Ed-a-Mamma, owned by Alia Bhatt, has made sustainable fashion affordable, others can too, says company chief executive

  • Launched at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Alia Bhatt’s sustainable children’s clothing brand Ed-a-mamma has grown more than 10x in the past 18 months.
  • Alia Bhatt’s Ed-a-Mamma also marked its offline presence this quarter by launching 16 retail stores, spread across India’s metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad and is now focusing on the expansion of its product categories.
  • Business Insider India spoke with Ed-a-Mamma business owner Iffat Jivan about the future of sustainable fashion in India.
  • Jivan told us that affordable sustainable fashion is achievable and it is the future.

Landfills are full of urban waste, so much so that by 2050, India will need a landfill the size of its capital, New Delhi!

As there is a growing awareness for sustainable fashion and consumers are ready to make more eco-friendly choices, affordability has become a major constraint.

A recent report by Kantar India stated that despite inflation, “people’s desire to be sustainable has not eroded. The cost of living crisis reminds us that green products must be affordable for sustainability to become mainstream. Brands that offer durable and affordable options will be preferred.

Ed-a-mamma, the children’s clothing company of actor and entrepreneur Alia Bhatt, has successfully brought down the price of its sustainable clothing.

Ed-a-Mamma’s clothes cost between ₹399 and ₹1,899.

If more brands lower their prices and focus on giving back to consumers, sustainability could see greater adoption in the country, which Ed-a-Mamma business leader Iffat Jivan says is difficult. but possible.

“Whether [sustainable] brands are… more affordable, there’s no reason why someone wouldn’t want to buy a sustainable product because you’re actually helping the planet, the environment, and at the same time you’re not burning a hole in your pocket,” Jivan told Business Insider India.

Why are sustainable clothes expensive?

Sustainable clothing is made from organic fibers – free from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and causing no harm to mother earth – which are hard to find. This is why durable clothing tends to be more expensive as the cost is passed on to consumers.

Ed-a-Mamma sources its organic fibers from India, which has helped the brand price its clothes in the same range as fast fashion products.

“If you have to produce a regular product, that’s probably 1/10th the effort you would put into sourcing a sustainable product. So people [brands] take extra for their efforts. In our case, our effort is more towards the environment. The price should go down if people take the same route we took,” Jivan explained.

When a sustainable brand operates on a smaller scale, achieving a profitable pricing strategy becomes a challenge.

However, Jivan is optimistic that the industry will change when brands take matters into their own hands.

“I can tell you for sure [affordable sustainable fashion] is not something that cannot be achieved. Today people want to be paid for the effort they put in to deliver this product, we have taken this responsibility on ourselves and pass the benefit on to the customer. It’s something that would come from the mindset of the brand. It is certainly doable. You just need to want to do it badly enough to pass it on to the client and work for a larger cause,” Jivan told Business Insider.

The brainchild of Alia Bhatt

Born at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in October 2020, Alia Bhatt’s Ed-a-Mamma is one of the premier brands in the sustainable children’s clothing category.

“It was actually Alia’s last dream and concept where she wanted to educate children about an alternative lifestyle that was possible. Speak directly to parents and children, because Alia is convinced that catching the young children and giving them alternative lifestyle options would probably sow the seeds for a bit more environmental awareness,” Jivan said.

Ed-a-Mamma marked its offline presence this quarter by launching 16 retail stores, spread across India’s metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad and is now focusing on expanding its categories of products.

“We’ve grown just over 10x over the past 18 months. We have now also moved into the brick and mortar space,” said Jivan.

“Last year we had about seven lakh coins (in sales). This year the number will definitely more than double as we have added many categories. This year we are looking at least to cross maybe 20 coins lakh,” Jivan added.

Ed-a-Mamma is currently valued at ₹200 crore.

The sustainable fashion industry is currently valued at around $24 billion in India, Jivan said and she believes that is only a fraction of the industry’s full potential. As more and more Indians embrace sustainable fashion in the coming years, the industry will only get bigger and better, she added.

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