Conversing with the Eco-Fashion Entrepreneurs
At present, there are a gazillion fashion brands around us but to find creatives with organizations and brands that have sustainability at its core can be a task!
Here, we get to know more from 'Vein Studio' co-founders, Gunjan Nanda & Trisha Srivastava about their journey and fashion done right!
Tell us about yourself and your journey with sustainable fashion?
Gunjan: In addition to being a Creative Director of me and my partner’s homegrown label, Vein Studio, I’m also a freelance content writer taking up short term and long-term projects in areas other than fashion as well. I was always inclined towards different art forms and expressing my vision through any creative medium, be it music, playing an instrument, writing, dancing, and even something as trivial as cutting my own jeans to make denim wallets – one of the reasons I believed learning everything about design and its elements was something that I wanted
to be apart of.
By the time I got through my first job in a multinational, I realized there are things that are
highly unnecessary when it comes to working in a creative sector. So, I switched to working for a start-up brand. Although I didn’t work there for long, the work ethics and the brand ethos inspired me; that’s when I started looking into ethical design practices during my job hours and wondered what it’d be like if I had a brand of my own. Trust me! It wasn’t an easy start and indeed it was a slow one, but I’d rather create something slowly and steadily, thoughtfully and patiently than not create anything at all, especially when it comes to our surroundings and our society getting affected the most!
Trisha: I started indulging myself in arts and its various forms, especially hand illustrations
since I was a little girl. For the past 12 years, I’ve always tried to develop my skill set which
improved my art in various ways, especially in terms of vision and ideation. Little did I know that my love for art would turn me into an entrepreneurial businesswoman, playing the role of a Creative Director for Vein Studio. In addition to this, I also freelance as an artist/designer
working with design houses – conceptualizing their theme/collection right from the start.
During my very first design job in the industry, I noticed the amount of wastage that was being created in the design house I worked in and would provide different suggestions on how to reuse and minimize the same. Because I worked for a luxury brand, those suggestions weren’t really paid attention to and that’s when I realized the need to have my own label operating on the very ethical and sustainable practices, thus came the idea for Vein Studio.
How would you describe the present scenario of the fashion industry in India as
compared to the rest of the world?
Most of us who work or have worked in fashion know the kind of age-old practices people have been using before it was termed ‘sustainable’. Be it reusing packaging material and bags (even if they’re plastic), upcycling waste bits of fabrics to make cushions, carpets, rugs and more, using plants, stems and leaves and other natural means to minimize artificial wastage in the surroundings. We as Indians know all about it and have always been way ahead of the world if we consider these practices! But when it comes to the present scenario of fashion in the Indian landscape, people aren’t aware as they should be. Since the terminology ‘ethical and sustainable’ kicked off, designers have been building their brand in the name of sustainability, making it a marketing gimmick! Whereas we’ve seen the kind of authenticity and support the rest of the world provides us with when they hear we’re a sustainable brand. We need more honest people in the fashion industry, right from the demand to the supply chain, and we need them to understand the severity of needing sustainability, especially as of now.
What is ‘Vein Studio’ and how did it start?
We launched ‘Vein Studio’ early on in 2018, although we started working on it a year before
that. A brand started by two distinct individuals; Vein Studio came into existence due to the
difference in both our personalities. Since the start, we were the only ones who carried a unique sense of creativity and somehow it worked really well when combined.
While we were both invested in our respective jobs, figuring out our lives; every evening we’d sit back with a cup of coffee and talk about our day – the highs and lows, if a design works well or not, suggesting each other what should or shouldn’t be done, and so on. We realized we both had similar ideas in design and its implementation. That’s when the name ‘Vein’ came into being since we both found a single vein of creativity to resonate ourselves with. That’s when we knew we needed something much better!
Any tips you would like to give to the present-day entrepreneurs and fashion students?
As we move on with our journey, we still aim to learn as much as we can in order to build
ourselves a better tomorrow. Although there are a few things we’d like the present and the
future generation to know what its like to work in an ever-changing industry.
1) Fashion isn’t just design. It involves a lot more than that. And if you want to make your
vision a reality, be prepared to have a lot on stake, which means investing financially,
physically and emotionally, working for long hours, day and night and still braving
yourself out. So always keep at it and never lose hope thinking that you can’t make it in
2) Love what you do and be passionate about it! Keep exploring, observing and expanding
your horizon, come up with fresh new ideas and experiment as much as you can with
design. Hurdles are a part of your everyday life so don’t be afraid to jump over them and
come out stronger than before.
3) Support your fellow neighbors! No one is your competitor; everyone’s trying to pave
their way to success, you being a part of them so instead of trying to think of ways to be
better than your competitors and other start-up peers, support their hard work and
initiative and appreciate their passion. You never know you’ll end up meeting and
collaborating with great minds along the way.
Tell us about that one conscious practice that you are proud of?
Gunjan: Personally, I’ve cut down on my shopping list to a bare minimum! As of now, I try to make sure that wherever I shop from is either organically made, hand-made, comes from a homegrown label, made with ethically sourced, natural ingredients or fabrics and causes no harm to the environment. Although some of the natural products from good domestic/international ethical brands may be a bit expensive, I cut down my costs on other
things just so I can purchase something that makes a difference to a start-up community along with keeping the planet happy!
As a brand, we’re still figuring out new ways to use and re-use our everyday materials but the one conscious practice that I love is that we’re not into using paper in any form, unless its really, really needed! That means we don’t provide printed bills to our customers (e-bills are the way to go), we use recycled paper/waste paper/seed paper hang tags for our garments, we generate and store digital docs for inventory and challan purposes and strictly say no to anyone who asks us for information for paper (unless it’s a life or death situation).
Trisha: As we’re seeing the growing production, use, and wastage of plastic in the ecosystem, it’s important that we reconsider our plastic-usage on a day to day basis. That’s why I travel with my own bottle of water everywhere, be it a short trip to the local market or for an outstation journey. It's highly essential that we implement such practices for the betterment of our planet.