In contemporary times when wearing a luxury brand is something used to set a statement, the fact that how it affects the environment is often undermined or even outright neglected. Despite the global outrage and campaigning, hardcore consumerism is still on the rise. In recent years, people have started to realize the importance of shifting to cleaner alternatives, and to support that, many ethical and sustainable clothing brands have come up. These brands have received a substantial amount of attention and support from the audiences that are aware of the hazardous effects of mass production of synthetic clothing that use toxic chemicals and dyes, thereby polluting the environment on an industrial level. One such brand that focuses on manufacturing sustainable yet stylish apparel is Emacity.
Founded by the students from five different undergraduate programmes at Indian School of Business and Finance, Emacity has seen tremendous support since its launch. In a conversation with the founders of Emacity, we tried to understand what went into the making of the brand.
What was the thought and inspiration behind the start-up and what led to its inception?
This journey is a peculiar one. It started with ISBF Students wanting a small shop for the college. It was simple; we had to open a shop that sold stationery and customized ISBF merchandise. It was an easy task but we paused and looked around. Was this something we wanted to do or we even needed? One of our Co-founders, Yuktha Bhadane, who is passionate about sustainability had the idea of making this shop sustainable. As we researched more about this, we found out that most companies that make Organic and Sustainable Clothing in India, only export their goods. It was a huge reality check when we realised that selling something completely natural was more complicated than selling something that was made out of chemicals. That is where the idea of Emacity emerged. Emacity was founded in the middle of the Pandemic. It started out of a want and a need of making sustainable products accessible, affordable, and functional. This was our challenge. On top of that, we had five founders sitting in different cities of the country and a team that extended till the ends of the continent. So yes! Emacity was supposed to be a simple shop with a 150 square feet area but ended up being a revolutionary idea that is now exposed to several continents!
How is Emacity different from other sustainable clothing brands in the market?
Emacity truly started when we made the hard choices. When simple certifications would cost us five times of what it would otherwise. When a plastic packet would cost you 50 paisa, whereas a jute bag would cost you 25 rupees. This is when Emacity started. It started when we made the choice to be a sustainable and ethical business. There are brands that greenwash, say that their products are organic but are not accountable for the same. Everything that is manufactured and sold by Emacity has a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certification and a Fair Trade Certificate. We know simply organic doesn’t sell which is why it hasn’t made a lasting impact yet. Emacity keeps the boring out of sustainable, it makes sustainable fashion trendy, fun and wearable.
How would you relate it to what you have learned at ISBF and what is the role of ISBF in the establishment of your venture?
ISBF has a thriving entrepreneurial culture and a faculty dedicated to helping students. It was the college that pushed us to start the campus shop, the reason why Emacity exists in the first place. Our initial days were overwhelming but the faculty and management at ISBF kept us sane. As we moved forward, things started becoming bigger. We interacted with certain people who had their own vested interests in the business. Our faculty at ISBF were our go-to persons. Which 19-year-old in our country has the slightest sense of filing taxes, making a private limited company? We did not either. ISBF supported us when we were lost. ISBF’s focus on applied learning has helped us tackle such problems by understanding and analysing them and coming up with solutions that are outside the box.
What is the thought behind the brand?
Emacity believes that employment and empowerment go hand in hand. We at Emacity want to be transparent and ethical in whatever we do. No matter what aims and goals we have, our priority is to be responsible individuals and entrepreneurs who cater towards giving back to the community. Having heard so many instances of exploitation of labour in terms of wages, working conditions, etc we often ponder over the fact that what do brands gain from exploiting the poor? Every apparel sold in an unethical way leads to a poor person paying the price for it. This just supports a million claims behind the phrase “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”.
How did you weave in rural women to work with you?
The story behind why we decided to employ rural women to support our process is because we believe in them. We believe in their unique skill sets, their ability to bring a change to uplift their households and communities. We believe in their empathy. Being students of Economics, we have often come across several cases where the majority of Micro Loan Organizations give Microloans to women because they trust them enough to pay it back. When we made this decision to weave in rural women to work with us, it was because we believe that this will help create a circular motion wherein the profits from sales of products made by them will be invested back in them to grow and breakthrough. They will run their household in the truest sense possible. We believe Emacity will help them acquire new skill sets by weaving trendy urban apparel that will help reduce the differences between urban and rural in some sense. It is a long process, but we trust its foundation. Change starts today.
Tell us something about your marketing strategies and your target audience.
We are Gen Z for Gen Z, catering to the millennials by promoting the zeal to drive change for a better tomorrow. We cater to these communities because who better to promote change than citizens of tomorrow? What truly makes Emacity its true authentic self is the transparency that comes with it. We are transparent in our vision and aim of giving back to the community by uplifting citizens of the same community to generate change for a better tomorrow. Unlike other brands who just sell sustainable clothing, we at Emacity help create awareness of why there is a need for this in the first place. One cannot expect people to adapt to change if they are not aware of why the change needs to be propagated in the first place. Emacity takes full responsibility in creating awareness as to why a shift from fast fashion to conscious consumerism is not a choice but a dire need. We also believe in nano and micro-influencer marketing that helps create a chain of people generating and sharing the same content influencing others to do the same.
What are the USPs of your product and what sets them apart from the others?
Our core USP lies in the fact that we are a sustainable and trendy clothing brand. Some of the USPs that set Emacity apart from other brands is that we use ‘GOTS’ Certified Organic Cotton and Premium, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic Dyes. Besides, the clothing is 100% biodegradable apparel and is designed by local artisans. Affordability and wearability are the factors that are given equal consideration.
7. Share something about your first collection and the inspiration behind it. Is there any message that you are trying to give to the audiences?
Our first collection is called NAKED. The message behind this collection is: In its most original form. Just as it is. We at EMACITY believe in being transparent with all our stakeholders moreover, our content and designs are raw, bold, and unfiltered so that is what served as an inspiration to name the collection NAKED. We want to make an impression that lasts, that makes people want to switch and that which drives people to make a difference. With a story weaved in each stitch, all our products have a beautiful story behind it, a weave of elegance and a weave of comfort. Our breathable essentials are a must-have for everyone. Our clothes will warm your hearts and not the earth. Choose consciously, choose Emacity! Join our Revolution.
More about Emacity
Yuktha Bhadane is a BSc. Economics student at ISBF from the batch 2022
Khushi Mehra studies BSc. Business & Management at ISBF and she is from the batch 2022
Ansh Bakshi comes from BSc. Economics & Management of 2022 batch at ISBF
Aaron Jenson is pursuing BSc. Economics & Finance at ISBF and he is from 2022 batch
Devendra Chandani is a student at ISBF studying BSc. Accounting & Finance in 2021 batch