Being an eco-conscious person, I always thought about the fashion industry which used to contribute 10% of global carbon emissions. Being in the fashion industry I always wanted to provide an alternative. That ultimately led to the birth of Ewoke. I started Ewoke with a clear mission to club climate change. All our fabrics are biodegradable and recycled, with a minimal carbon footprint like hemp. We source our trims from wood and shell. The main reason behind this is to provide sustainable clothing which is the new trend.
Our initial journey was not smooth, we had to face lots of difficulties. Finding partner vendors and suppliers who make authentic fabrics and also eco-friendly packaging was difficult. And who are transparent in their processes and reliable certifications was very hard to find.
And it is also quite challenging to manage designing, brand building, marketing and other business aspects of brand expansion. But above all, it is very important to give yourself sufficient time to build a credible business foundation, as they form the pillars of the brand going forward. It is very crucial to invest in a team which believes in brand mission.
We showcased our product for the very first time in an exhibition on march 7th 2020, just before the lockdown. We were afraid that nobody would come as the virus had already started to spread in India and we will be backing out in the event. But still, we decided to just go for it and experience it as a brand. Off course as expected, it was a long day with very few shoppers. Surprisingly, just before the end of the day in the event, we had our first sale. Our first customer had also participated in the event, she came up to buy a kaftan top for her daughter.
Just like other entrepreneurs, even we have few unforgettable memories to share with. Within the month of taking up the business the lockdown was announced. We had so much fabric stocked up. We decided to make masks and distribute them for frontline forces, the police in our locality as there was a shortage of masks.
While there was a shortage of masks, we decided to create an alternative by introducing reusable and washable masks for frontline forces who were keeping us safe indoors. It was such a satisfying moment when we handed over the reusable masks to them. As soon as they started to use them, they asked us to make more such masks for the entire police station force. And we soon started to prepare masks and we were soon out of our hemp fabric. This was such a great feeling indeed.
Without my family’s support it wouldn’t have been possible. My family has invested hugely for this, I am lucky to have them. My mom herself is an entrepreneur and a Co-founder of Ewoke. My friends have been my strongest support system. And everyone has always been so helpful to me whenever I was in need. They were very much motivating the team of Ewoke and cheering us at each and every occasion. We all had one motive to save our planet earth and move to sustainable products. With this Covid, digital innovation has become extremely crucial in every business. We are looking forward to combining technology with design across media.
One thing I would say to entrepreneurs is, spend enough time in designing and building your product. Remember “A great product need not be marketed; it will sell by itself”.
Lastly, this pandemic has given us some time to introspect and realize the importance of our planet and nature. There is lots of dialogue that has been initiated to shift towards sustainable lifestyle. Let’s take one step at a time to act on it and save the planet!
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